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It’s Official: Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC Are Parting Ways

NEW YORK (AP) — Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC are going their separate ways.

Melissa Harris-Perry attends the 2014 Essence Music Festival Concert on Friday, July 04, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Image source: Donald Traill/Invision/AP)Melissa Harris-Perry attends the 2014 Essence Music Festival Concert on Friday, July 04, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Image source: Donald Traill/Invision/AP)

“Farewell #Nerdland,” she tweeted on Sunday, referring to the probing discussions on her weekend show. “Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism.”

Farewell #Nerdland. Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism. pic.twitter.com/DJ7MMvVreN

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016

The network says MSNBC and Harris-Perry are parting ways.

She was scheduled to appear this Saturday and Sunday in the regular two-hour slot from 10 a.m. to noon. But Harris-Perry announced several days ago that she would stay away — in response to MSNBC’s pre-emption of her program for much of February for coverage of presidential politics.

Harris-Perry has focused on the politics of race, gender and social justice on her “Melissa Harris-Perry” show.

“Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” Harris-Perry said in an email to her staff that was posted on her Twitter page on Friday.

MSNBC “would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant,” including more political news. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head,” said Harris-Perry, who is black.

“While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better,” she added. “I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show.”

MSNBC said the pre-emptions were the result of the network’s heavier coverage of the presidential election campaign that heated up with the onset of the primaries.

“In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including MHP,” the network said in a statement, which characterized Harris-Perry’s reaction as “really surprising, confusing and disappointing.”

Harris-Perry, who began hosting the show in 2012, is also an author and a professor of political science at Wake Forest University.

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