Cross, who previously was the D.C. bureau chief for BET Networks, had made incendiary comments on air that made her a target of right-wing criticism.
Most recently, Cross appeared as a guest on Charlamagne tha God’s Comedy Central show, where the host asked his guest panelists which state the Democrats could afford to lose in the upcoming midterm election. Cross flippantly suggested Florida, using a vulgarity to describe the shape of the state and adding, “Let’s castrate Florida.”
But MSNBC’s decision to cancel her show was not tied to any single statement, these people said. Cross did not immediately respond to a request for comment. MSNBC’s president, Rashida Jones, was deeply involved in the decision to cut ties with Cross, two of these people said.
Over the summer, when Alyssa Farah Griffin — a former Trump White House communications aide who has since condemned the former president for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot — was a finalist for a co-hosting position on “The View,” Cross referred to her as a “tawdry turncoat Trump loyalist” who “quickly morphed into an opportunist after voluntarily taking jobs with the Trump administration” and said she “rode his wave of open xenophobia and racism all the way to network television.”
In October, Cross also referred to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Justice Pubic Hair on My Coke Can” — a reference to a detail from Anita Hill’s sexual harassment complaint against Thomas that she aired during his Senate confirmation hearings 31 years ago.
Conservative podcaster Megyn Kelly responded by calling Cross the most “racist person on television.” Cross in turn called Kelly “the blackface expert,” a reference to Kelly’s own on-air controversy, when she defended blackface as a Halloween costume during a stint as an NBC morning host.
Tucker Carlson, Fox News’s most popular prime-time host, dedicated an opening monologue to Cross, suggesting that her commentary about racism was likely to foment an anti-White movement akin to the Rwandan genocide.
The cancellation of Cross’s show spurred outrage in some quarters on the left. “Tucker Carlson hits Tiffany Cross recently and accuses her for fueling a ‘race war.’ She get deluged with hate and criticism. Now? She’s out at MSNBC. Contract not renewed. Timing is terrible,” tweeted Wajahat Ali, a liberal columnist for the Daily Beast.
Cross’s production staff, which also works on the comparable time slot on Sunday mornings for “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart,” will remain employed with the network and continue to work the same hours. For the time being, Cross’s show will be covered by a rotating group of hosts. Possible long-term replacements have not been determined.