Nearly two months after an ugly public departure from MSNBC, former host Melissa Harris-Perry has joined Elle magazine as an editor at large — a role that will allow her to resume her focus on race and gender issues, the magazine announced Monday.
Harris-Perry tweeted the news Monday evening:
The former morning show host, who is also an author and professor at Wake Forest University, said she won't work full-time for Elle but will write and appear on-camera regularly as the host of a web interview series, according to CNN's Brian Stetler.
In a statement, Leah Chernikoff, the magazine's editor said that Harris-Perry "will focus on the intersection of race, gender, politics, and yes, even fashion, telling the often-overlooked stories of women and girls of color."
The announcement marks a new chapter for Harris-Perry and the devoted following of MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show (affectionately nicknamed "Nerdland"), which showcased in-depth discussions on race, gender, politics and other social issues since its launch in 2012.
Harris-Perry's relationship with MSNBC began to rapidly unravel in February, after she refused to appear on her show one Saturday and penned a scathing email to her coworkers, explaining that she felt marginalized by the network after being repeatedly preempted by breaking primary election coverage.
"Our show was taken – without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season," she wrote. "After four years of building an audience, developing a brand, and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced."
After rumors began to circulate that the show was being cancelled, MSBNC asked her to take her place in the host chair again — but she refused, she said, because her team no longer had editorial control. "I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head," she wrote.
Negotiations over an exit package collapsed after Harris-Perry refused to sign a non-disparagement clause, which she called "a gag order." On Twitter, she made her feelings toward the network abundantly clear.
But now, Harris-Perry said in Elle's statement Monday, she's looking forward to focusing on her work and reuniting with her television fans:
"Joining ELLE.com is an opportunity to combine my expertise as a scholar, my commitments as a public intellectual, and my interests as a woman," Harris-Perry wrote. "I am thrilled to tell my loyal television audience where they can find me and to introduce myself to brand new audiences, all while telling the stories of extraordinary women and girls."