After social media exploded following Megyn Kelly's comments about fat-shaming, the NBC show host walked back her statements, saying she herself was bullied for her weight growing up.
During Friday's episode of Megyn Kelly Today, the 47-year-old journalist said that she "absolutely" does not support body-shaming.
"I said something yesterday on the show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it's a conversation we need to have openly. We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite," Kelly said Friday.
"Before saying goodbye, I acknowledged that [Thursday's guest 'Fit Mom' Maria Kang's] message does actually appeal to some people...and then I revealed something even I used to do 25 years ago," she continued, referencing her comment about asking her step-father to call her a "fat a—" if he saw her going into the kitchen.
"Many women have told me that they’ve done similar things to control their propensity to overeat. I understand that. The pressure to be thin is ubiquitous in America, and those who are not can face heartbreaking cruelty. I do not endorse this reality, the truth is, I loathe it," Kelly said.
She then shared that her entire family has struggled with weight gain and obesity, and that she herself struggled with it growing up.
"By the time I got to middle school, the hormones and the weight kicked in. I was chubby, by any standard and soon I found myself on the wrong side of some vicious bullies. Ones who called me fat, and made fun of my backside, who subjected me to humiliating pranks. Those comments can cut deep, trust me, I know," Kelly said, adding that diet pills, "obsessive" exercise and a reduced calorie intake soon took over her life.
She continued: "My heart was racing all day, my hair and skin were dry but I was thin. And so unhappy. I was scared of gaining weight because of the insane standard this country holds its women to and because I was and remain afraid of dying in my 40’s, which happened to my father."
Kelly went on to say that as an adult, she's gotten "healthier in my approach to eating, but I, like every woman I know, still wrestle with body image, and still cringe when I hear a person attacked for his or her weight."
"Please know, I would never encourage that toward any person. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I once encouraged it toward myself. What I know for sure is that weight is an issue for millions of people, thin and heavy alike. And neither deserves to be judged or shamed for how they choose to handle that struggle," she concluded.
Twitter wasn't entirely convinced of Kelly's backtracked comments.
A hurt dog will holler. Public figures have to be careful before they say insensitive things like this. She should be more aware of the things she says #TheView— Chris Sumlin (@ChrisSumlin) January 12, 2018
Ahead in #HotTopics: Megyn Kelly got backlash after she said “some of us want to be [body] shamed." She's since responded saying, "I absolutely do not support" body shaming others. What's your reaction? Tweet us. pic.twitter.com/PFJYzuQ292— The View (@TheView) January 12, 2018
Megyn needs to be quiet. Comments like that don't help AT ALL. She sounds like she's making it ok for people to body shame. It's not ok. Keep your comments about other people's appearance to yourself. #HotTopics— KMG365 (@starbucksgirl51) January 12, 2018
Kelly's initial comments made headlines Thursday after she told controversial Kang that she could "parlay the shaming thing into a professional business. Because some of us want to be shamed."
(Kang went viral in 2013 after posting a photo of her shredded stomach and her three young children with the caption "What's Your Excuse?" and was accused of mom-shaming other mothers at the time.)
"When I was in law school, I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where you going, fat ass?’ And it works!” Kelly said Thursday.
Twitter immediately erupted with backlash, from celebrities like The View host Meghan McCain to Today show viewers at home.
"I was publicly fat shammed (sic) early on in my career and it sent me to therapy. Trust me, there are real life ramifications for fat shaming of any kind, it is NEVER acceptable. We should be fostering a healthy culture that celebrates all women of all sizes," McCain wrote on Twitter with a link to an article about Kelly's comments.
The backlash against Kelly's statements came the day before NBC executives were reportedly "appalled" by Kelly's attempt to book Catt Sadler for an interview.
Sadler was the talk of the town at the Golden Globes as several actresses participating in the "Time's Up" movement defended her actions after leaving E! News over pay disparity. Sadler herself has made a number of public statements and interviews regarding the situation since she departed in December.
“[NBC higher-ups] are appalled [Kelly] would use their own airtime to criticize the company,” a Page Six insider told the site. "It was bad enough when Debra Messing weighed in on [Sadler’s grievance] on the Golden Globes red carpet on NBC. Now Megyn is going to put Catt front and center — on NBC! Yikes.”