|Gayle King, Oprah|
Fox News reports the morning show opened without a mention of King, as CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan sat in her seat amid a report that staffers are angry over the backlash King has received as viewers took to Twitter to question why she was off.
“Gayle was off the show today because she had a long-standing commitment out of town,” a CBS News rep told Fox News.
Meanwhile, and emotional Oprah Winfrey said her best friend, CBS News anchor Gayle King, is “not doing well” after she came under attack when the network posted a clip of the “CBS This Morning” co-host asking about the 2003 rape allegations against late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
.@Oprah emotionally responds to backlash her friend Gayle King received over King’s recent interview about Kobe Bryant with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie: “She is not doing well because she has now death threats.” pic.twitter.com/M8HrCp8vTr— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) February 7, 2020
King’s eyebrow-raising absence came roughly 24 hours after she declared she would have “a very intense discussion” with network executives over handling of an interview about the legacy of Bryant that landed her in hot water with critics.
King recently interviewed WNBA icon Lisa Leslie about her relationship with Bryant and a clip of a particular question about a 2003 rape accusation went viral, with everyone from imprisoned comedian Bill Cosby to rapper Snoop Dogg criticizing the CBS anchor.
She was widely accused of smearing Bryant and responded Thursday with an Instagram video in which she blamed her employer for distributing an "out-of-context" clip of the interview that resulted in the widespread backlash.