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Why Debra Messing ‘Regrets’ Going on Megyn Kelly’s New NBC Talk Show

Just three days after its launch, Megyn Kelly’s new daytime talk show, Megyn Kelly Today. which fills the third hour of NBC’s Today Show, has already received plenty of analysis. But perhaps the harshest feedback came from one of Kelly’s first-ever guests, actress Debra Messing.

In an Instagram post, Messing, star of the recently-revived hit Will & Grace, said she regrets going on Kelly’s show and said she was “dismayed” by some of Kelly’s comments.

Messing, who appeared on Kelly’s debut episode alongside her Will & Grace co-stars, was referring to a remark Kelly made to a fan of the sitcom that broke ground during its initial run by featuring openly gay characters.

When Kelly invited the audience member on stage to meet the Will & Grace cast, she made what was perhaps an awkward attempt at a joke.

“Is it true that you became a lawyer—and you became gay—because of Will?” Kelly asked.

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The fan, a man named Russell Turner, didn’t appear put off by the remark.

“I look at Will Truman and I’m like, ‘He has it made!’ Lawyer, best apartment in New York City, and gay?” he said. “Come on, trifecta.”

After awarding Turner passes to a live Will & Grace taping, Kelly told Turner, “I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!”

Kelly’s comments stirred up criticism online, and the blowback spilled onto Messing’s Instagram account, with a user asking the actress why she appeared on the show.

“[H]onestly didn’t know it was [Megyn Kelly’s show] until that morning,” Messing wrote in response to the question. “The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”

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Messing, who identifies herself as an activist, has been vocal in her support of progressive causes of late. In May, she used her acceptance speech at the GLAAD awards to urge Ivanka Trump to stand on the “right side of history.”

“Let’s talk for a second, one Jewish mother to another,” Messing said after being honored with GLAAD’s Excellence in Media Award. “It’s not enough to say that women’s issues are important to you. It’s time to do something.”

Messing also participated in the January 21 Women’s March.

Messing’s comment about Kelly’s show is also noteworthy because it’s an instance of one NBC star criticizing another. The Will & Grace reboot debuts on NBC on Thursday.

At the same time, it underscores the growing pains associated with Kelly’s on-going rebranding. The former Fox News anchor, who publicly clashed with Donald Trump, is attempting to shed her conservative-leaning, politics-driven past—”The truth is, I am kinda done with politics for now,” she told her audience—to become a folksy, relatable talk show host.

Early feedback indicates the transition could be going better.