Messing, 49, issued her take on the interview — and Kelly’s controversial comments — during an exchange with a fan Tuesday on Instagram.
“Why did you guys do the Megyn Kelly show? That’s a fail!” the commenter wrote.
“Honestly I didn’t know it was MK until that morning,” Messing responded. “The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”
But an insider at the taping insists Kelly “was obviously making a joke, that was clear to the ‘superfan’ — who was ecstatic, and the audience.”
“It became even clearer when she spent much of the interview asking the show’s creators how proud they were of the positive social impact of Will & Grace and the progress it brought about for gay rights,” said the insider.
Kelly, 46, debuted her morning show Megyn Kelly Today on Monday with a segment promoting the upcoming return of the groundbreaking NBC comedy starring Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally. After Kelly invited superfan Russell Turner on stage to meet his television idols, the host made a rather awkward joke.
“Is it true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?” Kelly asked.
Turner responded in good humor.
“I look at Will Truman and I’m like, ‘He has it made!’ Lawyer, best apartment in New York City, and gay?” he quipped. “Come on, trifecta.”
Kelly then revealed her show was awarding Turner two free tickets to a live Will & Grace taping in Los Angeles, an announcement that left the fan and audience giddy with excitement.
“I don’t know about the lawyer thing, but I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!” said Kelly as the crowd applauded.
Online, viewers have taken aim at Kelly, slamming her for her “clueless” comments and labeling the segment as “cringeworthy.”
Kelly did touch on the original NBC sitcom’s cultural impact.
“The cast and creators of Will & Grace are here. We talked about this show’s impact. And culturally, it had a huge impact,” she said. “Vice President Joe Biden said at the time, no other show had as much effect, as calling people’s attention to gay rights. What does it feel to hear that?”
“Shocking. HE read it as I wrote it. It was surprising and incredibly gratifying,” co-creator David Kohan said in response. “We never set out — there was nothing — we were not an ideological thing. We were not set out to posit ideas into the zeitgeist. We were trying to do a show with four characters and trying to be funny. It was very satisfying. It gave a sense of something else was accomplished here.”
And Hayes raved about the interview, tweeting, “Having fun on the premiere episode of @megyntoday.” (Messing retweeted him.)
The new season of Will & Grace premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
NBC did not respond to a request for comment.