Megyn Kelly's 'Today' Set Has Been 'Tense,' 'Uncomfortable' Since Her Blackface Comments: Source

"The best way to describe it: the last few days have been uncomfortable," a source tells PEOPLE of the feeling on set of Megyn Kelly Today

Megyn Kelly TODAY - Season 1
Megyn Kelly. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

News of Megyn Kelly‘s Today tenure ending follows a “really tense and uncomfortable” few days on-set in the aftermath of her blackface comments, a source tells PEOPLE.

“I was on the set during the panel, and it wasn’t chaos. If she had sworn on TV, that would’ve been chaos. But everyone just looked at each other like ‘Oh, s—. This probably isn’t good.’ But what can you do? It’s live TV,” a source recalls of Tuesday’s episode, when Kelly, 47, questioned whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is actually racist.

“You just keep doing your job and let it happen, and then hope the fallout won’t be that bad. The rest of the show went on like normal, and we all just did our jobs, and then right after the show was over, Megyn was rushed away to talk to the network, and the rest of us just waited,” the source adds.

“We knew something was going to happen, but we didn’t know what. There was a lot of discussion; some people were really offended by what she said, and others didn’t think it was all that bad,” the source continues. “I just thought that she should know better; she’s been at this for a long time. I think everyone figured that this could be the beginning of the end.”

Megyn Kelly TODAY - Season 1
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

The former Fox News host caused controversy Tuesday morning during a discussion about censoring Halloween costumes with Jacob Soboroff, Melissa Rivers and Jenna Bush Hager.

“Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character,” Kelly said.

The mother of three has apologized twice — first in an internal email to colleagues and then on-air — but PEOPLE has confirmed that her hour of Today is done for good.

“The apology was really tense. I just held my breath and was like, ‘Oh, God, this is a nightmare.’ When she finished with the apology, I think that was the first time I breathed,” the source recalls of Kelly’s apology on Wednesday’s episode. “It was really tense and uncomfortable.”

RELATED VIDEO: Megyn Kelly Apologizes Again for Blackface Comments Amid Criticism from Today Colleagues

An NBC spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE earlier Thursday that the network will air pre-taped episodes for the rest of the week.

Megyn Kelly TODAY - Season 1
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Kelly’s NBC colleagues have condemned her harshly on-air. Craig Melvin called her remarks “indefensible” as well as “ignorant and racist,” and Al Roker insisted she “owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

Related Articles