The 29-year-old actor – best known for playing superhero Starlight on the Amazon Prime show – announced she was taking an “extensive if not permanent” break from social media in response to the “reductive assumptions” and harassment triggered by Kelly’s comments about her appearance in a “misogynistic video”.
The 53-year-old American journalist used Moriarty as an example of young women turning to plastic surgery during a recent episode of her podcast The Megyn Kelly Show, calling the “obsession” with cosmetic procedures “a sign of mental illness”.
Moriarty said she was “horrified” when she received the “disgustingly false, counterproductive to the degree of being ironically misogynistic” video of Kelly and realised the “widespread” nature of the controversy, in a message shared on Instagram on Friday (26 January).
“This is something I truly never anticipated writing,” she wrote. “We’re all subject to levels of bullying throughout our lives but I am horrified, and I felt that I deserved to take a second to address these things... To receive a message about a disgustingly false, counterproductive to the degree of being ironically misogynistic video of Megyn Kelly commenting on the manner — to learn the widespread nature of this has left me horrified.”
In an episode of her podcast on 17 January, Kelly accused Moriarty of being an example of an “addiction” to appearance-enhancing surgeries, calling them a “social illness”, during a conversation with The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles.
Kelly then pulled up what she said was a “relatively recent” photograph of Moriarty, before comparing it to a newer image.
“I thought it was just an AI-generated face... but apparently it’s real,” she said. “She’s done this to herself.
“More and more young women are doing this,” Kelly continued. “It’s not about an objection to plastic surgery, it’s about an obsession with turning yourself into this fake version of yourself… I find it like a sign of mental illness. I really want to get in the heads of these young girls and say, ‘Please don’t do this.’”
Addressing the earlier picture Kelly was referring to, Moriarty clarified it had been taken “a decade ago before I was of LEGAL DRINKING AGE” while the second photo that was used as “proof” she had had plastic surgery was from when she “got my make up done that day and it involves major contouring and I remember leaving and feeling pretty”.
“This is becoming harassment,” she continued, referring to the “scathing” comments she had received. “This is becoming false news.”
Moriarty said there was “no excuse for these horrific allegations, the verbal abuse...and genuinely false information that is being used to perpetuate a message that is exhibitionist feminism”, adding “you’ve broken my heart”.
“Shame on you Megyn Kelly. Shame on you, Fox News (Vought incarnate),” Moriarty concluded, before correcting her statement by adding Kelly no longer works for news channel.
The Independent has contacted Kelly’s representatives for comment.
Moriarty’s co-stars expressed their support for her in the comments under her Instagram post.
Jack Quaid, who plays Hughie on the X-rated satirical show, wrote: “Love you, Erin. F*** the haters.”
Chace Crawford (The Deep) posted a red heart in response to Moriarty’s statement.