As Corny watched Maybelle leave the studio, he felt a tightness in his chest. Maybelle and the kids had been fired; from the way Velma talked, the cancelation had been a long time coming, but it was still a shock to Corny that it had actually happened. He knew that Velma hated Negro Day (and especially Maybelle), but he never thought that she would give up the ratings it gained her. Featuring Maybelle and her kids once a month was the closest any of the local stations came to being integrated - farce though it was - and it increased their Negro viewership all month long.
That wasn't even taking into account how Maybelle and the kids had to feel. Especially Seaweed and- oh God, Little Inez. She was so looking forward to joining the show next year.
Corny was tempted to walk up to Velma then and there and refuse to do the show without Negro Day, but he refrained. Under normal circumstances, he could have used what leverage he had to bully a little concession out of Velma, but after the Tracy debacle, he'd used up all of his leeway for at least a few months. He'd have no hope in hell of getting Maybelle's job back if he got himself fired today, too.
Maybelle walked through the studio, her head held high, but Corny could tell that she was trying not to cry. She was holding it together as best she could, probably planning out what to say to the kids, but he knew she was hurting inside. He wanted to run across the room, scoop her up, and kiss her senseless, but that would definitely cost him his job, and any chance of getting Maybelle's job back.
He must have made some noise, because Maybelle glanced over at him, a hint of tears in her eyes. Corny was about to kiss her then and there, jobs be damned, but Velma emerged from the back office and scoffed. "Aren't you gone yet?" she demanded.
Maybelle stiffened, before turning around to face the arrogant blonde. "I was just on my way out, Von Tussle. I wouldn't want to spend any longer than I had to in your… fine establishment." Maybelle caught Corny's eye as she turned back to the door, and he nodded.
This afternoon she would be focused on comforting the kids, but tonight- tonight Maybelle would need comforting, and Corny would be there for her, just like he always was.