Megyn Kelly apologizes for defending wearing blackface for Halloween and saying it's OK if you're 'dressing up like a character'

NBC/Megyn Kelly TodayMegyn Kelly.
  • Megyn Kelly discussed Halloween costumes on her NBC show Tuesday morning with Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager, and guest host Jacob Soboroff.
  • Kelly asked her panel why wearing blackface was racist when a person is dressing like a character.
  • People were quick to criticise Kelly on social media, posting clips of the comments and calling the NBC host racist.

Megyn Kelly on Tuesday apologised after a deluge of criticism came when she defended wearing blackface for Halloween on her talk show Tuesday morning.

While speaking to Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager, and guest host Jacob Soboroff on “Megyn Kelly Today,” Kelly asked why wearing blackface was racist.

“But what is racist? You truly 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,” she asked her panel. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”

People were quick to criticise Kelly on social media, posting clips of the comments and calling the NBC host a racist. Among her criticizers was “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi, who called Kelly’s comments “damaging.”

The discussion was part of a segment on Kelly’s show in which the panel was talking about universities cracking down on inappropriate and offensive costumes.

In the clip, Kelly referenced “Real Housewives of New York”‘s Luann de Lesseps, who darkened her skin to dress as Diana Ross for Halloween last year.

After an episode showing the costume aired in April, de Lesseps apologised, saying she didn’t mean to offend anyone.

Kelly questioned why people were offended by de Lessep’s costume.

“I don’t see how that is racist on Halloween,” she said. “Who doesn’t love Diana Ross?”

People took to Twitter to criticise Kelly’s statements.

https://twitter.com/KimberlyNFoster/status/1054736034875887616?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

https://twitter.com/ParkerMolloy/status/1054743113552535553?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

Kelly’s cohosts were less supportive of the costume, however.

“I haven’t seen it, but it sounds pretty racist to me,” Soboroff said, with Bush Hager adding: “Me too.”

Kelly later apologised for her comments in an internal email seen by The Hollywood Reporter.

She recounted the segment in her email, saying she “suggested that this seemed ok if done as part of this holiday where people have the chance to make themselves look like others.”

“I realise now that such behaviour is indeed wrong, and I am sorry,” she wrote. “The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”

She went on to say that people have to be “more sensitive in this day and age,” noting she has never been a “‘pc’ kind of person.”

“Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year. This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honour, and I want to be part of that. I look forward to continuing that discussion,” she wrote.

This isn’t the first time Kelly been criticised for her comments about race.

In 2013, Kelly declared Santa Claus and Jesus were white and said there was no need to change their race.

“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” she said on Fox News.

Kelly said that Jesus’ race was a matter of “historical fact.”

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