Friday, May 27, 2022

Al Roker on Megyn Kelly’s ‘Blackface’ Stance: ‘She Owes a Bigger Apology to Folks of Color’

*As we previously reported, “Today” show co-host and weatherman Al Roker sounded off on fellow NBC host Megyn Kelly’s comments suggesting blackface is okay for white folks to wear on Halloween.

While debating on “what is racist,” Kelly, who was born in 1970, reflected on her own childhood — back to a time when it was appropriate for white folks to put on “blackface on Halloween, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character,” she argued during her Tuesday show.

As expected, her comments sparked outrage and after conferring with the white delegation, Kelly issued an apology, claiming she realizes “now” that it is “indeed wrong,” and that “the history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent, the wounds too deep.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: NBC’s Megyn Kelly Apologizes After Suggesting Blackface is OK for Whites to Wear on Halloween

“I am sorry,” she wrote in an email provided by NBC. “I’ve never been a ‘PC’ [politically correct] kind of person, but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age.”

But Al Roker ain’t buying it…  and had this to say about Kelly’s blackface apology: “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,” Roker told his co-hosts. “This is a history going back to the 1830s: Minstrel shows, to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.”

“I’m old enough to have lived through ‘Amos and Andy,’ where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters,” he added, ‘referring to the 1950s television show starring white comedians donning blackface, often for racist skits,’ writes The Hill.

“[Blackface is] magnifying the worst stereotypes about black people,” Roker continued. “And that’s what the big problem is.”

Kelly attempted to the explore “what is racist” and cultural insensitivity on Halloween with an all-white panel that included TV personalities, Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager and Jacob Soboroff.

“How are you gonna have a bunch of white people sit together and figure out what’s racist? White people don’t get to decide what’s racist,” said “Late Night” writer Amber Ruffin. “If I punch you, I don’t decide if it hurts or not. You do.”

 

“There is no magical day where you can wear blackface with no repercussions,” she explained.

“Unless all of your friends are white, and I’m guessing all of Megyn Kelly’s friends are white.”

Continuing, Ruffin added: “Blackface is racist because it turns black people into a costume and divorces them from their humanity,” she said. “We’re people. Not costumes. But more importantly, it ignores the severely racist context in which blackface was introduced into this country, and actions don’t exist separate from their context.”

WATCH:

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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