Friday, May 27, 2022

NBC’s Megyn Kelly Apologizes After Suggesting Blackface is OK for Whites to Wear on Halloween

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

*Megyn Kelly is facing sizzling hot criticism after she questioned why folks get all worked up over white folks in blackface.

The NBC host made the comment on her daytime talk show while discussing cultural insensitivity on Halloween with a panel that included TV personalities, Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager and Jacob Soboroff.

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,” Kelly argued.

“You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person that puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK.”

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As expected, her comment sparked outrage, particularly from folks who recalled her previous claim that Santa Claus could only be a white man.

Comedian Patrick Monahan suggested the only time Kelly would be offended by blackface is “if the person is also dressed as Santa Claus.”

Soledad O’Brien tweeted: “With a panel of white people. And pretending to not understand the historical roots of the issue (nor bother to raise them). On the Today show. Interesting.”

One online user reacted to Kelly’s ignorance by wondering: “Is she trying to get fired so that NBC has to pay out the rest of her contract? Seems like a pretty obvious play so she can be back with her friends at Faux News, first her [defence] of Brett Kavanagh and now this? She is the worst.”

After a brief timeout in the corner of shame, Kelly claims she realizes “now” that it is “indeed wrong” and that “the history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent, the wounds too deep.”

“Know what else is abhorrent? A history of Megyn Kelly in our culture,” noted a commenter.

“Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views,” said Kelly.

Here is Kelly’s apology to her colleagues at NBC:

Dear friends & teammates –

One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions. Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views.

When we had the roundtable discussion earlier today about the controversy of making your face look like a different race as part of a Halloween costume, I suggested that this seemed okay if done as part of this holiday where people have the chance to make themselves look like others. The iconic Diana Ross came up as an example. To me, I thought, why would it be controversial for someone dressing up as Diana Ross to make herself look like this amazing woman as a way of honoring and respecting her?

I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.

I’ve never been a “pc” kind of person — but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. 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 honor, and I want to be part of that. I look forward to continuing that discussion.

I’m honored to work with all of you every day.

Love,

Al Roker 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 because this is a history going back to the 1830s. Minstrel shows to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.”

Another commenter stated: “Wow… how many mulligans is NBC going to give this person? It appears she opens her mouth only to change feet.”

And many agree with the user who wrote: “…NBC’s human resources must have had a talk with her. A few years ago, while Kelly was working at Fox News, Kelly made headlines for insisting Jesus was white and Santa Claus could only be portrayed by white men. She ignored criticism then because her brand of racism earned her big bucks and approval at Fox News.”

What are your thoughts about Kelly’s apology?

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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