Megyn Kelly, the host of Megyn Kelly Today on NBC, apologized for her controversial and racist comment on blackface for Halloween, Tuesday, October 23. While trying to take a stab at politically correct behavior, she took a stab at Black people and the potential for white people everywhere to be black for at least one day out of the year. Should they choose to be, of course.
“But, what is racist?” Kelly said on-air of Megyn Kelly Today. “Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”
Further, she commented on how Halloween is supposed to be jarring comparing applying blackface to people having axes coming out of their heads, and she did not stop there. She came to Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lessep’s defense.
“Who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween,” Kelly said.
Her argument for blackface on Halloween seems to be that you should be allowed to be racist if only one day out of the year. Not only is her comment tone-deaf, but it exercises her privilege as a white woman that should be allowed to occupy the political power and opportunity afforded to white women. Simultaneously in this white body demanding to be allowed to masquerade in the skin of a people that have been politically and historically mocked and abused by blackface.
Kelly apologized via email, the Hollywood Reporter stated, “Kelly wrote that she’s heard from colleagues and friends and realizes her comments were wrong.” After receiving backlash and hopefully an education about how blackface affects not those that want to participate in such a harmful activity, but those who are “imitated,” Kelly has learned an impactful lesson.
“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,” Kelly said.
However, her comment and, more importantly, her apology will hopefully allow people to have these discussions where they are open about their beliefs and open to others’ views as well. So that we may change toxic beliefs for the next generation.