NBC’s Megyn Kelly isn’t done dealing with her Today show segment in which she defended of the idea of wearing blackface for Halloween. NBC Nightly News did a segment on it tonight, in which it noted it is not the first time Kelly has come under fire for her remarks about race.
The remarks were made hours earlier, during a panel discussion on her Today show hour, sparking backlash many found “tone deaf,” Nightly News anchor Lester Holt said, generously.
During segment on Halloween costumes, Kelly wondered, “What is racist, because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts in blackface at Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” adding, “When I was a kid that was okay as long as you were dressed like a character.”
Kelly defended reality TV star Luann de Lesseps, who darkened her skin for her Diana Ross costume in 2017.
“If she wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, I don’t know how that got racist for Halloween,” Kelly said. “It’s not like she’s walking around in general.”
NBC’s newscast reported that Padma Lakshmi, the host of Bravo’s Top Chef, was among many who took to Twitter to explain it to Kelly. “[B]ecause caricaturing another race perpetuates the dehumanization of POC who are being killed & jailed at a disproportionate rate in the US,” Lakshmi tweeted.
Maybe most telling, Nightly News’s report went on to say, “this is not the first time Kelly has come under fire for comments about race.” The newscast played a clip of Kelly from her days as a primetime star of Fox News Channel, complaining on her show about a suggestion Santa should not be a white man any more.
“Yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa,” Kelly said, adding “And, by the way for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white… Jesus was a white man too.”
Kelly apologized this afternoon in a statement to her Today staff, for her Halloween blackface comments, Nightly News said, quoting it in part:
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong and I am sorry,” she said.
“The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.