Megyn Kelly has apologized to her colleagues for defending wearing blackface on Halloween, an unpopular stance she took Tuesday morning during the “Today” show’s third hour.
The “Megyn Kelly Today” host said earlier today that she didn’t see the big deal if a white person wanted to darken their skin to dress up as a black person on Halloween, or vice versa.
“What is racist?” she asked. “You get in trouble if you’re a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
Kelly used “Real Housewives” star Luann de Lesseps, who darkened her appearance to more accurately portray Diana Ross, as an example.
“People said that that was racist,” Kelly said at the time. “I felt like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
She’s now walking those remarks back.
“One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions,” Kelly began her email, which was addressed to “friends & teammates.” “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.”
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong,” she said of wearing blackface, “I am sorry.”
“The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep,” Kelly, in the next sentence says she’s never been a “pc” person, wrote.
Here is Kelly’s full email to staff, which TheWrap was able to obtain:
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.