Megyn Kelly apologized in a letter addressed to her “friends and teammates” at the Today show after she made comments seemingly defending blackface Halloween costumes during Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday, October 23.
“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,” she began in the email obtained by Us Weekly. “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?”
During Tuesday’s segment, Kelly, 47, told her panelists that putting on “blackface” or “white face” was “OK when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.” The host also defended Real Housewives of New York City’s Luann de Lesseps, who was accused of doing blackface when she dressed up as Diana Ross for a Halloween party during season 10 of RHONY.
“Who doesn’t love Diana Ross?” she said on Tuesday’s show. “She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
In her letter to her colleagues, Kelly said she was “sorry” and “realize[d] now that such behavior is indeed wrong.”
“The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep,” she wrote. “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.”
She concluded: “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.”
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