U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) slammed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday after the political commentator mocked her hair on Fox and Friends.
O’Reilly’s comment, which was deemed by some as sexist and racist, was made during a segment on the morning show in which a clip of Waters making a speech about President Donald Trump was shown. “I didn’t hear a word she said,” O’Reilly remarked. “I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.”
The conservative commentator’s quip was quickly denounced as clips of the segment spread on social media. Many rushed to defend the California congresswoman, an outspoken critic of Trump, with some even calling for Bill O’Reilly to be fired.
Later in the day, O’Reilly issued a written statement to Time’s Motto, in which he apologized to Rep. Maxine Waters for his comment. “As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her ‘old school,'” he wrote. “Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”
In an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All In on Tuesday night, Congresswoman Maxine Waters responded to Bill O’Reilly’s widely criticized remarks. “I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated,” she said. “I cannot be undermined.”
According to Time, Waters also took the opportunity to send a message out to ladies everywhere. “[D]on’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people to intimidate you or scare you,” she said. “Be who you are, do what you do, and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country.”
Rep. Waters also sent out a warning to those like Bill O’Reilly who would attempt to shame her into silence.
“I am not going to be put down, I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on the issues.”
I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I'm not going anywhere. #BlackWomenAtWork— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) March 29, 2017
Among those who came to Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ defense after Bill O’Reilly’s “jest” were CNN contributor Angela Rye, who hit back at the Fox News host in a scathing tweet, and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who referred to the incident during a speech on Tuesday night.
Speaking before the Professional Business Women of California at a conference in San Francisco, Clinton brought up two recent incidents that she said exemplified the “indignities” that women face on a daily basis. According to The Hill, the former Secretary of State cited the bizarre exchange between American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan and Press Secretary Sean Spicer, which also occurred on Tuesday. During this incident, Spicer loudly reprimanded Ryan for shaking her head during a press briefing.
Clinton also referenced Bill O’Reilly’s “James Brown wig” comment, saying that it was a “racist joke.” “Too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride,” she said.
“And any woman who thinks this couldn’t be directed at her is living in a dream world.”
Meanwhile, despite O’Reilly’s remarks, Rep. Maxine Waters remains undeterred in her quest to kick President Trump out of the Oval Office. In an interview with Elle, the congresswoman explained her recent tweet warning Trump to get ready for impeachment. According to Waters, she dared use the word “impeachment” even when some of her colleagues thought it was too early to begin talking about it.
“But that’s my goal. My goal is impeachment.”
RUSH TRANSCRIPT -- Tonight's Talking Points Memo: "A Liberal Congresswoman Attacks President Trump" -- https://t.co/Sfh85l8S3z— Bill O'Reilly (@oreillyfactor) March 29, 2017
Maxine Waters, who has been a member of the California House of Representatives since 1977, told the publication that she has been very vocal about Trump because she “could not abide his indecency.” The ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee also explained that she believes that with continued investigation, more information about Trump’s ties with Russia will be made public.
“I’m out to get him. I’m gonna see him out of office. And I think it’s going to happen. Get ready for impeachment.”
[Featured Image by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images]