It only took a couple of hours for Megyn Kelly to feel the blowback that resulted from comments she made in defense of blackface costumes early Tuesday, October 23. Predictably, neither would it take but a few hours before she was apologizing for the ill-advised remarks.
CNN reports that by Tuesday afternoon NBC staffers had disclosed that they received a letter Kelly sent out to address the controversy amongst colleagues who may have been offended. "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 would write before proceeding to recount the context in which she happened to be speaking when the issue came up during her daytime show.
In the spirit of the annual Halloween festivities that are approaching, the former Fox analyst dedicated a portion of "Megyn Kelly Today" programming to the facilitation of a roundtable discussion on the so-called political correctness that has come to challenge the occasion over the years. Along with guests Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager, and Jacob Soboroff, Kelly recollected a time in her childhood years when dressing up as cowboys and Indians wasn't made out to be such a huge deal.
"[I] can't keep up with the number of people that we're offending just by being normal people," she said at one point.Eventually, the discourse began to involve controversies related to the appropriation of culture and some of the holiday's participants portraying the stereotypes of others with their look.
Soboroff would cut in to pose that anyone willing to go down that path ought to be ready and able to hear the grievances of those who are equally allowed freedom of speech. Kelly, on the other hand, chose to push back on whether emulating someone of a different race is actually racist if they are celebrating the person they are made up to appear as. She'd use Luann de Lesseps of "The Real Housewives of New York" as an example of someone who wanted to be a celebrity she idolized, and thereby darkened her skin color in order to more accurately channel Diana Ross.
"You truly 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 OK, as long as you were dressing up as like a character," Kelly said.
As The Inquisitr has previously reported, her show is now facing possible boycotts over the comments.In her apology statement, Kelly claims that she found herself reflecting on the issue from the perspective of those she hurt and decided that in these times she'd rather play a role in fostering "understanding, love, sensitivity and honor" than in further exasperating tensions and divisions around identity. "I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry," she told her co-workers at the network.
"The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep," Kelly would go on to state. "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."