NBC’s Megyn Kelly wondered aloud Tuesday why white people dressing in blackface is considered racist. A few hours later, she apologized to colleagues for the comments.
“But what is racist?” Kelly asked guests on her show during a segment titled “Are these Halloween costumes too controversial to wear?”
She continued: “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween— Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
The widespread use of blackface in America began in 19th century minstrel shows, and was used to stereotype and dehumanize black people.
Later, Kelly brought up the “controversy” when “The Real Housewives Of New York” star Luann de Lesseps wore blackface to a Halloween party. She had dressed up as Diana Ross.
“And she made her skin look darker than it really is,” Kelly said, “and people said that that was racist. And, I don’t know, I felt like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
Kelly added: “I can’t keep up with the number of people we’re offending just by being normal people.”
Watch below. Kelly’s discussion of blackface begins four minutes in: