At the top of this morning’s edition of her NBC talk show, Megyn Kelly apologized for comments she made on Tuesday defending white people in blackface at Halloween.
After being roundly criticized — including by fellow NBC personalities Al Roker and Craig Melvin — the host of “Megyn Kelly Today” admitted she was “wrong, and I am sorry.” However, her on-air apology was not exactly well received by many of her daytime talk-show peers.
In fact, the hosts of “The Talk”, “The Real” and “The Wendy Williams Show” all had some choice words for the former Fox News anchor, who once took heat for insisting that both Santa Claus and Jesus are white.
“Blackface was something of a caricature for black people, they exaggerated our features, it mocked us, it was a really sad time in American history,” said Loni Love on “The Real”. “When people say, ‘I wanna be Diana Ross,’ you can be Diana Ross, you just don’t have to be the brown Diana Ross. You the white Diana Ross.”
Her co-host Tamera Mowry pointed out how shocking it is that Kelly doesn’t understand why the whole concept of blackface would be offensive. “It’s 2018 and she didn’t understand what blackface means,” said Mowry. “I remember learning that… I learned it in American history and it was not a good thing.”
Meanwhile, Wendy Williams was joined by host Al Sharpton, who blasted Kelly for both her apology and her original statements, reports the Daily Mail.
“Wrong. You cannot take away the history about what blackface meant,” Sharpton said. “It was used to denigrate, it was used for hate. You do not use Halloween or anything else to try and play into stereotypes.”
The hosts on “The Talk” also had some opinions to share.
“I’m not going to get in her head, I think what she said about blackface was totally ignorant, that I’m sure of,” guest host Meredith Vieira said on Wednesday’s show.
“I can’t believe at 47 she didn’t know that. I feel like we all know that and even to say, as long as it’s respectful, it’s OK,” she added. “Since when has blackface ever been respectful?”
Sheryl Underwood put it even more bluntly, declaring it “dangerous” that Kelly has a TV platform on which to broadcast her views. “Listen to me, all white people don’t say stupid stuff,” she said, “but when you got the white panel and three out of four white people aren’t co-signing what you’re saying, Megyn, you need to let it go.”
Sharon Osbourne chimed in: “She has worked in news for how many years? She knows what is politically correct and what isn’t… You would have just hoped she would known better by working in the news for so many years.”
Added Vieira: “It’s not even a matter of PC or not PC. This is racism.”
Samantha Bee then addressed the whole thing on “Full Frontal”, getting correspondent Ashley Nicole Black, who wrote her thesis at Northwestern University on minstrelsy, to have her say.
Black explained: “Those characters stuck around through vaudeville and radio and then became the basis for some of the first sitcoms. So our nation’s entire comedy esthetic was built on stereotypes made up by white people and the idea that it was funny to blow up black people.
“But forget it. I wouldn’t want centuries of harm to ruin your Halloween, Becky.”