Has Halloween ever been so problematic for NBC’s “Today” show?
Following the abrupt cancellation of “Megyn Kelly Today” after her widely derided defence of blackface, “Today” weather anchor Al Roker found himself catching fire over his choice of Halloween costume on Wednesday’s show.
It all started with a seemingly innocuous photo posted on the show’s Facebook page, featuring the “Today” crew showing off their ’80s-inspired Halloween attire.
Roker and “Today” meteorologist Dylan Dreyer were part of a team costume, attired as Doc Brown and Marty McFly, respectively, from “Back to the Future”.
Some people who commented on the photo, however, took issue with Roker’s costume, hurling the accusation that, in the wake of the Megyn Kelly scandal, a black man portraying a white character was somehow hypocritical.
Roker shut that criticism down quickly using plain old common sense to illustrate the difference between colouring one’s face to mimic a character’s race as opposed to simply dressing like that character.
“I’m going to say this one last time, but the folks who get it, understand and the ones who DON’T, won’t,” Roker declared in a scathing tweet.
“I can be Doc Brown, and I wear the outfit and wig and not change my skin colour,” he continued, adding, “if you’re white, you can be President Obama if you want. Just don’t colour your skin!”