UPDATED: 4:43 p.m. EDT — Megyn Kelly has miraculously realized the error in her ways of excusing Blackface. And it only took her about five hours.
The NBC talk show hostess wondered aloud, live on the air, why Blackface was wrong, especially during the Halloween season. “When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up as a character,” she doubled down at the time.
But now, she’s very reportedly contrite and apologetic for coming off as a tone-deaf, implicitly biased racist. At least those are the emotions that her sparsely worded mea culpa of a memo to only the NBC staff was likely meant to convey.
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry,” Kelly said in part her very brief statement. “The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”
Kelly, of course, has a rich history of being at the center of racist moments, which probably means this won’t be her final apology for offending Black folks.
What is racist?” she asked somewhat rhetorically when she and the other white people on her panel were inexplicably charged with deciding what is and isn’t offensive to Black people. “When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up as a character.”
We won’t even get into how NBC canceled a morning show hosted by Tamron Hall and Al Roker so that the network could reward Kelly with a $69 million contract that has resulted in low ratings. Chances are, had Tamron and Al been at the helm moderating the same discussion, things wouldn’t have gone left so quickly, or at all. Regret has grown over the decision to let Tamron Hall go; it probably grew a bit more on Tuesday, too. But we digress…
To be clear, blackface has its roots firmly planted in American racism, including and especially minstrel shows back in the 19th century that featured white actors who painted their faces black to act like slaves and newly freed Black people. It was these minstrel shows that largely contributed to the many negative, racial stereotypes that have been associated with Black people for well over a century.
Of course, no one on the panel tried to correct her, leaving her virtually unchecked for being so wildly inaccurate on such a well-documented topic. So social media users took it upon themselves to educate Megyn Kelly about the errors of her apparently oblivious ways.
Below is but a brief sampling of the chorus of sarcastic responses that resonated across the Twittersphere.