NBC News host Megyn Kelly revealed Tuesday that she isn’t happy with all of the new rules governing what people can and can’t wear for Halloween.
“I just feel like it’s so absurd, how — who comes up with these rules?” she asked.
Kelly began the segment with a report from Kent University in the U.K., where it is no longer acceptable for students to dress as cowboys. “And it goes on to list the things that you’re not allowed to dress like,” Kelly continued. “You’re not allowed to dress like Harvey Weinstein …”
Panelists Jenna Bush Hager, Melissa Crawford, and NBC’s Jacob Soboroff appeared to agree that Weinstein would be a bad choice, but Kelly cut in, saying, “I don’t want the University of Kent telling me I can’t do it.”
Kelly then went onto list a few of the costumes that were mentioned as “approved” by the university. Among them were the “letters of the alphabet.”
“I said to my team, Doug and I are going to together,” Kelly joked. “I’m going to go as ‘F’ and he can go as ‘U.'”
Soboroff added, “Freedom of expression … freedom of expression is a beautiful thing. So is freedom of speech. It’s part of why I like living in the United States of America. You can dress like an idiot, you can act like an idiot, and dress and be racist, somebody should say something to somebody, but you should still be able to dress like a moron.”
On that note, Kelly mentioned blackface and whiteface, pointing out the fact that while they are considered racist today, they were acceptable just a few decades ago. “That was okay, as long as you were dressing like a character.” (RELATED: Megyn Kelly: Elizabeth Warren ‘Scored A Goal Against Herself’ With DNA Test)
She also agreed with the panel that if someone was offended by that, if you chose to dress in blackface or whiteface, one has “to be able to take it.”
A number of people responded on Twitter immediately, suggesting that she was defending blackface for racist purposes.
Megyn Kelly wonders what the big deal is about blackface pic.twitter.com/07yvYDuAYe
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) October 23, 2018
I thought this might have been an exaggeration, but no, Megyn Kelly is really doing a “I don’t see what’s so offensive about blackface” https://t.co/xtECr43UMg
— jamelle g-g-ghoulie (@jbouie) October 23, 2018
Reasons to keep a saved search for the word “blackface” being said on TV:
1. You just never know when Megyn Kelly’s going to trip and fall into a bucket of racism. pic.twitter.com/V1HBkpwyWV
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) October 23, 2018
I cannot believe the ignorance on this in 2018. You are on national television. You have a responsibility to educate yourself on social issues @megynkelly. This is so damaging. https://t.co/R7UJzkDDG9 https://t.co/7qFkqGHfGJ
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) October 23, 2018
While all four panelists agreed that there were certain lines that probably shouldn’t be crossed, Kelly concluded with a simple statement: “I can’t keep up with the number of people we’re offending just being normal people these days.”
Kelly apologized to her colleagues on Tuesday afternoon in an internal email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep. 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.”
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