On Halloween, October 31, the leftist publication The Nation tweeted an attack targeting former Fox News anchor and NBC host Megyn Kelly, snapping, “A reminder to @megynkelly: Blackface is not okay. Ever.”
— The Nation (@thenation) November 1, 2020
There is scholarship available for people who really don’t understand why blackface is offensive. The practice comes from shows designed to dehumanize people with dark skin. The truth is out there for the Megyn Kellys of the world, and people who refuse to learn the history of this offensive practice deserve no sympathy for their willful ignorance. Blackface is racist by definition: There is no exception for white people who claim they don’t mean it that way. There is no dispensation for white people who claim to do it as an “homage” to some character or celebrity. The color of a person’s skin is never their most essential or defining feature. People who wear blackface are self-identifying as prejudiced, no matter how racist-bone-free they claim to be.
Kelly — taking note that the article mentioned her despite the fact that she had never worn blackface, but somehow managed to avoid mentioning cadres of leftist celebrities and politicians (among others) who have done exactly that — fired back a blistering response:
“Take it up w/Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, Jimmy Kimmel, Robert Downey Jr.,Ted Danson, Sarah Silverman, Justin Trudeau, Julianne Hough… I could go on but why bother? Ur dishonest click bait headline only chose me (who has never worn BF) so ppl might actually read your sh*tty pub.”
Take it up w/Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, Jimmy Kimmel, Robert Downey Jr.,Ted Danson, Sarah Silverman, Justin Trudeau, Julianne Hough… I could go on but why bother? Ur dishonest click bait headline only chose me (who has never worn BF) so ppl might actually read your shitty pub. https://t.co/hkInNCGUwP
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) November 1, 2020
In 2018, hosting her show on NBC, Kelly remarked that in the past it had not been considered offensive to dress in blackface if you were imitating a specific character; she also did not react with outrage about a woman dressing up as Diana Ross. Within days, NBC fired her. Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC news, blustered, “There is no other way to put this, but I condemn those remarks.”
Kelly has said of the entire affair:
What happened was a real housewife, Luann de Lesseps, was in the news; she had dressed like Diana Ross, and she tinted her skin. She actually just put on extra self-tanner. So she did look darker than she normally does; she looked like Diana Ross, with the wig and the dress, and they were killing her. Keep I on mind, by the way, that this is on a show produced by Bravo, which is owned by NBC/Universal, and it was pre-taped, and they put her on the air. They put her on the air with the tinted skin, so that was their decision. She got a lot of blowback, and I wanted to talk about it because we were talking about all the crackdowns on Halleen costumes.
We started that day with a discussion about how over in the U.K. they sent out, some university, a ban on any costume that would like like a cowboy, because they didn’t want you to offend American cowboys. In response to which every American cowboy was like, “STFU. We don’t need your help.” And they actually suggested to people, “You might consider dressing as something non-controversial; perhaps as a letter, or a number.”
That’s where we’ve gotten on Halloween. And I was talking about how the standards for what’s offensive change, and not everybody understands when they’re walking into something; suddenly they’re doing something that’s awful and I pointed to Luann de Lesseps, this woman wore this, she’s trying to honor Diana Ross, and everything got blown up.
And I said thirty years ago, when I was kid, the point I was trying to make was, you do that, and there wasn’t a lot of blowback. And suddenly that became controversial, and then I said, “When I look at her, I see a woman who’s trying to look just like Diana Ross; she loves Diana Ross and she’s trying to honor her.
So I didn’t really say, “This is fine,” I said, “This is what I see. Tell me if I’m wrong.” That’s it; that is all that happened that day. And then when I look in the newspaper headlines, it was basically like, “Megyn Kelly calls for a return to minstrel show blackface and did the show in a KKK hat.”
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