Megyn Kelly says “blackface” is appropriate on Halloween so long as the costume is of an actual character or person, according to Business Insider.
Speaking on TODAY with her fellow panelists Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager, and guest host Jacob Soboroff, the former Fox News host commented on the controversy surrounding “Real Housewives of New York” star Luann de Lesseps, who actually darkened her skin last year as part of her Diana Ross costume.
“I don’t see how that is racist on Halloween,” she said. “Who doesn’t love Diana Ross?”
Kelly did not specify if she meant it was appropriate to simply cosplay as Diana Ross or to darken one’s skin as part of that cosplay; the latter being completely out-of-bounds whether the person is black or white.
Of course, Kelly’s fellow panelists did not see eye-to-eye on the issue and were mostly unanimous in their condemnation of blackface.
“I haven’t seen it, but it sounds pretty racist to me,” Soboroff said. Jenna Bush Hager concurred with a simple, “Me too.”
“But what is racist? You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween,” Kelly asked her panel. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”
When “Black Panther” came onto the scene earlier this year, the New York Times openly pondered on whether or not white Americans should bar their children from dressing up as the iconic character for Halloween.
“As parents, or even as the people creating costumes, we need to be very aware of what that says,” one professor told the NYT. “There’s not a whole lot of black superheroes, so this is a really important thing for black kids growing up.”
The thesis was later rebuked by none other than the star of “Black Panther,” Chadwick Boseman, who found the concept of white children dressing up as a black superhero endearing.
Cosmopolitan made the same argument for Princess Moana of Disney.
Other times people get criticized for going “blackface” to Halloween when the costume had nothing to do with race whatsoever. Also last year, “Riverdale” actress Lili Reinhart got blasted on Twitter for wanting to dress up as a demon with all black skin:
Conversely, actor Donald Glover dressed up in whiteface for the show “Atlanta” and reprised the costume at the Golden Globes. Nobody blasted the costume as racist and many critics hailed it as a work of art.
Scores of people condemned Kelly as racist on Twitter.