Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Megyn Kelly fired over offensive comment

by Margaret Stewart - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 6th 2018 10:00 pm
Unforgivable Megyn Kelly (above) has been heavily criticized after making comments defending black face, saying that it was acceptable if it was part of a costume. She apologized the next day, but was still fired from the `Today` show.
Unforgivable Megyn Kelly (above) has been heavily criticized after making comments defending black face, saying that it was acceptable if it was part of a costume. She apologized the next day, but was still fired from the "Today" show.

As it is with every Halloween season, the topic of appropriation and what constitutes an inappropriate portrayal of race rises in conversations. This year, more and more people are becoming vocal about their views, NBC’s Megyn Kelly was no exception.

Host of NBC’s “Today” show, Kelly was fired from the show after defending the use of blackface on national television. Blackface originated as a stage makeup, appearing in minstrel shows that actors of both African-American and Caucasian heritage, would use to create an offensive and demeaning narrative in regards to an African American character.

In an interview with USA Today, an NBC spokesperson said, “‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”

While NBC made it clear Kelly will no longer be associated with the “Today”  Show, it is unclear whether or not she has been fired from the network. Her negotiations with the network continue and rumors are spreading about her return to Fox News. Having expressed its support for Kelly, she worked for Fox News for nearly a decade before joining NBC. Since joining the show “Today,” she has been highly controversial in topic and not garning the ratings that were expected when she was supposedly offered a $20 million yearly contract.

According to USA Today, Kelly’s ratings for “Today,” which airs in the 9 a.m. hour, lost “400,000 viewers, or 13 percent of its audience, compared to when the show was previously hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall.” USA Today continues stating “her numbers were down 25 percent with viewers aged 25-54, the traditional demographic for TV news.”

On the morning of the incident, Kelly supported the use of blackface and whiteface by simply stating “it was okay when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.”

Her retraction was aired the next morning as she begun, “I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry. You may have heard that yesterday we had a conversation about political correctness and Halloween costumes," she said.

“I defended the idea (of blackface), saying that as long as it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”

However, as the TV network reran an older episode of “Today” instead of a live episode, it was obvious she would not be returning.

“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the county,” said Al Roker, the previous host of “Today” in a public statement. “This is a history, going back to the 1830s (with) minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is... No good comes from it.”

There has been much controversy surrounding this issue for a long time. People tend to argue that as long as they are dressing up as a character, the usage of makeup such as blackface or whiteface is appropriate. However, since the usage and origin of the makeup was racist in its intent, as it was created to perpetuate the false stereotypes surrounding a race, it has become widely accepted that changing or attempting to change your race for entertainment purposes is inappropriate every time.

Thankfully, pop culture is on its way to becoming more diverse, albeit slowly. There was a time in which Disney princesses all looked fairly similar, if you catch my drift.

Now, however, they are creating Princesses not only from diverse backgrounds but with unique and progressive stories giving girls of any race, role models to look up to. Perhaps Kelly should’ve followed in those footsteps.