NBC host Megyn Kelly was slammed by social media after a panel discussion on racial sensitivity in wearing Halloween costumes.
During a segment of “Megyn Kelly Today” on Tuesday, Kelly along with three other panel guests Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager and Jacob Soboroff discussed how English students at the University of Kent are pushing to ban certain costumes considered offensive.
Kelly then asked the panel, “What is racist?”
She acknowledged the fact that people “get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on Blackface for Halloween, or a Black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween.” She added, “Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character.”
The NBC host suggested that people dressing up in costumes were trying to get into characters. She tried to further prove her point when she called Halloween “jarring” and noted that “you have guys running around with fake axes coming out of their head.”
Rivers chimed in and added, “If you think it’s offensive, it probably is.” which most of the panel agreed with. She added, “Whatever happened to just manners and polite society?”
Kelly then used “Real Housewives of New York” star Luanne de Lesseps as an example of someone who darkened their skin for Halloween. Lesseps faced backlash for her Diana Ross’ outfit which was deemed racist.
The NBC host defended the reality star’s costume and said, “People said that was racist! And I don’t know, like, I thought, like, ‘Who doesn’t love Diana Ross?’ She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
Several celebrities and Twitter users blasted Kelly for her comments including comedian Patton Oswalt who wrote, “You and I are approximately the same age. Blackface was NOT okay when we were kids. Take it from a big-hearted boy who just wanted to show his love Nipsey Russell on the worst Halloween of my life.”
Civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom tweeted,” I’m older than Megyn Kelly. And no, when we were kids, it was definitely NOT OKAY for white kids to put on blackface, because even then we knew about the deep historical racism of blackface. Appalling then, appalling now.”
Other social media users were outraged by Kelly’s “Blackface” remarks.
“Yall acting like just because @megynkelly switched networks, she’s not still trash…She still is, just like her rebrand #oblivious,” one person tweeted.
“First of all Santa is a fictitious character, this may blow her mind. I’m willing to put money on the fact Jesus was a brown man! I can’t understand why Megyn Kelly has a job,” a second person added.
One Twitter elite wrote, “Look, @megynkelly loves talking about what’s not racist without doing any research. #LazyJournalism, #Bigotry or #WillfulIgnorance – you pick.”
Others have began calling for sponsors to boycott her show.