A resurfaced photo of daytime host Joy Behar has folks choosing sides amid recent controversy surrounding the use of blackface.
Behar, a longtime co-host of ABC’s “The View,“ is catching heat from critics who want to see her fired after a long-forgotten video of her explaining a questionable Halloween getup began circulating on social media.
The Wrap media editor Jon Levine re-shared the clip, in which Behar admitted during a 2016 taping that she dressed as a “beautiful African woman” when she was 29 years old, adding that she wore makeup “that was a little bit darker than my skin.” The panel was discussing a New York Times op-ed on the resurgence of naturally curly hair, after which Behar showed a picture of herself taken at a Halloween party.
“I was so cute,” she said, emphasizing that the curly tresses on her head were all hers.
The audience and fellow co-hosts were demonstrably taken aback at how drastically different Behar looked, some of them giggling.
Raven-Symoné, a former co-host, jokingly asked, “Joy, are you Black? Joy … are you my auntie?!” The former child star went on to ask Behar if she had on tanning lotion that day, to which she replied that she was indeed wearing darker makeup.
The situation wasn’t a big deal then, but it certainly is now as the video comes amid bitter scrutiny against Virginia Democrats, including Gov. Ralph Northam, who apologized after a picture featuring a man in blackface and another dressed in KKK robes from his medical school yearbook page emerged last week.
Northam later backtracked and insisted it wasn’t him in the photo. However, he fessed up to wearing blackface on a separate occasion where he dressed as singer Michael Jackson. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who’d previously called for Northam’s resignation, later admitted that he too had dressed in blackface, sparking calls for his ouster as well.
Critics now want the same for Behar and pointed to the hypocrisy of it all.
“I think the question is…where’s the line?,” one Twitter user commented. “Light skin ok for Halloween costumes but not darker skin? [Behar] clearly stated she put on makeup darker than her skin for a ‘beautiful African woman’ Halloween costume.”
“Why aren’t you screaming ‘cultural appropriation’?” wrote another. “Hell, girls can’t even wear braids in their hair anymore without getting yelled at for that, but she ACTUALLY dresses as a ‘beautiful African woman’ and nothing? Such hypocrites!!!”
“And oddly [journalist] Megyn Kelly loses her job for MENTIONING IT,” one woman opined.
Another added: “Megan Kelly was ripped apart and fired from her job for asking a hypothetical question about it!! That’s a double standard and completely wrong because she’s a Republican.”
Still, there were those who rushed to Behar’s defense, arguing that what she did doesn’t constitute blackface.
“There is a difference in Joy Behar dressing like a Black woman and someone doing blackface,” someone wrote on Twitter. “I’m also tired of white republicans trying to school black people on racism. She showed this pic a few years ago on national tv and no one, including the republican, had a problem with it.”
“She wasn’t even trying to dress like a Black woman,” another chimed in. “She is just an Italian woman, with naturally curly hair in an old photo. People making it into something it wasn’t.”
Watch more in the video below.
Joy Behar admitted during a taping of The View in 2016 to dressing as a “beautiful African women” at a Halloween party when she was 29 which involved makeup “that was a little bit darker than my skin”
The show even ran an image of the old photo pic.twitter.com/qKQqzDPxyn
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 6, 2019