Although Megyn Kelly is part of the ‘NBC family,’ her morning show colleagues still let her have it over her comments about race and blackface. Watch Al Roker demand an apology from Megyn for ‘people of color around the country.’
Al Roker, 64, isn’t happy with his colleague Megyn Kelly, 47, after her blackface comments she made on her show, October 23. The Today Show host was visibly upset over Kelly’s comments when he, as well as Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin, addressed the situation on the morning show, October 24. “The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color round the country,” Al Roker said.
“This is a history going back to the 1830s minstrel shows to demean and denigrate a race. It wasn’t right. I’m old enough to know have lived through Amos ‘n’ Andy, where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters, just magnifying the worst stereotypes about black men—and that’s what the problem is. That’s what the issue is.”
Melvin also called Kelly’s remarks “indefensible” and “stupid. Guthrie, on the other hand, seemed uncomfortable and as a result, didn’t say much. “It is uncomfortable, obviously, because Megyn is a colleague at NBC News,” Guthrie said. Morgan Radford, who narrated the segment, said it was a “learning moment” for Kelly and for viewers, as it “really gifted us the opportunity to have this conversation and a public discourse. We now have the courage and we have the platform to have conversations like this, even when they’re uncomfortable, because we can see they’re still necessary.”
Al Roker on Megyn Kelly’s blackface apology: “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is a history going back to the 1830s. Minstrel shows to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.” pic.twitter.com/nt7YhCRU18
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 24, 2018
Kelly has since apologized for questioning if it’s racist to do blackface on Halloween, as well as her comments about a Diana Ross costume. In the round-table conversation, Kelly also defended Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps, who was accused of darkening her skin while dressing up as Diana Ross for Halloween last year.
First, she sent apology via an internal email to her NBC colleagues on the day she made the comments (October 23). The statement reads: “One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions. Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views.”
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry,” she wrote. “The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep. I’ve never been a ‘pc’ kind of person — but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age.”
She continued: “Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year. This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that.”
Then, Kelly issued a second apology, this time publicly on her show on October 24. “I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry,” she said at the top of Wednesday morning’s show. “You may have heard that yesterday we had a conversation about political correctness and Halloween costumes… I defended the idea (of blackface), saying that as long it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”
"I want to begin with two words, I'm sorry..The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense. I believe this is a time for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor..Thank you for listening and for helping me listen too." Megyn Kelly pic.twitter.com/6hHrvZLNvK
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) October 24, 2018
Kelly continued: “I have never been a PC kind of person” but she learned from the uproar over her statements that “it is not OK for (blackface) to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise.”
The Today host appeared emotional with tears in her eyes by the end of her apology. She concluded: “This past year has been so painful for many people of color. The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense. I believe this is a time for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that. Thank you for listening and for helping me listen too.”