A week after Megyn Kelly lost her job for saying she didn’t see a problem with blackface, a Missouri nurse was axed for blacking up as part of her Beyonce Halloween costume.
NBC News fired Megyn Kelly with lightning speed after the 47-year-old said on-air on Oct. 23 that she doesn’t see the problem with a white person wearing blackface. Now a Missouri nurse has met the same fate. Shelbi Heenan learned the hard way that blackening your skin to mimic an African American celebrity is racist, not cool and very offensive. On Oct. 29 the nurse posted a photo on Facebook of her and a man (reportedly her boyfriend) dressed as Beyonce, 37, and rapper husband JAY-Z, 48, for Halloween, according to KCTV. Unsurprisingly the pic didn’t go down well with social media users.
Shelbi’s photo went viral. Social media detectives contacted the hospital where she worked and by lunchtime Saint Luke’s in Lee’s Summit issued a statement saying that she was fired. “On Monday afternoon, Saint Luke’s Health System became aware of a Saint Luke’s East Hospital employee who posted photos on personal social media accounts of her and another individual dressed in blackface for what appears to be a Halloween event,” the statement read. “This information was shared with appropriate health system personnel and an investigation was initiated immediately. While it is against Saint Luke’s policy to comment on specific personnel matters, we can confirm that this individual is no longer a Saint Luke’s employee.”
The statement continued, “Saint Luke’s is deeply committed to our culture of diversity and inclusion. It is fundamental to who we are as an organization and we vigorously protect it on behalf of all our patients and employees and expect those who represent us to do the same.”
St Luke's confirms Shelbi Heenan is a registered nurse there. This is her in blackface for Halloween costume that recently appeared on social media. Hospital expected to make statement this afternoon. @KCTV5 pic.twitter.com/rIeN0t6PD2
— Amy Anderson (@AmyKCTV5) October 30, 2018
Shelbi’s Facebook account is no longer active and, yet again, it has become a teachable moment for the local community and the country at large that blackface is offensive. It stretches back to a time in the 1800s and throughout the 20th century when minstrel shows were popular and white performers blackened their faces and exaggerated black features, while mocking African Americans in shocking ways. Like we said it’s offensive, racist and never appropriate.