While at Fox News in 2013, Megyn Kelly got slammed for saying Santa "just is white." Another network, another holiday, another controversy: During a segment on controversial Halloween costumes during her NBC show on Tuesday, Kelly brought up the subject of wearing blackface on Halloween and whether doing so is racist. (See video here.) "But what is racist?" Kelly said. "You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface. That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character." The Albany Times-Union, which notes Kelly moved to upstate New York when she was 9, reports Kelly's guests included Melissa Rivers, NBC's Jacob Soboroff, and Jenna Bush Hager—all white. Yahoo characterizes the three guests as chiming in to essentially say there are some lines you don't cross.
Kelly then brought up a costume worn by Real Housewife of New York City Luann de Lesseps last year; she dressed as Diana Ross, and many felt her darkened makeup qualified as blackface. Said Kelly, "People said that was racist and I don't know, I felt like, who doesn't love Diana Ross? She wanted to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don't know how that got racist on Halloween." She later added, "I can't keep up with the number of people we're offending just by being normal people." Padma Lakshmi was among the offended, tweeting, "I cannot believe the ignorance on this in 2018. You are on national television. You have a responsibility to educate yourself on social issues @megynkelly. This is so damaging." Kelly later apologized to colleagues in an internal email, per the Hollywood Reporter; she said she's "never been a 'pc' kind of person" but that she now realizes blackface "is indeed wrong." (This celeb once wore blackface for Halloween.)