Megyn Kelly came under fire by her NBC bosses for saying that blackface, during her growing up years, was barely a blink on the politically correct radar during Halloween time, and for questioning why a white woman who darkened her face while wearing a Diana Ross costume was assumed to be racist.
But it’s OK for NBC’s nighttime anchor Lester Holt to wear a whiteface to mimic British pop star Susan Boyle?
And it’s OK for NBC’s Hoda Kotb to lighten her skin to portray white country star Blake Shelton?
And it’s OK for Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, the latter of whom now works for NBC, to don blackface for their own special comedic purposes?
Go figure. Racism, apparently, is selective.
Hat tip to Mediaite for putting this together: “Lester Holt, NBC Nightly News anchor, last week covered the story of outgoing fellow NBC-er Megyn Kelly talking about blackface and whiteface, the segment for which she was ultimately booted from her show,” the news outlet reported.
Kelly, for those who don’t recall, said that “you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface on Halloween. When I as a kid that was OK as long as you were dressing up like a character.”
Holt, on his television segment, conveniently forgot to mention whiteface — and here’s why: A photo of him surfaced dressed in whiteface mirror of Boyle for Halloween. And the photo surfaced because Holt actually dressed the part for a segment on the “Today Show” on NBC.
“So on Megyn Kelly’s own specific show on the network,” Mediaite wrote, “they previously had a person use make-up to dress in a costume portraying someone not just of a different race, but gender. And that’s not the only example. … Kotb dressed as Blake Shelton, standing with actual Blake Shelton. So she is humorously portraying a singer she presumably likes.”
Kind of like what Kelly was suggesting about Ross — that painting one’s face the skin color of the famous singer as a Halloween costume, as “real Housewives of New York” star Luann de Lesseps did, may not be as racist as all that.
“I don’t know, I felt like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross?” is how Kelly put it, on NBC.
Good point. So exactly where are the lines being drawn nowadays between racist and not racist? Kelly’s big fault may have been as it’s been whispered in recent days: She made the mistake of siding with conservatives on her NBC show one too many times.
She certainly wasn’t guilty of anything that rose to the so-called racist level of her far-left fellow television personalities.
Kimmel, for instance, has not only dressed as Utah Jazz player Karl Malone, but also even added a “speech impediment” as part of his parody. Fallon, meanwhile, has donned blackface and “spouted some fairly racist cliches while imitating [comedian Chris] Rock on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ” The Root wrote.
It’s enough to confuse even the most politically sensitive. But then again, not really. Here’s the thing to remember: Racism is whatever the liberals want it to be. Hypocrisy, be danged.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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