Halloween Costumes on TV in 2018

The NBC morning show personality defends "Real Housewives of New York City" star Luann de Lesseps or her Diana Ross costume that outraged viewers last year.

Megyn Kelly defended people wearing blackface on Halloween in an unbelievable "Today" show panel Tuesday morning.

No joke, she asked her panel "what is racist" about wearing blackface, and proceeded to make an argument that is quite stunning to hear in 2018.

"Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween," she said. "Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as a character."

Fellow panelists Melissa Rivers, Jenna Bush Hager and Jacob Soboroff -- in their defense -- appeared fully aware of the inappropriateness of darkening your skin for a costume, although they didn't call out Kelly for excusing it.

"I think there are limits as to how far you want to go, because you're making people feel bad," Bush said, and Rivers added, "Normal people kinda know where that line is."

"Real Housewives of New York" star Luann de Lesseps learned that lesson the hard way last Halloween when she painted her skin to dress up as singer Diana Ross. Kelly, however, didn't understand Bravo viewers' outrage over the costume.

"People said that that was racist," Kelly marveled. "I thought, who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween."

Soboroff answered, "I have not seen it, but it sounds a little racist to me."

Her dated thoughts on blackface came after the panel started discussing colleges cracking down on offensive costumes.

"You cannot dress as a Native American. That’s apparently been some rule for a long time. You can’t dress up as a nun," Kelly complained. "Isn’t the whole purpose of Halloween to dress up and pretend you’re something other than yourself?"

She got a round of applause for that comment, and called colleges discouraging students from wearing stereotypical costumes "absurd."

In regards to outrage over the "sexy Handmaid's Tale" costume that made headlines this fall, Kelly said, "Get over it. Wear what you want."

If you find yourself asking the same question about blackface as Kelly, consider reading this Huffington Post essay written by Dr. David J. Leonard, a professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University.

"Blackface is part of a history of dehumanization, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilized blackface (and the resulting dehumanization) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence," he wrote in the piece. "It is time to stop with the dismissive arguments those that describe these offensive acts as pranks, ignorance and youthful indiscretions. Blackface is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes ... the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice."

This isn't the first time Kelly has made racial remarks on the air that did not sit well with viewers. In 2013, declared on her Fox News show that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white.

"Jesus was a white man, too. It's like we have, he's a historical figure that's a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that," she said, arguing against Santa Claus being depicted as a black man. "How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?"

"For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," she said to wrap up the segment that caused outrage, just as we assume her thoughts on blackface will.

Watch the start of the discussion below before Kelly whips out the blackface talk in the video above.

View Photos Everett Collection/Getty 15 Pop-Culture Inspired Halloween Costume Ideas for 2018

Hot Videos

Advertisement