"Late Night" writer Amber Ruffin can't believe Kelly assembled an all-white panel to discuss a racially-charged topic like blackface.
Kelly apologized later in the day for her insensitive comments during the segment in an internal email sent to colleagues, which NBC News released to the press. "I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry," Kelly wrote. "The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep."
But that didn't stop "Late Night" from giving their two cents, because they couldn't believe that a 47-year-old woman in 2018 didn't already know this.
Seth Meyers admitted that as a white male he didn't feel quite comfortable talking about such a sensitive topic, African-American writer Amber Ruffin jumped into the frame, proudly proclaiming, "But I do!"
She then proceeded to soundly school Kelly on everything wrong with her panel discussion about blackface on "Megyn Kelly TODAY," starting with the fact that there were no actual black faces on that panel. It does perhaps explain why nobody directly called out Kelly, even if Jenna Bush Hager, Jacob Soboroff and Melissa Rivers at least had the decency to be uncomfortable.
"How are you gonna have a bunch of white people sit together and figure out what’s racist? White people don’t get to decide what’s racist," Ruffin said. "If I punch you, I don’t decide if it hurts or not. You do."
In her discussion, Kelly said she didn't think blackface was racist on Halloween, citing "Real Housewives" star Luann de Lesseps, who came under fire for donning blackface for her Diana Ross costume. If it's part of a costume for Halloween, Kelly just couldn't see the problem.
"There is no magical day where you can wear blackface with no repercussions," Ruffin explained. "Unless all of your friends are white, and I’m guessing all of Megyn Kelly’s friends are white."
She then got serious for a moment to really break down for Kelly and anyone else who might still be unsure on this topic exactly what the problem is.
"Blackface is racist because it turns black people into a costume and divorces them from their humanity," she said. "We’re people. Not costumes. But more importantly, it ignores the severely racist context in which blackface was introduced into this country, and actions don’t exist separate from their context."
Apparently, someone else educated Kelly about the history of blackface after her broadcast elicited a ton of negative feedback online, if her apology email is any indication. But this isn't the first time Kelly has made racial remarks on the air that didn't sit well with viewers.
In 2013, she 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," Kelly 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?" she asked.
"For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," she said to wrap up the segment that caused outrage, just as her blackface comments did.
Got a story or a tip for us? Email TooFab editors at email@example.com.