Dear Megyn Kelly, Ignorance Is Not Bliss
It’s sad to say but in 2018 we haven’t grown much as a people when it comes to the subject of racism. Despite what some may say, it very much still exists and you don’t have to look far to find it. Last week, we found it rearing its ugly yet again, from former TV Host Megyn Kelly.
She came under fire for saying that she doesn't understand why blackface Halloween costumes are racist, during a roundtable discussion on her talk show, Megyn Kelly Today. Conveniently, there were no Black voices speaking at the table.
“What is racist? 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. Back when I was a kid that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character.”
Really Megyn? You expect us to believe that a smart, well-educated journalist like yourself had no idea this is offensive and wrong? Blackface is offensive because it is meant to demean people who are already marginalized and oppressed. There is simply no way she could have not known that. By the way, there is no such thing as whiteface.
Although she apologized in an email to her colleagues, as well as on-air in front of her studio audience, several of her colleagues dismissed her comments, including Craig Melvin and Al Roker. And now NBC has canceled her show which she never should have had in the first place.
So, who could have predicted Megyn’s demise? Anyone who has half-way followed her career.
Megyn Kelly has a history of racial and cultural insensitivity; ignorant comments and alienating viewers. Last year, she made a joke to the cast of Will & Grace that they turned one of its characters gay. She insulted Jane Fonda by questioning her about plastic surgery, and endorsed fat shaming to fitness advocate Maria Kang.
Let’s not forget the uproar she caused by insisting that Santa Claus and Jesus are both white, and her denouncing of “thug mentality” within Black communities. Her race-baiting continued.
How did Megyn Kelly get a $69 million deal with NBC in the first place? Well, she gained a lot of approval from women, including me, for calling out Donald Trump over his comments demeaning women. And then he fired back at her (remember the “blood coming out of her wherever” comment?). The more she stood her ground, the more we warmed up to her. When she spoke out against sexual harassment she endured by Fox News Chief Roger Ailes, her courage reeled us in.
The birth of the #MeToo movement last year provided her something to focus on for sure. The Megyn Kelly Today show was supposed to part the Red Sea and open up the heavens for NBC – an Oprahesque day-time powerhouse is what they wanted. But what she served up was boring, with no personality. Her inability to think and speak without bias showed through.
Instead of Oprah, Megyn gave them offensive. She cast doubt over the equal pay movement, defended false anti-abortion propaganda, and told campus sexual assault activists to “toughen up, buttercup.” The support that she had garnered faded.
Her ratings have never compared to the hour of Today hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall – who were also paid considerably less.
She was a wrong choice for NBC; someone who consistently offends and alienates a diverse audience. So, they’ve lost Megyn Kelly and also viewer’s trust.