Megyn Kelly issues tearful apology for defending blackface on 'Today': 'I was wrong'


Megyn Kelly issued another apology for defending blackface, this time with a tearful address to open Wednesday's episode of "Megyn Kelly Today."

The television personality came under fire on Tuesday after she questioned whether or not dressing up using blackface on Halloween is racist, which prompted her to send an apologetic email to her colleagues at NBC News. Her remarks were highly criticized on social media, with many people comparing her most recent comments to her controversial "Santa is white" diatribe from 2013.

On Wednesday morning, seemingly holding back tears, Kelly addressed the uproar head-on.

"I want to begin with two words: I'm sorry," she said. "You may have heard that yesterday we had a discussion here about political correctness and Halloween costumes, and that conversation turned to whether it is ever okay for a person of one race to dress-up as another -- a black person making their face lighter, or a white person making their's darker -- to make a costume complete."

"I defended the idea, saying as long as it's respectful and part of a Halloween costume, it seemed okay," she went on. "Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry."

"One of the great parts of sitting in this chair is getting to discuss different points of view," Kelly added. "Sometimes I talk, and sometimes I listen. Yesterday, I learned. I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not okay for that to be part of any costume -- Halloween or otherwise."

"I have never been a P.C. kind of person, but I do understand the value of being sensitive to our history, particularly on race and ethnicity," she continued. "This past year has been so painful for many people of color, the country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense. I believe this a time for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor. And I want to be part of that. Thank you for listening and for helping me listen, too."

After an audience member yelled out, "we love you, Megyn!" the rest of the crowd cheered her on and subsequently gave her a standing ovation for her remarks.

Not everyone was so quick to accept her apology, including some of her "Today" co-hosts. Al Roker issued a statement on the controversy and shared that he thinks she owes a bigger apology to people of color around the country.

"The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country," he said.