Joy Behar faces backlash over old 'African woman' Halloween costume

An old photo of Joy Behar dressed as a “beautiful African woman” on Halloween has resurfaced.

Behar showed the photo on The View in 2016 during a segment talking about the resurgence of natural hair. Asked how old she was in the photo, she replied, “I was 29. It was a Halloween party. I went as a beautiful African woman.”

Behar’s former co-host Raven-Symoné had a lot of questions about the photo. She asked, “Are you black, Joy?” followed by, “Are you my auntie, Joy?” After Behar explained it was a costume, Raven-Symoné wanted to know if she had applied “tanning lotion” to her skin.

“I had makeup that was a little bit darker than my skin,” Behar, now 76, replied. The curly hair was all her own.

Joy Behar shared this photo — of herself dressed as an African woman for Halloween — on The View in 2016. (Image: The View)

The old segment has reemerged as controversy swirls over the use of blackface by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. On Friday, Northam apologized after a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page showed one man in blackface and another in a KKK robe. The Democratic leader later said he was not in the photo and hadn’t seen it before. He then admitted he did once use shoe polish to darken his skin to resemble Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984. That was followed by the state’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who had called on Northam to resign, putting out a statement Wednesday admitting that he also wore blackface in college.

In October, Today show personality Megyn Kelly was axed by NBC after she defended people wearing blackface on a segment about Halloween. She said that growing up, it was considered a tribute. She said she didn’t understand the controversy over Real Housewives of New York City’s Luann de Lesseps, who wore a huge afro and darkened her skin to dress as Diana Ross for Halloween in 2017. “I thought, like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross?” said Kelly. “She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”

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Joy Behar through the years
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Joy Behar through the years
Joy Behar during Friars Club Roasts Danny Aiello at Hilton Hotel in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Joy Behar during 'As Good As It Gets' New York City Premiere at Loews Twin Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Lisa Ling at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, Barbara Walters, and Star Jones of The View pictured at the N.A.T.P.E. convention in New Orleans on January 20, 1998. (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, and Lisa Ling (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1940 -- Pictured: (Back, l-r) Lisa Ling, Star Jones, (front, l-r) Joy Behar, Barbara Walters from The View during an interview with host Jay Leno on November 13, 2000 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Joy Behar and Bette Midler during Bette Midler Hosts 5th Annual Fundraiser for NY Restoration Project at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
William Baldwin and The Creative Coalition, presented, 'Election Night 2000: The Revolution Without,' an evening of political satire, at Caroline's Comedy Club, on Broadway in New York City, Tuesday November 7. The event, a benefit for the Creative Coalition, featured a panel discussion with some of America's leading political satirists, including actress, Martha Plimpton (pictured left) and Joy Behar, from TV's 'The View,' (pictured right), who both watched the election night returns on giant TV screens with their host, William Baldwin.Photo: Nick Elgar/ImageDirect
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18: Television host Joy Behar attends a party for ABC Daytime stars to celebrate actress Kathy Brier's new lead role in the Broadway musical 'Hairspray' at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse December 18, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Masselback, Barbara Walters and Joy Behar (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 2653 -- Pictured: (l-r) Talk show hosts Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck during an interview with host Jay Leno on February 17, 2004 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 'The View,' ABC's Emmy (R) Award-winning talk and entertainment program returns, live, TUESDAY, SEPT. 5 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network, for its 10th season. Among the most highly anticipated and noted changes for the show this season is the addition of Rosie O'Donnell, a beloved star of television, stage and screen. Ms. O'Donnell will serve as moderator and sit alongside fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. (Photo by Yolanda Perez/ABC via Getty Images) ELISABETH HASSELBECK,ROSIE O'DONNELL, BARBARA WALTERS, JOY BEHAR
Joy Behar during The Retreat's 11th Annual Gala Artists Against Abuse Art & Plate Auction 2006 at Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club in Bridgehampton, New York, United States. (Photo by Shane Gritzinger/FilmMagic)
Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 16: Comedian Joy Behar during Comedy Cares Celebrity Poker Tournament Sponsored by AEG at the HBO & AEG Live's 'The Comedy Festival' 2007 at Caesars Palace on November 16, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Comedians Joy Behar and Joan Rivers arrive at The Opening Night of Mel Brooks New Musical 'Young Frankenstein' on Broadway on November 8, 2007 at The Hilton Theater in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Joy Behar on stage during Joy Behar and Kevin Nealon at the HBO & AEG Live's 'The Comedy Festival' 2007 at Caesars Palace on November 17, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Joy Behar attends HLN's Joy Behar Show Launch at The Oak Room on September 23, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Morgan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Beher and Barbara Walters attend HLN's Joy Behar Show Launch at The Oak Room on September 23, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Morgan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 13: Joy Behar speaks onstage at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The New York Marriott Marquis on March 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - On August 11, 1997, television viewers were introduced to a new and diverse menu of talk, entertainment and lifestyle programming each weekday, as ABC Daytime launched 'The View.' The show, originally billed as 'ABC Daytime's lively and informative new talk show,' has flourished into one of the most popular and most talked-about programs, and celebrates its '3,000th Show,' live, Thursday, September 23, 2010. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, BARBARA WALTERS, TINA FEY, JOY BEHAR, SHERRI SHEPHERD, ELISABETH HASSELBECK
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Actress Joy Behar attends the 'Growing Up Laughing' book launch at Carolines On Broadway on September 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - ABC News' Dan Abrams visits the ladies of 'THE VIEW,' 7/21/11 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)JOY BEHAR, DAN ABRAMS, SHERRI SHEPHERD, ELISABETH HASSELBECK
THE VIEW - (8.3.11) Award-winning journalist, best-selling author and television personality Katie Couric made her first guest co-host appearance live today on 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images)WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JOY BEHAR, KATIE COURIC, SHERRI SHEPHERD, BARBARA WALTERS
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Joy Behar, Harold 'Hal' Prince, Linda Lavin and Carol Burnett pose backstage after a performance by Linda Lavin at 54 Below on September 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for 54 Below)
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE - Show #MI11-047 - Joy Behar joins former 'The View' co-host Meredith Vieira on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, airing Tuesday, Nov. 7 across the country and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, MEREDITH VIEIRA
THE VIEW - (10.23.12) Tony Bennett performed with Juan Luis Guerra and The Houston Family joined the co-hosts today on 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JOY BEHAR, SHERRI SHEPHERD, ELISABETH HASSELBECK, BARBARA WALTERS
THE VIEW - Actress Lea Michele appeared today, March 6, 2013 on 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: TV Personality Joy Behar attends the 'Lucky Guy' Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Call at The Broadhurst Theatre on April 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
THE VIEW - Guest co-host Amy Schumer (?Inside Amy Schumer?); Steve Martin & Edie Brickell (album, ?Love Has Come for You?); Dr. Richard Besser (author, Tell Me the Truth, Doctor) appeared today, April 24, 2013 on 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Joy Behar attends the 'American Masters Mel Brooks: Make a Noise' New York screening at the 92Y on May 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Joy Behar and Mario Cantone are the guest co-hosts Friday, January 30, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 'The View' celebrates 4000 shows with guest co-hosts Barbara Walters and Joy Behar. Guests include Elisabeth Moss and Mario Cantone airing Friday, March 27, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton talk about their new film 'Eddie the Eagle,' on 'THE VIEW,' airing THURSDAY, FEB. 25 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) CANDACE CAMERON, JOY BEHAR, HUGH JACKMAN
THE VIEW - Bob Saget and Dave Coulier are guests on 'THE VIEW,' 3/3/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, RAVEN-SYMONE�, PAULA FARIS
THE VIEW - Bobby Brown visits 'THE VIEW,' 6/13/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR
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THE VIEW - Ali Wentworth is the guest today, Tuesday, December 13, 2016 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, ALI WENTWORTH
THE VIEW - Reba McEntire is the guest co-host today, Wednesday, February 8, 2017 on ABC's 'The View,' with guest Tracee Ellis Ross on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC vis Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, SUNNY HOSTIN, REBA MCENTIRE, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, SARA HAINES, JEDEDIAH BILA
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Joy Behar -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: Joy Behar attends the Joy Behar's Friends with Benefits Fundraiser for The Retreat at Guild Hall on September 3, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal are the guests Friday, September 15, 2017 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR, SARA HAINES
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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THE VIEW - Gretchen Carlson is the guest co-host and Clive Davis is the guest today, Thursday, January 25, 2018 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) GRETCHEN CARLSON, JOY BEHAR, CLIVE DAVIS, MEGHAN MCCAIN, SUNNY HOSTIN
THE VIEW - Jemele Hill is the guest co-host today, Wednesday, 2/21/18 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JOY BEHAR
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De Lesseps publicly apologized for her costume.

Needless to say, Behar’s costume isn’t sitting well on Twitter today. Conservative blogger Matt Walsh wrote, “Megyn Kelly was fired from her show for asking a hypothetical question about blackface. Joy Behar actually wore blackface, and admitted it, and showed a picture of it on TV, yet she still has her job.”

Many commented that Behar will “get a pass” because she’s a liberal. “Can you imagine if a photo surfaced of @SeanHannity in blackface from a Halloween party years ago?” wrote one person. “Then, when asked about it, he justified it by saying he dressed up as ‘a handsome African man’ and his blackface makeup ‘wasn’t too dark’? That’s exactly what Joy Behar did.”

However, she certainly has defenders. Some are calling it a “non-controversy” and saying that Trump supporters must not know “what blackface is.” One defender wrote, “Joy Behar means damn well and we should know this.”

A rep for The View hasn’t commented on the new controversy, but it seems likely Behar will address it on the show.

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