Bill O'Reilly apologizes for comments about Rep. Maxine Waters' hair

On Tuesday, Fox News' 'Fox & Friends' aired part of Democratic Representative Maxine Waters' impassioned address about democracy and patriotism.

When asked to share his thoughts on the clip, Bill O'Reilly commented, "I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig."

Show co-host Ainsley Earhardt attempted to turn the situation around, noting, "You can't go after a woman's looks. I think she's very attractive."

18 PHOTOS
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
See Gallery
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Maxine Waters arrives at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice America's 2012 Los Angeles Power of Choice Reception in West Hollywood, California May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT POLITICS SOCIETY)
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke (R) talks with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (L) before he speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 39th Annual Legislative Conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, September 25, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with Senator Joseph Lieberman at her side August 15, 2000 in Los Angeles. Lieberman's past voting record on some affirmitive action issues and vouchers has drawn criticism from various African American leaders. Lieberman has been selected by Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore as his choice for vice president. Lieberman will address the Democratic National Convention August 16, 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. FSP
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California reacts to applause as she is introduced at a U.S. Congressional Black Caucus 'Town Meeting' at Mt. Hermon AME church in Miami Gardens, Florida August 22, 2011. The group is sponsoring a jobs fair in downtown Miami on Monday and they say the fair will include more than 100 employers from around the country. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Karen Bass (R) durign a visit to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), C, looks on as U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a news conference criticizing President Donald Trump's Wall Street policies on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. President Trump is making his first visit to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command today at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Waters called for investigation into Trump administration ties to Russia. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28: Mark Thompson interviews US Representative from California, Maxine Waters on SiriusXM on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 4: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during a press conference with House Democrats on the Export-Import Bank in the Capitol on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Congresswoman Maxine Waters attends the BET Revealed Seminars during the 2013 BET Experience at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 31: (L-R) Congresswoman Maxine Waters, host Roland Martin and actress Jack� attend the taping of TV One's 'Washington Watch With Roland Martin' Hollywood Special at KCET Studios on January 31, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TV One)
UNITED STATES - FEB 28: Rep. MaxMaxine Waters, D-CA., and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT., during a news conference on February 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi and other female members of Congress blamed republicans for doing nothing to stop automatic spending cuts in the so-called sequester, which she said would disproportionately impact women and that Americans ?might as well get a pink slip? directly from House Speaker John Boehner. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan arrives with US Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the US Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. The oath is to be administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 13: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference at the House Triangle, held by Congressional Progressive Caucus to introduce 'The People's Budget,' which claims to create a surplus by 2021 by eliminating current wars and other weapons spending and raising taxes on the rich, among other methods. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) left, and Mark McKinnon, Republican Strategist, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Sept. 03, 2011. (Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 29: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., makes a statement to reporters in Longworth Building regarding the House ethics committee delaying of her trial. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)
DETROIT - AUGUST 28: (L-R) Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., unidentified woman, United Auto Workers's president Bok King, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) participate in a 'Rebuild America-Jobs, Justice and Peace' march in the downtown area August 28, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The march commemorates the historic 'Walk to Freedom' led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Detroit on the same date in 1963. Among the thousands of participants in the peaceful march in support of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and UAW include labor and civic leaders such as United Auto Workers' president Bob King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

O'Reilly's immediate responses included, "I didn't say she wasn't attractive," "I love James Brown, but it's the same hair...," and, "Whatever it is, I just couldn't get by it."

However, soon after, he switched to a friendlier approach. O'Reilly said of Waters, "She is a sincere individual. Whatever she said, she believes..."

In the speech O'Reilly missed, which was given on Monday on the floor of the House of Representatives, Waters discussed African-Americans' opposition to President Trump.

She said, in part, "Despite the fact that America has not always been there for us, we've always been there for America ... When we fight against this president, and we point out how dangerous he is for this society and for this country, we're fighting for the democracy. We're fighting for America. We're saying to those who say they're patriotic but they've turned a blind eye to the destruction that he's about to cause this country, 'You're not nearly as patriotic as we are.'"

25 PHOTOS
Bill O'Reilly through the years
See Gallery
Bill O'Reilly through the years
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Talk Show Host Bill O'Reilly is seen on October 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0263 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly and host Jimmy Fallon on May 14, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: Author Bill O'Reilly attends the 'Killing Jesus' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (L-R) The cast of Nat Geo's 'Killing Jesus' Haaz Sleiman, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Leonidas, Alexis Rodney, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Joe Doyle, Chris Ryman and Kelsey Grammer pose with 'Killing Jesus' book author, Bill O'Reilly (C) at the red carpet event and world premiere of National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Jesus' at Alice Tully Hall on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for National Geographic Channel)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: 'Killing Jesus' book author, Bill O'Reilly attends the red carpet event and world premiere of National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Jesus' at Alice Tully Hall on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Bill O'Reilly appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0142-- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on December 17, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Bill O'Reilly (R) interviews Katie Couric during her visit to 'The O'Reilly Factor' at FOX Studios on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Rob Lowe talks to host Bill O'Reilly at Fox News' 'The O'Reilly Factor' at Fox News Studios on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: Bill O'Reilly attends the National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Kennedy' World Premiere at The Newseum on October 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: TV personality Bill O'Reilly enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Television host Bill O'Reilly is seen exiting'Good Morning America' studios on May 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, waits for the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama during an event about Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative in the East Room at the White House February 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. As part of his 'Year of Action,' Obama announced a $200 million commitment from nine foundations to bolster the education and employment of young men and boys of color. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0170 -- Pictured: Author Bill O'Reilly on November 25, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: TV Personality Bill O'Reilly attends An Evening with Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera at 92nd Street Y on June 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly attend the game between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on November 30, 2014 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: (L-R) TV Personalites Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly attend An Evening with Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera at 92nd Street Y on June 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: Bill O'Reilly appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Bill O'Reilly attends the 11th annual Giants of Broadcasting Honors at Gotham Hall on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
THE VIEW - (10.1.13) Today's guest co-host is Jason Biggs ('Orange is the New Black.') Guests include Bill OReilly (author, Killing Jesus); Matt Long and Lorraine Bruce (ABC's 'Lucky 7') on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA WALTERS, BILL O'REILLY
Regis Philbin talks with Bill O'Reilly, of the O'Reilly Report, during the Court TV celebration of it's 10th anniversary at American Park inside Battery Park in New York City on July 18, 2001. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
Bill O'Reilly attends the benefit for Homeless Children on November 16, 1989 at Letizia Restaurant in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4420 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly during an interview with host Jay Leno on March 1, 2013 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Bill O'Reilly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

O'Reilly issued an apology for his remarks later on Tuesday.

"As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on 'Fox and Friends,' calling her 'old school,' " said O'Reilly in a statement. "Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize."

AOL contributed to this report

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.