Wendy Williams has never been shy about sharing her opinions, and she did just that on Wednesday in the wake of Megyn Kelly’s blackface scandal.
The Wendy host did not hold back as she criticized the host and accused her of flat out ‘lying’ when she said that she was unaware of the history of blackface in this country.
Williams then went on to call out the decision to show a crowd of black people in the audience standing up to applaud Kelly after that her apology.
She was not the only one criticizing Kelly either, with her guest Al Sharpton summarizing his thoughts on the Today host’s remarks with one word: ‘Wrong.’
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I can tell you lying: ‘Wendy Williams stated that megyn Kelly was lying after the NBC host claimed to be unaware of the history of blackface in this country (Williams above on Wednesday)
Clapping back: ”Excuse me. This is such a basic thing for such an educated woman to know,’ stated Williams in a segment with her guest, Reverend Al Sharpton (above with Williams)
‘You cannot take away the history of what blackface meant. It was used to denigrate, it was used for hate. I think he was very wrong and very insensitive,’ explained Sharpton, who hosts Politics Nation on MSNBC.
‘Not just black people. You did not use Halloween or anything else to try and play into stereotypes.’
Williams then interjected, stating: ‘If I was white, I would be offended by white face.’
Sharpton then continued on, speaking about how behaviors and cultural norms evolve over time.
‘One of the things I learned is that a lot of things we say is just street talk, including me using the n-word, calling people homophobic,’ said Sharpton.
‘You grow and you say “Wait a minute, you can’t do that.” And in this climate, that this president has us all so divided, you need to be really careful.’
He then said: ‘I’m glad Megyn apologized about it.’
Wendy was not feeling the same about Kelly’s comments.
‘Excuse me. This is such a basic thing for such an educated woman to know. She was lying. Number one,’ said Williams.
‘Number two, she had on a whole bunch of black people in the audience standing up and clapping – I guess they got Gold Bond.’
That was a reference to Williams’ lotion of choice, which she had used earlier in the program after informing the audience she had forgotten to moisturize that morning.
Tearful: Megyn Kelly delivered prepared remarks at the start of her show on Wednesday (above) in which she apologized for defending the practice of blackface one day prior
Panel: ‘I have never been a P.C. kind of person. But I do understand the value in being sensitive to our history, particularly on race and ethnicity,’ said Kelly before welcoming her two black panelists, Roland Martin and Amy Holmes (above)
Kelly is feeling the wrath of NBC and her competitors after all three major networks devoted sizable segments on both its Nightly News and Today programs to her comments defending blackface on Monday.
In response, an emotional Kelly began her program on Wednesday by reading prepared remarks in which she apologized for her comments the previous day.
‘I’m Megyn Kelly. And I want to begin with two words – I’m sorry,’ said Kelly as she fought back tears.
She then rehashed her comments before stating: ‘I have never been a P.C. kind of person. But I do understand the value in being sensitive to our history, particularly on race and ethnicity. 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 is 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.’
Much of her apology was taken from the letter she sent to her NBC colleagues on on Tuesday, which was obtained by DailyMail.com.
Kelly then welcomed her all-black panel to have a discussion about blackface, Roland Martin and frequent guest Amy Holmes.
The host was silent for almost all of the 15 minute segment, listening as her hosts explained the state of racism in America and the workplace.
Then, after a commercial break, it was all smiles and laughter for Kelly, who welcomed Busey.
‘Are you having fun,’ asked Busey early in the interview.
‘I am now,’ declared Kelly.
Al Roker went after Kelly earlier in the day, just over a year after the Today veteran was booted from his spot as host of the 9am hour along with Tamron Hall to make way for the Fox News hire.
‘The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is our history, going back to the 1830s,’ said Roker.
‘Minstrel shows meant to denigrate a race, you know I am old enough to have lived through Amos & Andy where you had white people in blackface playing the black characters just magnifying the worst stereotypes about black people.’
Then, in a pointed barb at Kelly’s nonchalant comment about why people were so offended by the practice, he stated: ‘And that’s what the big problem is.’
Craig Melvin went a step further, adding: ‘There was some criticism online that this was political correctness run amok, and that’s silly and its disingenuous and its just as ignorant and racist as the statement itself.’
He then went on to say that while Kelly was a friend, her comment was ‘indefensible.’
History lesson: ‘The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,’ said Al Roker (right with Craig Melvin on left), who Kelly replaced at 9am on Today
Shock: On Good Morning America, Robin Roberts noted the lack of diversity on the panel and expressed disbelief that Kelly did not know the history of blackface (l to r: Michael Strahan, Roberts and
On Good Morning America, the segment was given the spot that the show generally reserves for its biggest story of the day just after 7:30am.
There was a three-minute report detailing the scandal and subsequent backlash, followed by Robin Roberts calling out NBC and Today for the ‘lack of diversity’ on Kelly’s panel.
‘Of course, a lot of people are commenting on this one of the comments, the panel, you’re going to have this discussion perhaps you should have a more diverse panel that can challenge her when she’s making those types of statements,’ said Roberts, a comment which dress nods from co-hosts Michael Strahan and George Stephanopoulos.
She then added: ‘And to not know the historical significance of that is….’
At that point Roberts just winced and shook her head.
NBC also covered the scandal on its Nightly News program Tuesday night, with Lester Holt devoting a considerable amount of time to Kelly’s comments.
He also made note of Kelly’s comments from 2013 in which she stated that both Santa and Jesus are white.
Roker continued to comment on the scandal through his Twitter account, responding to one fan who noted that he and Kotb dress like white people on Halloween.
‘We don’t put on white face when we dress up. Don’t try and conflate the two,’ tweeted Roker.
CBS This Morning covered the scandal as well, though offered little in the way of commentary on Kelly’s actions.
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski also weighed by retweeting Roker’s response to one man asking why Kelly owed an apology to ‘people of color.’
Roker wrote in that tweet: ‘If you don’t get it then my explaining it to you won’t matter.’
In the segment, Kelly said she did not understand what was wrong with blackface if a white person was ‘playing a character.’
‘I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep,’ said Kelly in a note on Tuesday after the segment.
‘I’ve never been a “pc” kind of person — but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year.’
She then added: ‘This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that. I look forward to continuing that discussion.’
‘But what is racist? You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on white face,’ stated Kelly during a roundtable discussion on Halloween costumes.
‘That was okay when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.’
She then pointed to the decision by Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps to recently darken her features while dressing as Diana Ross.
‘I don’t see how that is racist on Halloween,’ said Kelly.
It was perhaps the most controversial statement Kelly has made since joining NBC and debuting on Today, where she took over the 9am slot after the network decided to cancel previous hosts Roker and Tamron Hall.
In response to Kelly defending de Lesseps, her panel guest Jacob Soboroff said: ‘I haven’t seen it, but it sounds pretty racist to me.’
Jenna Bush hager then chimed in, adding: ‘Me too.’
Kelly then said: ‘I can’t keep up with the number of people we’re offending just by being normal people these days.’