Megyn Kelly apologized to colleagues after making controversial comments about blackface on live television.
Megyn Kelly’s controversial comments in support of blackface on Tuesday’s episode of “Megyn Kelly Today” are not the only missteps the journalist has made in her career.
Here are some other gaffes of note.
Her interview that didn’t, well, workout with Jane Fonda
In September 2017, Kelly interviewed the veteran actress, on hand to promote her Netflix film “Our Souls at Night.” The talk turned cringe-worthy when the host asked Fonda, 80, about plastic surgery.
“We really want to talk about that now?” Fonda responded during the “Today” show chat, giving Kelly an incredulous look.
“I certainly wish I hadn’t put on Jane Fonda,” she said reflecting on her program. “That didn’t go well!”
Kelly insisted to the celeb-focused outlet she wouldn’t have taken back the question, however.
“She answered that question in about 40 different forums,” she said. “It was nothing wrong with me. And she’s answered it in 40 more forums since!”
The “Will & Grace” segment that Debra Messing regretted
The same month as her Fonda faux pas, Kelly hosted “Will & Grace” cast members ahead of the revival’s premiere. During her debut show, Kelly cheerily told a “Will & Grace” fan “the gay thing is going to work out great” for him.
In response to being questioned about her appearance on “Megyn Kelly Today,” via Instagram, Messing replied that she’d wished she had not been a part of the show.
“Regret going on,” she wrote. “Dismayed by her comments.”
The body-shaming controversy
Earlier this year Kelly hosted fitness enthusiast Maria Kang and encouraged her to “parlay (fitness shaming) into a professional business.”
“Some of us want to be shamed,” Kelly reasoned. “When I was in law school, and I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me go into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where are you going, fat…?’
“And it works!” Kelly told her audience, smiling and giving a thumbs up.
Kelly addressed her remarks the following day on her show.
“I said something yesterday on this show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation that we need to have openly,” she said. “We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite.”
“I still cringe when I hear a person attacked for his or her weight,” she added. “Please know I would never encourage that toward any person. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I once encouraged it toward myself.”
Her insistence that Jesus and Santa Claus are white
Before heading over to NBC, Kelly balked at a 2013 Slate piece with the headline, “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore.”
“When I saw this headline I kind of laughed, and I said, ‘This is so ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa,’ ” Kelly, then a Fox News personality, said at the time. “And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa, but Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this ’cause someone wrote about it, kids.”
“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” added Kelly later. “Jesus was a white man, too… He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that.”
For Kelly it was a question of “how do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy, of the story and change Santa from white to black?”
When asked about her comments at a Business Insider conference last November, Kelly admitting to flubbing during her time on air.
“I regret a lot of what I’ve said,” Kelly said. “I mean you’re going to be on the air several hours a week live television, you’re going to say stupid (expletive). That’s just the reality you know, so yeah there’s a lot I’d like to go back and say differently.”
Contributing: Sara M. Moniuszko, Gary Levin
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