A high-profile TV host has apologised for saying that dressing up in blackface for Halloween is okay.
Megyn Kelly, a former Fox News presenter who hosts a morning show on NBC in the US, had questioned why it was considered racist when a reality star had darkened her skin for a Diana Ross costume.
On her programme, the 47-year-old had said that dressing up in blackface was acceptable when she was young as long as you were impersonating a character.
Several of Kelly’s critics swiftly drew comparisons to her insistence that Santa Claus was white – an assertion she made while working at Fox News.
Following a social media backlash, Kelly wrote an email to her colleagues to apologise, in which she acknowledged dressing up in blackface is wrong because of its abhorrent history in culture.
She said: “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.
“This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honour, and I want to be part of that.”
During the controversial segment, Kelly had claimed “the costume police are cracking down like never before” – and ridiculed a school that suggested wearing a cowboy outfit was also inadvisable.
Alex Wagner, a journalist on another network, tweeted: “I was born in the same decade as Megyn Kelly and do not recall blackface being acceptable anywhere, anytime.”