On Tuesday's Megyn Kelly Today, 47-year-old Kelly questioned why wearing blackface for Halloween costumes is considered offensive during a segment in which she slammed some universities for being too politically correct in banning certain costumes. Kelly later received serious backlash on social media for her controversial comments, and in an email sent to her colleagues, she apologized.
Kelly said she had come to the conclusion that her initial opinion was "wrong" by listening to feedback from friends and family.
"One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions," the letter reads. "Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views."
"When we had the roundtable discussion earlier today about the controversy of making your face look like a different race as part of a Halloween costume, I suggested that this seemed okay if done as part of this holiday where people have the chance to make themselves look like others," she continued. "The iconic Diana Ross came up as an example. To me, I thought, why would it be controversial for someone dressing up as Diana Ross to make herself look like this amazing woman as a way of honoring and respecting her?"
"I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry," she added. "The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep."
Kelly called for more "understanding, love, sensitivity and honor."
"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," she wrote. "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 honor, and I want to be part of that. I look forward to continuing that discussion."
"I’m honored to work with all of you every day," the email concluded.
Kelly was passionate during the Halloween segment on her show on Tuesday, which also included television personalities Jenna Bush Hager, Melissa Rivers and Jacob Soboroff.
"I mean, truly, political correctness has gone amok," she said about various costumes like cowboys, "anything Mexican-based" and nuns being reportedly banned by some universities. "There are strict rules on what you may and may not wear by someone who thinks is the boss of you."
"What is racist?" Kelly later specifically questioned about using blackface for costumes. "You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK just as long as you were dressing as a character."
"There was a controversy on The Real Housewives of New York with Luann, as she dressed as Diana Ross and she made her skin look darker than it really is," she later brought up. "People said that that was racist! And I don't know, like, I thought, like, 'Who doesn't love Diana Ross?' She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don't know how that got racist on Halloween. It's not like she's walking around [wearing blackface] in general."
A number of celebrities weighed in on Kelly's comments, including Patton Oswalt, who wrote, "Dear @megynkelly -- you and I are approximately the same age. Blackface was NOT okay when we were kids. Take it from a big-hearted boy who just wanted to show his love for Nipsey Russell on the worst Halloween of my life."
Meanwhile, Padma Lakshmi commented, "Because @megynkelly: minstrelsy is the basis for the coining of the term 'Jim Crow' laws which served to humiliate & target Black Americans. Because caricaturing another race perpetuates the dehumanization of POC who are being killed & jailed at a disproportionate rate in the US."