Megyn Kelly apologized to her colleagues after making controversial comments about Blackface on live television.

An emotional Megyn Kelly said that she had learned from the reaction by her comments. defending blackface.

"I want to start with two words: I'm sorry," he said at the top of the program on Wednesday morning. "You may have heard that yesterday we had a conversation about political correctness and Halloween costumes … I defended the idea (blackface), saying that it was always respectful and part of a Halloween costume, which seemed fine. Well I was wrong and I'm sorry. "

Kelly said: "I've never been a type of PC person," but he found out from the uproar of his claims that "it's not right that (blackface) be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise."

The "Today" host was excited, her voice cracked as she addressed the widespread criticism she received after the episode of her show on Tuesday.

"Last year was very painful for many people of color," he continued. "The country feels so divided and I do not want to add more pain and offense, I think this is a moment for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that. And for helping me listen too ".

After his statement, Kelly directed a panel with Roland Martin, from "Roland Martin Unfiltered," about the history of the black face. Amy Holmes, from "In Principle" of PBS, also joined Kelly for the conversation.

At the conclusion of the panel, Kelly insisted: "For my part, I have been listening and learning, and I am grateful to both of you for having this conversation here in this set today, and to those who communicated with me through Twitter. .

NBC News President Andrew Lack also addressed the controversy during a town hall with employees Wednesday, according to transcripts obtained by Variety and the Daily Beast. The meeting was scheduled before this week's events.

"I guess you all have already seen the comments that (Megyn Kelly) made on your show yesterday about Halloween and Blackface." There is no other way to express this, but I condemn those comments, there is no place in our air or in this place. I work for them, very unlucky, "said Lack.

He continued: "As we move forward, my highest priority remains, and when analyzing this with Megyn, there is no doubt that this is a workplace in which you should feel proud and in which we respect each other in all respects. The shapes we know are fundamental to what we are. "

Kelly originally provoked a wave of backlash when, during a round table on Tuesday's show, she claimed that Blackface was "fine as a child, as long as you dressed like a character."

At the round table, she defended the "Real Housewives of New York" star, Luann de Lesseps, who was accused of darkening her skin while dressing up as Diana Ross for Halloween last year.

"And people said that was racist, and I do not know!" she said about de lesseps. "I thought like:" Who does not love Diana Ross? "" She wants to look like Diana Ross for a day, and I do not know how she got racist on Halloween. "

Critics of Kelly's comments included Al Roker and Craig Melvin of the "Today" show, who condemned their comments early Wednesday in the hour before "Megyn Kelly Today."

"The fact is that, although he apologized to the (NBC) staff, he owes a bigger apology to people of color across the country," Roker said. "This is a story that goes back to the minstrel shows of the 1830s to degrade and denigrate a race, it was not good."

Melvin added: "She said something stupid, she said something indefensible … I think it was an opportunity for us to learn a little more about the black face, but I think a lot of people knew about the black face."

Plus: Megyn Kelly apologizes for the comments of Blackface in "Today", Don Lemon starts it

In response to the controversy that followed his comments, Kelly sent an internal memo to his "friends and teammates" on Tuesday, which USA TODAY obtained.

"One of the wonderful things about my job is that I have the opportunity to express and hear many opinions," Kelly wrote. "Today is one of those days when I listen carefully to other points of view, even from friends and colleagues, and it is leading me to rethink my own views."

"The iconic Diana Ross emerged as an example," he continued. "For me, I thought, why would it be controversial if someone who disguises himself as Diana Ross looks like this incredible woman as a way to honor and respect her?"

"Now I realize that such behavior is wrong, and I'm sorry," he wrote. "The history of the black face in our culture is abominable, the wounds are too deep."


Show thumbnails

Show subtitles

Last slide next slide

Read or share this story: