Kurtz Hits Media Hypocrisy on Liberal TV Stars Wearing Blackface

February 24th, 2019 3:10 PM

On Sunday's MediaBuzz show on Fox News Channel, host Howard Kurtz gave a commentary in which he highlighted recent media double standards on the issue of whites wearing blackface, including the firing of Megyn Kelly from NBC's Today show simply for mildly defending the practice, when several prominent liberals affiliated with NBC and in other places have openly done routines in blackface in the not too distant past.

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel in particular has done blackface performances a number of times -- impersonating Oprah Winfrey and athlete Karl Malone -- when he used to host Comedy Central's The Man Show. NBC's Jimmy Fallon also infamously impersonated Chris Rock on Saturday Night Live.

At 11:24 a.m. Eastern, Kurtz began by recounting that, in response to the blackface scandal hitting political figures in both parties in Virginia, some journalists from USA Today examined university yearbooks from the 1980s and uncovered blackface being used in an Arizona State University yearbook that was at the time run by USA Today's own editor, Nicole Carroll, who recently apologized.

The FNC host then moved to citing several other prominent liberal media figures who -- unlike Kelly -- have escaped any consequences in spite of actually wearing blackface very publicly. Kurtz recalled:

But what about folks in the TV and entertainment world? NBC just signed Julianne Hough for America's Got Talent although six years ago she used blackface impersonating a character from Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. Hough later apologized, saying she hadn't meant to be disrespectful or demeaning.

He continued:

Ted Danson also has a show on NBC -- The Good Place -- but he famously used blackface in a '90s roast for his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. NBC's Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, used blackface for a kit on SNL. But when NBC's Megyn Kelly asked a question about blackface -- just a question -- saying it was okay when she was a kid playing a character, the network used the issue to force her out, a move that was really about her disappointing ratings.

He added: "ABC's Jimmy Kimmel used blackface back on The Man Show back in 2000. Sarah Silverman did it on her Comedy Central show in 2007."

After a clip of Silverman in blackface looking into a mirror and commenting, "I look like the beautiful Queen Latifah," Kurtz added: "But the comedienne said last year, 'I don't stand by the blackface sketch -- I'm horrified by it, and I can't erase it.'"

He then moved to ABC's Joy Behar as he concluded: "And three years ago, The View's Joy Behar joked about having darkened her skin at a party back in 1971. Look, cultural standards obviously change over time, but people in the media and entertainment world shouldn't engage in double standards."