8:35am PT by Katherine Schaffstall
Gayle King "Surprised" That Megyn Kelly Made Blackface Gaffe
Gayle King discussed the Megyn Kelly blackface controversy on Thursday's episode of The Late Show.
Kelly received backlash after she waded into tricky racial territory during a conversation about Halloween costumes during her Today show hour. She claimed that white people dressing up as prominent African-Americans, with blackface, was accepted when she was growing up. While she apologized for her comments, her 9 a.m. segment of the show is expected to end at NBC and the show aired repeats on Thursday and Friday.
After explaining that Kelly's exit from NBC is just a rumor, King added, "I suspect that before this week is over, I think that, you know, I don't think that she will be at NBC. But I do not have anything to report on that at this time. Let's just say this: It's not looking good for Megyn Kelly."
The CBS This Morning co-host then addressed Kelly's apologies. After sending an email on Tuesday following the comments, Kelly began Wednesday's episode by apologizing to her viewers. "I was wrong, and I am sorry. One of the great parts of sitting in this chair is getting to discuss different points of view," said Kelly. "Sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen, and yesterday I learned. I learned given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not OK for that to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise."
"I have blackface 24-7, so it is never an issue for me," said King. "Andy Lack, who runs NBC, summed it up very nicely when he said it's a very unfortunate thing."
King added that she likes Kelly on a personal level. "I happen to like Megyn Kelly. She and I, Stephen, went to the Kentucky Derby two years ago and we bonded. I think she's a very smart cookie. Very smart and what she did and what she does," she said. "I think she clearly stepped in it. She made a terrible mistake, and I was surprised that she would make a mistake of that kind. She's very smart. She's an attorney."
Host Stephen Colbert noted that it's strange that Kelly was never taught that blackface is bad. "I agree. And I didn't like it when she said that Santa Claus is white," said King. "She has said a couple of things, but I never wish bad on anybody. I don't."
"I do feel that this is a rough time for her," King concluded.
Watch the full segment below.