Al Roker is defending his Halloween costume and clapping back at trolls who STILL don’t understand why blackface is offensive — a week after NBC canceled Megyn Kelly’s hour of the “Today” show over her comments on the issue.
The hosts of the “Today” show wore ’80s costumes for their Halloween broadcast Wednesday, and the weather anchor dressed up as “Back to the Future‘s” Doc Brown. Several viewers questioned Al’s decision to dress up as a film character portrayed by a white actor (Christopher Lloyd).
One Twitter user said: “@alroker: @megynkelly is a terrible person to even suggest that it is Ok for a white person to go as a black character for Halloween. Also @alroker: Goes as Doc brown, a white character from a movie for halloween. #Hypocrites #Whiteface”
Another user wrote on Facebook: “Megyn Kelly loses her show because she posed a question about dressing as an admired character of color if you are of Caucasian background —and yet Al Roker dresses today as a beloved character from an iconic movie who happens to be Caucasian. Is there some hypocrisy in there?”
Roker tweeted a simple response to the folks who don’t get why his ’80s theme outfit is not an example of Whiteface.
“I’m going to say this one last time, but the folks who get it, understand and the ones who DON’T, won’t,” he tweeted. “I can be Doc Brown, and I wear the outfit and wig and not change my skin color.”
He continued: “If you’re white, you can be President Obama if you want. Just don’t color your skin!”
Last week, during a panel discussion about attempts at universities to discourage “inappropriate and offensive costumes,” Kelly asked: “But what is racist? Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”
Roker slammed Kelly’s comments live on the air last week.
“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the county,” he said. “This is a history, going back to the 1830s [with] minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through Amos ‘n’ Andy where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is. … No good comes from it. It’s just not right.”
Kelly has since apologized for her ignorance. Her attorney and NBC are currently negotiating her exit from the network.