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Megyn Kelly Blackface Controversy: Late Night's Amber Ruffin Explains, 'We're People, Not Costumes'

Seth Meyers on Tuesday let Late Night writer Amber Ruffin have the floor to respond to Megyn Kelly’s widely criticized defense of blackface. Ruffin, who viewers have come to know for recurring sketches “Amber Says ‘What?!'” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” spent the next three minutes berating the Today show host for thinking she, as a fortysomething white woman, was in any position to take a hard stance on something that has been universally condemned as racist.

“Megyn said, ‘I don’t know how blackface is racist on Halloween.’ It’s not racist on Halloween, it’s racist every day,” Ruffin explained. “There is no magical day where you can wear blackface with no repercussions — unless all of your friends are white, and I’m guessing all of Megyn Kelly’s friends are white.” She then went on to question the Today panel’s “so-very-white” makeup, and called BS on Kelly insisting blackface wasn’t racist when she was a kid. “You’re 47,” she said. “Racism wasn’t invented 40 years ago.”

Ruffin went on to explain why blackface was, and always will be, a slap in the face of the African-American community. “Blackface is racist because it turns black people into a costume and divorces them from their humanity. We’re people, not costumes,” she said. “But more importantly, it ignores the severely racist context in which blackface was introduced into this country, and actions don’t exist separate from their context… Megyn Kelly issued an apology later, but she wouldn’t have had to do that if she had invited a black person into the conversation in the first place — but honestly, you shouldn’t need a black panelist to explain to you s—t that you should have figured out… For someone with a morning show, Megyn Kelly, you sure are late as hell.”

Watch Ruffin’s Megyn Kelly explainer above, then hit the comments with your reactions!

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