Jenna Bush Hager Recalls Her Reaction to Megyn Kelly's "Horrifying" Blackface Comments

Hoda Kotb also weighed in on the Today anchor's remarks

By Elyse Dupre Oct 26, 2018 7:10 PMTags

Just before NBC News confirmed it was canceling Megyn Kelly Today, Jenna Bush Hager opened up to E! News about her reaction to Megyn Kelly's blackface comments.

As viewers will recall, Kelly came under fire earlier this week after she hosted a panel discussion on Today and questioned why it was inappropriate for white people to dress up in blackface on Halloween. 

"But what is racist? Because…you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween," Kelly said during her discussion with Hager, Melissa Rivers, and Jacob Soboroff. "Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as like a character." 

During her interview with E! News, Hager described the remarks as "horrifying" and said "it wasn't what we were there to talk about."

"Obviously, in this day and age, but in any day and age, when there's talk of something that would make somebody feel bad, it's not something we stand for ever," she said. "Not then, not now. It made me sad."

Megyn Kelly's 4 Biggest Controversies

Kelly later apologized to her colleagues for her comments via an internal email, as well as to viewers via an emotional on-air statement.

Reports started spreading that Kelly's show would be canceled. However, NBC News didn't confirm the end of the program until Friday afternoon.

"Megyn Kelly Today is not returning," an NBC News spokesperson said via a statement to E! News. "Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other Today co-anchors."

At the time of the interview, Hoda Kotb told E! News "we don't really know what is ahead for her right now" and that they "don't really know what the outcome of this is going to be."

Kotb and Hager aren't the only ones to speak out about Kelly's comments. Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Morgan Radford and Craig Melvin also opened up about her remarks on Wednesday's episode of Today. Melvin described Kelly's comments as "indefensible."

To see Kotb and Hager's full interview, tune into E! News at 7 p.m. ET on E!.

(E! and NBC News are both part of NBCUniversal). 

Latest News