During a segment of “Fox & Friends,” the show played a clip of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) speaking out against the discriminatory and bigoted practices of President Donald Trump’s supporters. When asked to give his response, O’Reilly killed two birds with one stone and made a comment that was both racist and sexist.
“I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig,” he said. “Do we have a picture of James Brown? It’s the same wig.”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade laughed and made a tasteless joke about the musician, who died in 2006. “He’s not using it anymore,” he said. “They just ― they finally buried him.”
Ainsley Earhardt, another co-host, defended Waters. “You can’t go after a woman’s looks,” she said. “I think she’s very attractive.”
O’Reilly responded: “I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive. I love James Brown but it’s the same hair James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, had ... whatever it is, I just couldn’t get by it.”
Waters has yet to respond to the Fox host’s comments. But that’s probably because she’s too busy delivering the keynote address at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference, leading Democrats in the crusade against Trump and being an all-around boss to even give a damn.
This isn’t a first for Fox News. Media Matters shared an old clip on Twitter of a segment called “’Gangstas’ and ‘Demons.’” In the video, a pundit accuses Waters of doing drugs.
“You saw what happened to Whitney Houston,” he said. “Step away from the crack pipe, step away from the Xanax, step away from the lorazepam because it’s gonna get you in trouble.”
This isn’t even a first for O’Reilly. In 2007, the Fox host said he was surprised that a famous Harlem restaurant was the same as other New York City eateries “even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” In 2016, he blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for rising murder rates in some cities. Before the election, he said that Hillary Clinton would have a better opportunity at appealing to voters of color if she brought out The O’Jays during a rally.
Hear O’Reilly’s comments in the video above.
UPDATE: 2:35 p.m. ― Bill O’Reilly apologized for his comments about Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair in a statement sent to The Huffington Post on Tuesday.
“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” the statement read. “I said that again today on ‘Fox & Friends’ calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”
A Fox News spokesperson told CNN reporter Tom Kludt that O’Reilly will address his remarks on his show on Tuesday night.