Correspondent Roy Wood Jr. dressed as a vampire to explain how the concept of white people applying black makeup to mark the spooky occasion (even if they aren’t intending to be offensive) is still completely wrong.
“Every year, somehow, there are people who put on costumes that are about 200 years too late,” he said on Thursday’s broadcast.
Blackface and minstrel shows were “so problematic” because they were “rooted in a very painful past,” Wood Jr. explained.
Eric Lott, professor of English and American studies at City University of New York, noted how it emanated from the “history and politics of slavery” and white supremacy.
“Blackface is like smoking on an airplane. It used to be acceptable a long time ago but now we know it hurts people around us,” Wood Jr. concluded. “That’s why when it comes to blackface, your intentions don’t matter.”
Check out the full segment above.