After helping websites all over the Internet make money Thursday for reporting her claim that both Santa Claus and Jesus Christ were white, Megyn Kelly’s employers decided to give her the night off.
The Fox News host missed her 9 p.m. “Kelly File” program without explanation and was replaced by guest host Martha MacCallum.
Kelly on Wednesday had discussed a Slate column urging the adoption of a penguin to replace Santa Claus, who’s usually – but not always – depicted as white in an increasingly multicultural society.
“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” Kelly said. “But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is.”
The fictional character is usually -- but not always -- depicted as a hefty white man, although he's likely based on the 3rd Century monk St. Nicholas, who lived in present-day Turkey.
“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change, you know?” she added. “I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa — I just want the kids watching to know that.”
Although historians disagree on exactly what race Jesus actually was, most agree that he probably was a Jew of Mediterranean descent.
Her claims rocketed across the Internet, and predictably provided fodder for discussion on late-night comedy shows, including "The Daily Show", "The Colbert Report" and "Conan."
Kelly will address the controversy Friday night on her program, according to a Media Bistro report.
The site also reported that Kelly missed the previous night’s program due to illness, which she mentioned during her “Tonight Show” appearance.
Watch Kelly's remarks on Santa Claus and Jesus Christ:
Updated to include Media Bistro's reporting.