NBC’s Megyn Kelly complained that it’s unfair for white people to be called racist for wearing blackface costumes at Halloween.
The “Today” host led a discussion of universities banning some costumes that could be considered racist or culturally insensitive, and she asked panelists to explain the problem to her.
“What is racist?” Kelly said. “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person that puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
NBC News reporter Jacob Soboroff said freedom of expression should allow for both offensive costumes and consequences for those who wear them.
“You can dress like an idiot, act like an idiot and actually dress and be racist, somebody should say something to somebody — but you should be able to dress like a moron,” Soboroff said.
TV host Melissa Rivers explained that the rule of thumb for offensive material was pretty simple.
“If you think it’s offensive, it probably is,” Rivers said. “Whatever happened to manners and polite society?”
Kelly said Halloween was not traditionally a time for manners and civility.
“You’ve got guys with fake axes coming out of their head,” Kelly said. “It’s going to be jarring.”
Authorities stop short of dubbing US kosher deli attack anti-Semitic
US authorities held back Wednesday from characterizing a firefight that left six people including two suspects dead in a New York suburb as motivated by anti-Semitism, as the local mayor confirmed the assailants targeted a kosher grocery store.
On Tuesday two shooters -- one of them female -- stormed the deli in Jersey City, across the river from lower Manhattan, killing two customers and a cashier before they died in a hail of police gunfire.
Twitter backs overhaul of social media to stem disinformation
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is funding research aimed at changing the way information circulates on social media -- with the goal of combating online violence, hate and disinformation.
Dorsey on Tuesday announced he would fund an independent team of five architects, engineers, and designers -- dubbed Bluesky -- to develop an "open and decentralized standard for social media."
In a series of posts, he explained the goal is for Twitter to ultimately be subject to this new standard, which would be open to adoption by fellow social media networks like Facebook or TikTok.
Netflix Christmas satire in Brazil sparks religious outcry
A Christmas satire on Netflix depicting Jesus in a gay relationship has sparked a backlash in Brazil, where hundreds of thousands signed a petition calling for the film to be axed.
"The First Temptation of Christ" by Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos began streaming on December 3, drawing criticism from conservative politicians, Evangelicals and Catholics.
The teaser for the 46-minute movie says Jesus, who is turning 30, brings a "surprise guest" to meet his family.
More than 760,000 people had signed a Change.org petition by Tuesday afternoon calling for the film to be pulled for "seriously offending Christians."