Talk about a bad hair day.
Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly mocked the hairstyle of a black congresswoman on Tuesday, saying she was wearing a “James Brown wig.”
He later apologized, calling the remark “dumb.”
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” O’Reilly was commenting on a Monday speech on the House floor given by U.S.Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., in which she questioned the patriotism of President Trump’s supporters.
“I love her. Maxine Waters should have her own sitcom,” O’Reilly clowned. “People get angry with Maxine Waters. I want more of it.”
O’Reilly was shown a clip of Waters saying Trump supporters “turned a blind eye to the destruction” the president was “about to cause the country.”
Like the reporting you see here? Sign up for free news alerts from WND.com, America’s independent news network.
African-Americans “fight against this president, and we point out how dangerous he is for this society and for this country, we’re fighting for the democracy,” Waters stated. “We’re saying to those who say they’re patriotic but they’ve turned a blind eye to the destruction that he’s about to cause this country, ‘You’re not nearly as patriotic as we are.'”
“I didn’t hear a word she said,” O’Reilly said of Waters. “I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James Brown, it’s the same wig!”
Watch the video:
“It’s the same one,” co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected. “And he’s not using it anymore. They just, they finally buried him.”
Brown, the legendary singer known as the “Godfather of Soul, “died on Christmas Day in 2006.
There was some instant pushback, as Ainsley Earhardt, the lone female on the set, noted: “I have to defend her on that. You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.”
“I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive,” O’Reilly responded. “I love James Brown. But it’s the same hair!”
O’Reilly also called Waters a “sincere individual,” explaining she should be praised for speaking her mind.
“Whatever she says she believes,” he said. “She’s not a phony, and that’s old school.”
Later on Tuesday, O’Reilly issued an apology for his remarks.
“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” he said. “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.”
During an interview on MSNBC, Waters refused to accept O’Reilly’s apology.
“I’m a strong black woman,” she said. “I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody. I’d like to say to women out there everywhere: Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are! Do what you do! And let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country!”
Waters said O’Reilly and former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes “have no credibility” because they’ve been sued by women “for harassment and other kinds of things.”
“When a woman stands up and speaks truth to power, there will be an attempt to put her down,” Waters said. “I’m not going to be put down. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to stay on the issues.”
Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews