Amber Tamblyn Won't Let Megyn Kelly Forget Blackface Controversy

Actress Amber Tamblyn called out media commentator Megyn Kelly on Twitter following Wednesday's vice presidential debate, bringing up Kelly's past controversial statements about blackface.

During the debate, Kelly criticized Senator Kamala Harris on social media, for making a number of facial expressions while Vice President Mike Pence spoke. "Take it like a woman. Don't make faces," the former Fox and NBC host tweeted. Kelly explained in a response that she meant it to imply stoicism, and it was a play on the phrase "Take it like a man."

Tamblyn clapped back on Thursday morning, not letting Kelly forget about the controversy that ensued after Kelly defended people wearing blackface.

Unless it’s blackface, am I right Megyn?

— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 8, 2020

Back in 2018, Kelly made the blackface comments during what was then her block of NBC's Today. During the show, she questioned whether it was racist to use blackface in a Halloween costume. "What is racist? 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," she said.

In response to the backlash, Kelly sent an internal memo saying that she was wrong and apologized for the incident. "One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions. Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views," she wrote.

Kelly later added: "I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I'm sorry. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep." She also said she looked forward to future discussions on the issue.

Within days of her making the comments about blackface, NBC announced that Kelly would no longer be hosting that hour of Today. In January of 2019, she officially left the network.

Tamblyn herself is an outspoken activist. She has frequently championed women's rights. A page on her website is dedicated to organizations that she's a part of and supports, including Black Lives Matter, March For Our Lives, Seeds of Peace and others.

Perhaps most notably, Tamblyn is one of 300 women who were the founding members of Time's Up—the organization started as part of the #MeToo movement, dedicated to providing safe and fair workplaces to women in the entertainment industry.

Tamblyn has also publicly accused actor James Woods of making advances toward her when she was a teenager, according to Teen Vogue. "The nation's harmful narrative of disbelieving women first, above all else. Asking them to first corroborate or first give proof or first make sure we're not misremembering or first consider the consequences of speaking out or first let men give their side or first just let your sanity come last," she wrote in an open letter published via Teen Vogue.

Newsweek reached out to Devil May Care, Kelly's recent media company, via email, and her legal representative via the contact form on the firm's website, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California. Getty/Phillip Faraone