Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is making headlines again after he joked that he couldn’t focus on a speech by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., because he was distracted by her “James Brown wig.”
On Tuesday, O’Reilly was appearing on “Fox & Friends” when the show aired a clip of Waters denouncing President Trump.
“We have suffered discrimination,” Waters said in the clip. “We have suffered isolation, undermining. … But we stand up for America, oftentimes when others who think they’re more patriotic — who say they’re more patriotic — do not.”
O’Reilly then made his quip comparing Waters’ hair to the soul icon’s. “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig,” he said.
“Fox & Friends” hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade laughed and joined in on the ribbing. Ainsley Earhardt, however, the only woman on the panel, challenged O’Reilly’s comment, and her disapproval was quickly echoed on social media. MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid said O’Reilly crossed “a huge, bright, red line.”
“No! OK, I’ve got to defend her on that,” Earhardt told O’Reilly. “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 replied.
“Her hair is pretty,” she said.
“I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair, James Brown — the Godfather of Soul — had,” he said.
“So he had girl hair,” she said.
“Whatever it is, I just couldn’t get by it,” he insisted.
While refusing to walk back his quip about her appearance, O’Reilly did have some praise for Waters, saying, “She’s a sincere individual. Whatever she says, she believes. She’s not a phony.”
In an interview published Monday in Elle magazine, Waters repeated that America should “get ready for impeachment” of President Trump.
“I’m out to get him. I’m gonna see him out of office. And I think it’s going to happen. Get ready for impeachment.”