Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has apologized after he made fun of Rep. Maxine Waters' hair on Tuesday, a comment people decried as "openly racist" online.
O'Reilly was on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning to discuss comments Waters had made in which she said people who oppose President Trump are more patriotic than his supporters. After a clip aired, O'Reilly described Waters' hair as a "James Brown wig."
This attack on Congresswoman Maxine Waters from Bill O'Reilly is openly racist (via @mmfa)
"I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at her James Brown wig," he said, to laughter from the other hosts.
People online were disgusted by his comments, condemning them as racist.
@MaxineWaters is an American warrior! Bill O'Reilly is a misogynistic, bigoted racist. No worries, we're not going… https://t.co/9UA4T0iBnV
"Bill O'Reilly is a racist coward who can't match #MaxineWaters Intelligence and passion. So he insults her hair? 😡 The man is PATHETIC," one person wrote.
Bill O'Reilly is a racist coward who can't can't match #MaxineWaters Intelligence and passion. So he insults her ha… https://t.co/4vEJr2H0ex
"Maxine Waters is intelligent, courageous & strong — 3 traits O’Reilly sorely lacks. How does this racist, sexual-harassing hack have a show?" said another.
Maxine Waters is intelligent, courageous & strong — 3 traits O’Reilly sorely lacks. How does this racist, sexual-ha… https://t.co/jTPc7mbiup
And some mocked Trump's hair, just because, I guess.
Yeah #BillOReilly. @MaxineWaters's hair is distracting. @oreillyfactor #MaxineWaters
O'Reilly has since apologized for his comments, calling his words "dumb."
"As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs," he wrote in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News. "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."
Waters later told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that comments like those O'Reilly made wouldn't keep her from focusing on the issues and speaking truth to power.
Rep. Maxine Waters says comments like Bill O'Reilly's won't stop her. "I'm a strong black woman, and I cannot be in… https://t.co/uoZrt6N3OZ
"I'm a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated," she said. "I will not, I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be a friend of Bill O'Reilly or anybody. And 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."