MEDIA

Laura Ingraham Suggests 'Hamilton' Black Actors Culturally Misappropriate

Blackface scandals led the Fox News host into a controversial detour about actors of color playing white historical figures.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham weighed in on blackface controversies with the suggestion that Broadway hit “Hamilton” culturally misappropriates because black actors play white historical figures.

The original cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rapping musical included Leslie Odom, Jr., and Christopher Jackson, both black, as Aaron Burr and George Washington.

“Is that not culturally appropriating the other race?” Ingraham asked Thursday on PodcastOne’s “The Laura Ingraham Show Podcast.” (See the clip below.) “If it’s just about cultural appropriation, does it only go one way? That’s interesting, I didn’t think about that ‘Hamilton’ thing until just now, I love ‘Hamilton.’ See, I think it’s fine, I think it’s all cool. Switch it up.”

Ingraham was defending “The View” co-host Joy Behar after a photo of her portraying an African woman in blackface for Halloween resurfaced. That followed revelations of blackface photos involving the Virginia governor and other top state officials that have embroiled the state’s leadership in scandal. 

While saying Behar was not a racist, Ingraham lamented in the clip posted by Media Matters that “now we can’t even celebrate someone in costume.”

Ingraham’s co-host, conservative author Raymond Arroyo, then pointed out Laurence Olivier’s blackface performance in the 1965 film “Othello.”

“They wouldn’t be able to do that today,” Ingraham responded. “They would say you would have to have an African American doing it. But what about when they did ‘Hamilton’ and they made white people black people?”

Listen to the conversation below:

UPDATE: Feb. 11, 5:15 p.m. ― Ingraham said in a statement that her comments were “in jest”:

“As someone who repeatedly played the Hamilton soundtrack on my radio show, and also repeatedly expressed my love of the production, this characterization is ludicrous. My comments about ‘cultural appropriation’ were obviously made in jest—the sarcasm somehow got lost. My point addresses the double standards and stifling effect of political correctness.”

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