NEW YORK, NEW YORK — In a video segment sure to stir up controversy, a Fox News contributor dressed in full “blackface” makeup and interviewed residents of Brooklyn about the upcoming presidential election.
Justin Wader, a 34 year old white man, produced the video for The O’Reilly Factor. Host Bill O’Reilly is already under fire for a segment another one of his associated produced that showed him playing the “man on the street” and interviewing various Asian Americans. That segment has been roundly criticized from all corners of the media landscape for its unapologetic use of Asian American stereotypes. Both the segment’s star and O’Reilly have defended the video, essentially saying they were sorry if people were offended, even if they shouldn’t have been.
On Wednesday night, Wader introduced his segment on The O’Reilly Factor by saying the video would “shed some important light on critical issues.”
“This video is going to be a hilarious, mad-cap romp that I think our viewers will really understand and appreciate,” Wader told O’Reilly, “that is as long as they aren’t safe spacers who think being politically correct is more important than racial stereotyping as a form of making white people feel like they’re the majority that statistics prove they are anyway.”
In Wader’s segment, he is seen having his face darkened significantly with black shoe polish, which he explains he did so “those people would feel more comfortable” speaking to him. He also is seen going to a Popeye’s chicken restaurant and buying $300 worth of fried chicken, and he went to several bodegas to purchase as much watermelon as he could.
“You know,” Wader says into the lens, “so they’ll have something to eat to replenish their spirits after the interview. I want them to be comfortable, so I’m giving them the foods I know these types of people like most, know what I mean? I know you know what I mean. This is for Fox News. Of course you know what I mean.”
In the five minute segment, Wader asks several African-Americans he meets in the street if they think, “we blacks have just gotten maybe a smidge too uppity about cops killing us with no due process.” All of the interviewees are seen recoiling from Wader, and when he tries to reassure them with fried chicken and watermelon, they all walk away, one woman even shoving Wader as she raises her middle finger to him.
“What’s up with these peeps,” Wader says, “can’t they see I’m not a marked-assed buster but instead a real, street, nigga? Man, they really should lighten up and take the joke, know what I mean, Bill? Of course you know what I mean. You’re Bill O’Reilly. This is Fox News. You know what I mean.”
When the segment had finished airing, O’Reilly dabbed tears from his eyes.
“Oh, no, I thought this segment was exactly what you wanted Bill,” Wader said with trepidation in his voice.
O’Reilly took a moment to take a breath. Then he shook his head.
“No, no,” the Fox News host said tenderly, “that was hilarious. Simply, uproariously funny. Anyone who doesn’t see the humor in this is clearly an uber-PC liberal who needs a safe space. Congratulations, Justin, your Pulitzer is surely on its way now.”
This is a developing story.
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