Al Roker responds to racially charged criticism for dressing up as white character for Halloween

The meteorologist dressed up as Back to the Future's iconic character Dr. Emmett 'Doc' Brown, who is portrayed by white actor Christopher Lloyd in the trilogy

Clémence Michallon
Thursday 01 November 2018 16:24 GMT
(Youtube / Today)

Al Roker has responded to racially charged criticism he received after dressing up as a white character for Halloween.

The Today show meteorologist went as the eccentric Dr. Emmett 'Doc' Brown from Back to the Future, with his colleague Dylan Dreyer stepping in as Marty McFly. Doc is played by white actor Christopher Lloyd in the trilogy, whose first instalment was released in 1985.

Some took issue with Roker's get-up, claiming it was unfair for Roker to be able to dress up as a white character for Halloween while his former Today colleague Megyn Kelly was sacked for defending those who wear blackface as part of their costumes.

"While I don't think it was completely wrong for Al to dress as a white character, perhaps it was in bad taste after the whole @megynkelly fiasco," one person wrote on Twitter. "Perhaps a last minute change could have been made. Seems too much like double standard. Just sayin'."

Another Twitter user wrote: "@alroker: @megynkelly is a terrible person to even suggest that it is Ok for a white person to go as a black character for Halloween. Also @alroker: Goes as Doc brown, a white character from a movie for Halloween."

Roker, however, addressed the comments on the social media platform, pointing out that he didn't change the colour of his face – unlike those who wear blackface using make-up.

"I’m going to say this one last time, but the folks who get it, understand and the ones who DON’T, won’t. I can be Doc Brown, and I wear the outfit and wig and not change my skin colour if you’re white, you can be President Obama if you want. Just don’t colour your skin!" the meteorologist wrote.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Roker was among the vocal critics who spoke out against Kelly after she appeared to defend blackface during a segment on her show last week, implying wearing such make-up could be acceptable as part of a Halloween costume.

Megyn Kelly asks why blackface is wrong when part of Halloween costume

The meteorologist said Kelly "owes a bigger apology to folks of colour around the country" for her comments. He was joined by his colleague Craig Melvin, who condemned the "ignorant", "racist", "stupid" and "indefensible" remarks.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in