Fact Check: Joy Behar Denies Wearing Blackface Despite Dressing Up as ‘Beautiful African Woman’

Joy Behar
ABC Screenshot

Donald Trump Jr. triggered The View co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg after reminding viewers during an appearance on the show on Thursday that Behar donned blackface. Both adamantly denied it, despite the fact that Behar admitted to once dressing as a “beautiful African woman” for Halloween, wearing makeup “that was a little bit darker” than her skin.

The conversation took a heated turn when Trump used Behar’s use of blackface and Goldberg’s take on Roman Polanski as regrettable actions and positions.

“We’ve all done things we regret. If we’re talking about bringing discourse down – Joy, you’ve worn blackface,” Trump said spurring an immediate denial.

“No, I have not,” she quipped.

“Whoopi, you said that Roman Polanski, it wasn’t ‘rape’ rape when he raped a child,” he continued.

“I did not go in blackface, please,” Behar repeated, prompting Goldberg to come to her defense.
“No, she was not in blackface,” Goldberg said. “Listen, being black, I recognize blackface. This I can say, okay? I know it when I see it”:

However, a 2016 clip shows Behar admitting to dressing up as a “beautiful African woman” for Halloween and wearing makeup “that was a little bit darker than [her] skin.” The segment even featured a photo of a 29-year-old Behar donning the costume.

“Did you have any tanning lotion on, Joy?” former co-host Raven-Symoné asked.

Behar admitted to having makeup she called “a little bit darker than my skin.”

“That’s my actual hair, though,” she clarified:

The left-wing blog Jezebel did not appear to know how to handle Behar’s confession, covering it in a piece titled “Hmm, Here Is Joy Behar Dressed as ‘a Beautiful African Woman’ For Halloween.”

“Joy helpfully notes, after being asked by Raven-Symoné if she was wearing tanning lotion, that she was in fact wearing makeup ‘little bit darker than [her] skin.’ Yikes mcyikes,” the post read.

The author ultimately described Behar’s costume as “blackface-lite” but said she could not be too upset over it because “it was 1971 and people didn’t even know what microaggressions were”:

If the timing is correct, that would date this photo around 1971. I can’t really get too bothered at this blackface-lite costume because it was 1971 and people didn’t even know what microaggressions were. I’m more flabbergasted by her willingness to pull this photo out and proudly show the world as if it’s totally cool in the year 2016.

After the emergence of blackface scandals this year – from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D)  (and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in recent months)– the Chicago Tribune featured a flashback of Behar’s remarks in a piece titled “‘The View’ host Joy Behar under fire for use of blackface.”

“Joy Behar and ABC were silent Thursday after an old photo resurfaced of ‘The View’ co-host using makeup to darken her skin for a Halloween costume, the latest flashpoint in a series of blackface scandals making national headlines,” the Tribune reported in February.

The Washington Post also covered the spectacle in a post titled “A photo of Joy Behar dressed as a ‘beautiful African woman’ resurfaces amid renewed attention on blackface”:

The photo, which shows the comedian dressed as what she called “a beautiful African woman,” was seen several years ago during an episode of the morning show. But after an editor from the Wrap posted a clip from the show on Twitter on Wednesday, it renewed a debate about whether Behar was expressing admiration or whether she should have faced consequences like people who have worn blackface.

US Weekly also used the term “blackface” to describe Behar’s costume in an article titled “Joy Behar Slammed After Blackface Halloween Photo Resurfaces: ‘I Went as a Beautiful African Woman.'”

Watch the full clip below:

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