Bill O’Reilly apologizes to Maxine Waters for James Brown wig remark

Bill O’Reilly apologizes to Maxine Waters for James Brown wig remark
© Greg Nash

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly apologized to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for making a joke about her hair being a “James Brown wig,” calling his comment “dumb.”

“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on 'Fox and Friends,' calling her 'old school,' " said O'Reilly in a statement. 

“Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize.”

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The apology comes after O'Reilly said earlier Tuesday on the morning program “Fox and Friends” that he “didn't hear a word” Waters said during recent comments on the House floor because he was focused on “the James Brown wig.”

“I love her. Maxine Waters should have her own sitcom,” the host of “The O'Reilly Factor" joked when asked about the longtime congresswoman questioning the patriotism of President Trump's supporters in a speech on Monday.

“People get angry with Maxine Waters. I want more of it,” he said.

O'Reilly was then shown a clip of Waters saying Trump supporters “turned a blind eye to the destruction” the president was “about to cause the country.”

O'Reilly appeared to be amused in a split-screen image of Waters, saying afterward he didn't hear a word of the Waters clip because he was distracted by “the James Brown wig.”

“I didn't hear a word [Waters] said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it's the same wig.”

“It's the same one,” co-host Brian Kilmeade joked. “And he's not using it anymore. They just, they finally buried him.”

Brown died on Christmas Day in 2006.

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt jumped in to defend Waters during the Tuesday segment.

“I've got to defend her on that. I have to defend her on that,” said Earhardt. “You can't go after a woman's looks. I think she's very attractive.”

“I didn't say she wasn't attractive,” responded O'Reilly.

“Her hair is pretty,” said Earhardt.

“I love James Brown, but it's the same hair. James Brown — all right, the 'Godfather of Soul' — had,” reiterated O'Reilly.

In an interview published Monday in Elle magazine, Waters repeated that America should “get ready for impeachment” of President Trump.

“I'm out to get him. I'm gonna see him out of office. And I think it's going to happen. Get ready for impeachment.”