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Joy Behar Just Tried to Defend Her Controversial Halloween Costume Again

The co-host of The View has said that her "beautiful African woman" costume was an "homage."

During her nearly 25 years on The View, Joy Behar has made apologies and admitted to some mistakes. But, when it comes to one scandalous situation from her past, the co-host and comedian is standing her ground. In a new interview with Time, the 79-year-old TV personality commented on dressing as what she described as "a beautiful African woman" for a Halloween party when she was younger. And, according to Behar, despite the backlash, "It wasn't anything close to blackface."

This isn't the first time Behar has defended the costume, for which she wore an Afro-like hairstyle, hoop earrings, and makeup darker than her natural skin tone. Read on to find out why she won't apologize for her choice to dress up this way.

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The photo was shown to viewers on a 2016 episode of The View.

During a 2016 episode of The View in which Behar was talking about naturally curly hair becoming more popular, producers showed a photo of her dressed in the costume in the early 1970s. Afterwards, co-host Raven-Symoné, who had never seen the picture before, jokingly said, "Joy, is that you? Joy, that is you? Joy, are you Black? She looks Black! … Are you my auntie, Joy?"

Behar explained, "I was 29. It was a Halloween party. I went as a beautiful African woman." Raven-Symoné then said, "Oh yeah, you ain't Black." Behar asked her, "Why are you upset with me now?"

"I thought that was… Did you have tanning lotion on, Joy?" Raven-Symoné responded. To which Behar said, "I had makeup that was a little bit darker than my skin. But that's my actual hair, though."

Some have accused her of donning blackface.

In September 2020, the View panel interviewed Kim Klacik, a Black woman and Republican who was running for a Maryland congressional seat. When Behar spoke to Klacik about Donald Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of the pandemic on Black Americans, Klacik responded, "Is this Joy speaking? The same Joy that paraded around in blackface not too long ago? Come on, Joy, I don't think you should be asking these questions."

"That's not true," Behar responded. "Excuse me. Excuse me. The Black community had my back. They know that that was not blackface, that was homage."

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She defended the costume again recently.

Joy Behar hosting "The View" in September 2017
The View / YouTube

In her July 2022 interview with Time, Behar again addressed the costume and said, "For me, it was like, 'Look at how pretty I can look as a woman dressed like this.' It wasn't anything close to blackface. It was bronzer, which I used with my natural curly hair. And the Black community had my back because they understand what blackface is."

She also said that it was a Black producer who first put the photo on air 20 years ago. "And then all of a sudden, that picture became verboten," she said.

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A publicist shared an additional comment after the interview was over.

Joy Behar at her Friends with Benefits Fundraiser in 2017
Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

The View co-host had something to add after her interview with the Time journalist was over. The outlet explains that, in a follow-up statement, Behar said of the costume, "I would never do that now. I understand it's offensive."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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