That Time Joy Behar Dressed Up As An African Woman

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Unfortunately for celebrities, if you're famous enough, at some point people are going to delve into your past hoping to pull some scandalous skeletons out of your closet. This is not one of those times. In a Friday segment that found the ladies of The View talking about the significance of curly hair, co-host Joy Behar — in an unfathomably poor judgement call — decided to share a throwback photo of herself that should never have seen the light of day.
"I was so cute. Look how cute I was!" Behar said about an old photo of her dressed as a Black woman (you can watch the full clip over at Jezebel). "That is me. I was 29. It was a Halloween party," explained the 73-year-old. "I went as a beautiful African woman. That's my hair!" You went as a beautiful African woman. As in, you put on the "costume" of an African woman for a party. Oh, boy.
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Behar's co-host Raven-Symone was noticeably disturbed and couldn't believe that the woman in the photo was actually Joy. "Why are you upset with me now?" Behar asked Symone, who chose her next words carefully. "Did you have tanning lotion on, Joy?" Symone said. "I had on makeup that was a little bit darker than my skin. That's my actual hair, though," she added. Oh, good! Phew, for a second there I thought you were going to say it was a wig. Nope, all it took was a little dark-toned foundation.
Okay, wait — shouldn't we cut the woman some slack? After all, it was — by our math — the early '70s. It was a very different world four decades ago. The phrase "cultural appropriation" wasn't exactly flooding the zeitgeist. People were much less sensitive and P.C. when it came to race. But, seeing as it is in fact 2016, and blatant cultural appropriation and blackface are frowned upon, why on Earth would you ever choose to share this photot with the world, and proudly so? Something tells us we're not going to get a satisfying answer from Behar any time soon.
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
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