Updated 3/28 2:19 p.m. ET: Bill O’Reilly apologized on Tuesday after he sparked backlash for calling Maxine Waters’ hair a “James Brown wig.”
“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” O’Reilly said. “I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”
Original: “The O’Reilly Factor” host Bill O’Reilly said in response to a clip of Maxine Waters that he “didn’t hear a word” she said because he was “looking at the James Brown wig,” referring to her hair. O’Reilly made the comments on Tuesday’s “Fox & Friends.”
The footage of Waters, who represents California’s 43rd district, showed her railing against President Donald Trump and the patriotism of the Republican party.
“We’re fighting for the democracy,” Waters said. “We’re fighting for America … you’re not nearly as patriotic as we are.”
When asked what he thought of the tape, O’Reilly responded, “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt jumped in to defend the representative. “You can’t go after a woman’s looks,” she said before adding, “I think she’s very attractive.”
O’Reilly reacted, “I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive. I love James Brown. But it’s the same hair James Brown had.”
After joking that he had not listened to the representative, O’Reilly then commented on her as a politician. “You’re all wrong about Maxine Waters,” he told the “Fox & Friends” hosts. “She’s a sincere individual. Whatever she said, she believes. And that’s old-school. We’re giving Maxine a break here. I love you Maxine.”
He finished by inviting Waters onto his show.
Watch the clip below: