Maxine Waters fires back at Bill O'Reilly: 'I'm a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated'
Congresswoman Maxine Waters hit back at Fox News host Bill O’Reilly during an appearance on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Tuesday night, following comments O’Reilly made about her hair.
“Let me just say this: I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody,” Waters, the Democratic congresswoman from California, said. “And I’d like to say to women out there, everywhere: don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do, and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country.”
Waters also blasted O’Reilly and former Fox News head Roger Ailes as having “no credibility” because of sexual harassment lawsuits against the two men. “They have been sued by women, they have had to pay millions of dollars out in fines for harassment and other kinds of things. And so we know about that checkered past,” Waters said. “And we also know that when a woman stands up and speaks truth to power that there will be attempts to put her down. And so I’m not going to be put down. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to stay on the issues.”
On Tuesday morning, O’Reilly appeared on Fox & Friends and proceeded to mock Waters’ hair. “I didn’t hear a word she said,” O’Reilly said after watching a clip of Waters blasting President Donald Trump. “I was looking at the James Brown wig.”
O’Reilly later apologized for the remark in a statement. “As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. 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.”
On his show, The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly also apologized for the comment. “I said in a simple jest that the congressman’s hair distracted me. Well, that was stupid,” O’Reilly said on Tuesday night, while laughing. “I apologize. That has no place in the conversation. Now, it’s not necessary to poke fun at anyone who’s speaking from the heart in the public arena, in my opinion.”