A white salon owner in South Carolina has come under fire for her defending an employee who wore blackface as part of a Michael Jackson Halloween costume.
Every year, Keysha Holmes, of Holmes Hair Studio, has her employees go all out for a group costume. This Halloween, he employees dressed as Michael Jackson in different stages of his music career.
While Holmes went as MJ in Thriller and another went as the pop star during his “Billie Jean” days, another employee went as old school Michael and wore an afro wig and brown makeup.
Holmes shared images of the costumes to her Facebook page on Oct. 25, commenting, “Halloween is here If anyone wants some free entertainment and laugh till it hurts come on down to Holmes hair studio tomorrow. You will not be disappointed.”
Upon receiving criticism for the employee dressed in blackface, Holmes told news outlets that she didn’t know blackface “was a thing.”
“I didn’t never know it was a thing. Ever. She put Covergirl brown makeup on her face,” Holmes told WYFF News 4.
When reached for further comment by Yahoo Lifestyle, Holmes added “All I’m going to say, I’m anti-news. I will not get involved with news because the news is the devil. I will not be in that hate stir fest. The news stirs hatred. Until we get Jesus in our hearts and minds, the world will continue to get worse. I’m sorry but I don’t want to have a interview with anyone other than the Christian radio station. Thank you and have a blessed day. How about write about people shooting up churches and schools. Pray for them.”
Jalen Elrod, a civil rights activist and candidate for Greenville NAACP president, told WYFF News 4 that playing dumb is not enough of an excuse.
“There are some people that might think these things are harmless, but I think those who do don’t have a full grasp of history of racism in this country.”