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O'Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters' hair

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/28/2017
In this combination photo, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., left, appears at the Justice on Trial Film Festival on Oct. 20, 2013, in Los Angeles and Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly appears on the set of his show, "The O'Reilly Factor," on Oct. 1, 2015 in New York. O'Reilly said Tuesday, March 28, 2017, he had a hard time concentrating on Waters during a speech because he was distracted by her "James Brown wig." He made the comment during an appearance on "Fox & Friends," after a clip was shown of Waters speaking in the House of Representatives. (AP Photos/Richard Shotwell, left, and Richard Drew) © The Associated Press In this combination photo, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., left, appears at the Justice on Trial Film Festival on Oct. 20, 2013, in Los Angeles and Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly appears on the set of his show, "The O'Reilly Factor," on Oct. 1, 2015 in New York. O'Reilly said Tuesday, March 28, 2017, he had a hard time concentrating on Waters during a speech because he was distracted by her "James Brown wig." He made the comment during an appearance on "Fox & Friends," after a clip was shown of Waters speaking in the House of Representatives. (AP Photos/Richard Shotwell, left, and Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly apologized Tuesday for saying he had a hard time concentrating on California Rep. Maxine Waters during a speech because he was distracted by her "James Brown wig."

O'Reilly said that his jest about her hair was dumb. "I apologize," he said in a statement.

He had made his statement during an appearance earlier on "Fox & Friends," after a clip was shown of the Democratic representative speaking in the House of Representatives. O'Reilly, as he watched, appeared to mouth the words "right on" and give a clenched-fist salute.

After the clip, he said, "I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig." Fox's Ainsley Earhardt defended Waters, saying O'Reilly shouldn't go after a woman's looks.

O'Reilly also said that Waters, who is black, should have "her own sitcom."

In his apology, O'Reilly said that "as I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs."

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