"For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," Kelly told her viewers on The Kelly File. "But this person is arguing that we should also have a black Santa, but, you know, Santa is what he is — just so you know, we're just debating this."
Kelly continued to debate the issues with three panelists, shooting down Slate writer Aisha Harris' suggestion that Santa be a penguin to "spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood."
"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn't mean it has to change," Kelly said. "Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure — that is a verifiable fact. As is Santa, I just want the kids watching to know that. How do you just revise it, in the middle of the legacy? Of the story? And change Santa from white to black?"
After drawing widespread criticism for her remarks, Kelly was absent from Thursday's episode of The Kelly File, with Martha MacCallum filling in for her. Fox News has not commented on the situation.