Conservative reporter Rick Leventhal was slammed over the holiday weekend for an offensive Halloween costume dressed as “the great American film actor Alec Baldwin.”
In Western clothing and brandishing a fake pistol, the former Fox News correspondent and Unmasked podcast host took a lot of outrage from critics stating that the outfit was tone deaf and disrespectful.
Doubling down on the controversy surrounding the Halloween costume, Rick Leventhal said, “In no way was I trying to offend anyone, except Alec Baldwin.”
He told Page Six that he thinks Alec Baldwin is “a jerk” who “deserves all the heat he’s getting.”
It is unclear if Leventhal believes that Baldwin is solely responsible for the accident on the set of Rust, where a prop gun misfire held by Baldwin resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, or if his ire stemmed from Baldwin’s portrayal of former President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Regardless, Rick Leventhal later told Page Six that he and his wife had planned their costumes “weeks ago” and that he “just decided to” make the Western cowboy outfit Alec Baldwin “at the last minute.”
“If we analyzed every costume for who might be offended by it, there would be no Halloween anymore,” Leventhal said. “Of course I feel bad for the victim and her family, but this was never about her or them.”
“If Baldwin is anti-gun, why is he waving them around in movies and pointing them at people and pulling the trigger?” he continued. “Focus your anger at him and the hypocrisy of that industry.”
Leventhal’s wife, Kelly Dodd, dressed in a similarly offensive Native American outfit, which she said was due to her “Native American heritage.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County star said back in January that a 23andMe DNA test revealed that she was “part Black, Asian, Mexican, Spanish, 30 percent Native American, and 1 percent Jewish.”
“I’m all races,” she declared. “I don’t see people with color, I see people. That’s it.”
The two have also received a lot of ire for their stances on Covid-19. They share their controversial opinions on their new podcast, Rick and Kelly Unmasked, where they plan to address the costumes even further. Rick Leventhal left Fox News after 20 years back in June, when he told the network that he didn’t want to cover breaking news any longer.
Kelly Dodd was fired from The Real Housewives of Orange County that same month, which many fans believed was due to her conservative politics.
Commenters online expressed their disgust with the couple’s costume, writing “Pathetic you have to attach Alec Baldwin to this. “A horrific thing happened on set and you think Halloween is the time to display such disrespect.”
Another commenter spoke about Dodd’s costume, writing that “We as Women don’t wear the head dresses .. just saying.”
“I always defend you both, but hard to find dressing up as Alec funny when a young woman’s life was cut short and a young boy is now without his mum,” one of the couple’s fan wrote. “Really bad taste Rick.”
Donald Trump Jr. also inappropriately joked about the shooting incident on the set of Rust by selling T-shirts that read “Guns Don’t Kill People, Alec Baldwin Kills People.”
“People are way too sensitive,” said Kelly Dodd, defending her costume from outrage on social media. “I embrace my Native American heritage. I think the fashion is beautiful, and this was a tribute and celebration.”
She claimed that “many Native Americans” enjoyed the costume, and that all of the hate came from “woke” commenters who were just angry that they didn’t “have native in their blood like I do.”
“People are always looking to criticize me for anything I do, so this is no surprise,” Dodd concluded.
Do you think Rick Leventhal and Kelly Dodd’s Halloween costumes were offensive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!