Washburn professor under investigation for allegedly wearing blackface
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A professor at Washburn University is under review for allegedly dressing up in blackface for a Halloween dance routine.
Holly O’Neill took part in a reenactment of the Michael Jackson song and dance, “Thriller.” Some at the university say her skin looked dark during the routine.
According to the review conducted by Washburn, some people say it could have been the lighting of the room, or O’Neill could have been wearing makeup to look like a zombie, as Michael Jackson did in the original video.
O’Neil is an Associate Chemistry Professor and is also the Interim Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Washburn spokesperson Lori Hutchinson sent 13NEWS the following statement, which says in part, “Washburn University continues a thorough review of a complaint about a costume worn by an employee to an on-campus Halloween party on October 27.
O’Neill issued the following statement on Friday evening: “I sincerely apologize for the unfortunate incident that occurred on October 27th and I am cooperating fully with Washburn’s review of the event. I appreciate the University looking into the incident and I support their efforts. My costume and makeup was a poor effort to look like a zombie from the thriller video, and I meant no disrespect.”
The investigation is expected to last several weeks.
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