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**FILE**Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," on Jan. 18, 2007 in New York. After eating dinner at a famed Harlem restaurant recently, O'Reilly started a controversy after he told a radio audience he "couldn't get over the fact" that there was no difference between the black-run Sylvia's and any other restaurant in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

Bill O'Reilly issued an apology after he mocked a black congresswoman's hair

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Fox News host Bill O'Reilly issued an apology on Tuesday after he had sparked controversy in which he mocked a black congresswoman's hair on live television, according to the Hill. He said he "didn't hear a word" Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said in her remarks on the House floor because he was distracted by "the James Brown wig."

"If we have a picture of James Brown -- it's the same wig," he added.

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His remarks were widely denounced on Twitter.

Before O'Reilly even left the "Fox and Friends" set, he faced backlash from the only female host on the panel, Ainsley Earhardt.

"I have to defend her on that," Earhardt said. "You can't go after a woman's looks. I think she's very attractive."

"I didn't say she wasn't attractive," O'Reilly said. "I love James Brown. But it's the same hair!"

O'Reilly later expressed remorse for the remarks, "As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs," he said. "I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her 'old school.' Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize."

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