Former Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson Faces Backlash Over "Picking Cotton" Joke
"I just wanted to pick cotton from a plant, I’ve always wondered how it really felt," the reality star explained.
Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett spent her Thanksgiving Eve shrugging off critics who felt she spewed a racially insensitive joke.
The confusion set in Wednesday (Nov. 22), when the former Playboy Playmate came across a cotton field in Texas while en route to a Thanksgiving gathering. Snapping photos and videos for her IG story, the 32-year-old posted a photo with the caption, "Always wanted to pick cotton. Lol.”
Shortly after catching heat for the joke, Wilkinson explained how she didn't think of race while sneaking into the field to touch the plants. She also said it was a dream of sorts to flock in a cotton field. “Wanting to pick some cotton and saying I’m going to get shot for trespassing is becoming news all of a sudden. Just having fun guys, no harm," she said. “No joke I’ve always wanted to pick cotton, okay so I picked it. It felt good in my hands, it was all fuzzy and sh*t. I just didn’t want to get shot for trespassing.”
While picking cotton seemed like a casual thing to do for the reality star, African-Americans have an unwanted to connection to it that rhymes with slavery. (Hint, it's slavery.)
She then headed over to Twitter to defend herself and mentioned how she sat with her black father-in-law baffled at the accusations. After coming to fame in the E! reality series The Girls Next Door about her relationship with the late Hugh Hefner in 2005, she married former athlete Hank Baskett, who is black. The couple, who also highlighted their marriage on her reality series Kendra, share two children together.
She also released a lengthy post on Instagram to clear up her joke, explaining that she meant no ill will.