Fox & Friends found itself embroiled in controversy over the weekend after it aired a Halloween segment showing what appeared to be a black child dressed up as a watermelon slice.
The segment was slammed as racially insensitive, with social media users voicing their criticisms towards the network which has struggled with a string of recent controversies.
On Sunday, a number of children were invited to the Fox & Friends studio to display costumes for the upcoming Halloween holiday.
Fox & Friends aired a costume segment that some are calling racially insensitive for the upcoming Halloween holiday
One child appearing to be from a minority community was dressed as a watermelon slice
Kids dressed as rainbows and robots were featured on the segment, until the broadcast moved on to ‘organic fruit’ costumes.
‘Lucas is our watermelon!,’ one presenter exclaimed on the broadcast, before the child, who is an ethnic minority, bounded on to the screen.
The reaction over the internet came swiftly, with many online users condemning Fox & Friends for the move.
‘Overt racism, foolish racism, or tone deaf racism?’ one Twitter user asked following the broadcast.
‘No, they don’t get the benefit of the doubt, Fox & Friends dresses up black child as watermelon for Halloween,’ another commenter posted.
Social media users reacted swiftly, condemning Fox News for being racially insensitive
Racial stereotypes suggesting that the black community is excessively fond of watermelon has been a trope in American society since the Civil War
Others, however, suggested Twitter users were being overly critical of the Fox and Friends segment, insisting there was nothing bigoted about the broadcast.
‘Let’s be clear, watermelon is not racist and neither is fried chicken. -signed black lady in NC. People nowadays have lost their minds!,’ one person tweeted.
‘If they had told him he was NOT allowed to wear it BECAUSE he was black, would that have been racist also?,’ another inquired.
The racist stereotype of portraying African-Americans as excessively fond of watermelon began during the late 19th century, shortly after slaves won their freedom during the Civil War, according to The Atlantic.
Watermelon became a staple crop for black farmers after emancipation, with many growing and selling the fruit which slowly turned into a symbol of freedom for the community.
Southern whites, threatened with new agricultural competitors and still reeling from the loss of the war, responded by associating the fruit with racists tropes aimed at the black community.
A request for comment by Daily Mail Online was not immediately returned by Fox News.