Kentucky Pastor Jeff Fugate said this week that his assistant pastor, Joseph Pickens, felt hurt by Internet comments from people who did not appreciate him wearing blackface for a church skit.
In a video posted to YouTube last week, Pickens had dressed as Mr. T for the Clay Mills Road Baptist Church 2014 National Young Fundamentalist Conference.
Fugate told WLEX that he had watched two performances, and it didn't occur to him that blackface might be offensive to some.
"They said, 'What are you doing with blackface?' And I really didn't know what they were talking about to be honest," the pastor recalled. "I'm not trying to be ignorant, but I guess I am."
Fugate said that the boxing skit was supposed to be "inspiring" and humorous to teens. Instead, Internet commenters accused Pickens of making Kentucky look bad.
"He is so hurt," Fugate said. "I'm not a racist, and I sure am sorry if I've offended you or anybody."
"You'll certainly see a lot a black folk in our church," he pointed out, adding that none of them had complained.