(Photo: Screenshot/Fox News)
Tucker Carlson, contributor to Fox News, recently issued an apology to those of the Wiccan and Pagan religions after he spoke out against the University of Missouri's policies regarding religion.
"Comments in the story offended a number of people – that was never my intention," Carlson said on the Feb. 23 taping of "Fox News and Friends Weekend."
"I also violated one of my basic life rules, which is live and let live. The Wiccans have never bothered me or tried to control my life. I should have left them alone. Sorry about that," Carlson added.
Carlson's initial comments were made on "Fox News and Friends" on Sunday, Feb. 17, when he criticized the University of Missouri's decision to add Pagan and Wiccan religious observances and holidays to its "Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations" for students and faculty.
The guide reportedly lists eight Wiccan holidays, and Carlson was critical of the university for putting the minority religion, which practices witchcraft, on par with major holidays, such as Christmas.
"The bad side of Wiccanism (sic) is that, obviously, it's a form of Witchcraft," Carlson previously said, as reported by The Christian Post.
Carlson went on to say that every Wiccan he has ever known is "either a compulsive Dungeons and Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife."
"Except any religion whose most sacred day is Halloween, I just can't take seriously," Carlson added. "I mean, call me a bigot. And I'm not, you know, not offering an editorial against Wiccanism."
Fox News reportedly received a slew of complaints after Carlson's comments, with 40,000 people asking Carlson to apologize through two online petitions, according to MassLive.com.
Additionally, a Facebook page demanding an apology from Fox reportedly garnered over 3,000 hits.
The university claims that although it recognizes eight Wiccan holidays in its religions guide, it does not recommend accommodations for students observing these holidays as it does other major religious days, such as Hanukah or Christmas.
"The University of Missouri is not recommending any accommodations for students observing Wiccan or pagan holidays," the university said in a statement, as reported by MassLive.com.