MSNBC weekend show host, Melissa Harris-Perry, offered an apology today on the air for statements made the previous weekend on her show concerning a picture of the family of Mitt Romney, that included an adopted grandson of African-American descendant.
Harris-Perry hosts a weekend show on MSNBC that carries her name. Last week, she featured a year in review program which incorporated several comedians. At one point in the program, the show took a decidedly wrong turn when comments were made concerning a photograph of 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, along with his wife and grandchildren. All of the grandchildren except one adopted grandson, Kieran, are Caucasian.
Earlier this week, Harris-Perry issued a written statement of apology to the Romney family.
Harris-Perry said her original intent was for that segment of the show to be positive. However, once the photograph was shown, events transpired differently. One remarked that one of the people in the photograph seemed different while another remarked that the picture was a symbol of the diversity within the Republican Party. Harris-Perry then offered up a suggestion that maybe one day, Kieran would marry the baby daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Harris-Perry acknowledged that regardless of the intent, the particular segment of the show in question was not only offensive but the showing of the photograph in that particular context was a serious error in judgment. She said she was offering her apology to the Romney family without reservation. She further stated that any adult in public life is aware that they are entitled to less privacy than most but that does not mean that children should be treated in a thoughtless and callous manner. The humbled host stated she broke a basic rule of reporting which suggests families should be left alone.
Harris-Perry also offered an emotional apology to families that have been put together through interracial adoption. She said that nobody on that show intended to suggest that interracial families were deserving of being made fun of or ridiculed. She said her program was committing to being advocates for a wide diversity of family units and that in fact, it was one of their bedrock principles. For that reason, she said the issue should always be treated with respect.
In earlier apologetic statements made through Twitter, Perry recalled back to her own diverse ancestry. Her father is an African American, while her mother is Caucasian and Mormon. Much of Harris-Perry’s academic pursuits have been dedicated to inquiries about the challenges faced by black Americans and the African- American identity.
Former MSNBC reporter Martin Bashir tendered his resignation from the cable news affiliate about a month ago after uttering a crude statement on his program directed at Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska. Alec Baldwin had been a recent addition to MSNBC but had to part ways after a voice recording of him was released while he was in a disagreement with a photographer. Many believed the comment made by Baldwin to be an anti-homosexual statement. Baldwin did later issue an apology for his statement. Now it seems, another MSNBC host, Harris-Perry, is on the giving end of issuing an apology for comments made towards a family photography of former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
By Rick Hope