By Jueseppi B.
Melissa Harris-Perry Breaks Down On-Air While Addressing Kieran Romney Controversy
Published on Jan 4, 2014
A perfect storm of slow news and cultural provocation elevated Melissa Harris-Perry’s New Year’s weekend segment, which used Kieran Romney’s appearance in a Romney family photo as a setup for jokes about diversity, into a full-blown media conflagration. That firestorm has now roiled into a second weekend. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) is expected to address the controversy tomorrow on Fox News Sunday, and Melissa Harris Perry addressed it on air for the first time on the Saturday morning edition of the Melissa Harris Perry show.
Perry provided a tearful on-air apology Saturday for making light of Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson, and following the segment, sentiments both positive and negative poured in on Twitter, with Harris-Perry’s fans using the hashtag #StandWithMHP.
But even among Harris-Perry’s fans, some thought the apology was unnecessary, arguing that the left is always so apologetic whenever they say the slightest thing but the right never acts in the same way, so Harris-Perry apologizing today after already apologizing this week was overkill.
The apology was VERY necessary because no matter the politician or how much we may dislike the political figure, ALL minor children of political people, are OFF limits for discussion in negative context. Plain & Simple. OFF Limits.
Having a weekend show carries with it the blessing, or the curse, of adding air to the embers of controversies that a weekday show could quickly smother. Last Sunday, Harris-Perry moderated a panel that set upon a Romney family photo as the pivot point for jokes about Republican lack of diversity. Harris-Perry’s own remarks were relatively innocuous, but panelist Pia Glenn sang “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same” upon the photo’s introduction, and comedian Dean Obeidallah joked “I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”
All involved issued a raft of online apologies of varying scope and sincerity, with Harris-Perry citing her own Mormon background in her apology, and expressing an intention to “celebrate” the photo. Commentators and reporters from rival cable news networks made Harris-Perry the subject of multiple broadcasts this week, but Saturday morning offered Harris-Perry the first chance to address the controversy on air.
Harris-Perry began by reiterating her previous apologies, almost verbatim, and added “adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy, but their families, especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off-limits. For that, I am sorry.”
Her voice cracking, an emotional Harris-Perry continued “Allow me to apologize to other families formed through transracial adoption, because I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny, or deserving of ridicule. On this program, we are dedicated to advocating for a wide diversity of families, it is one of our core principles. And I am reminded that when we do so, it must be with the utmost respect. We’re genuinely appreciative of everyone who offered serious criticisms of last Sunday’s program, and I am reminded that our fiercest critics can sometimes be our best teachers.”
Thank you Mediaite.
Ms. Harris Perry did the right thing. Some say she should not have apologized because Reich Wing Conservative GOP Tea Party RepubliCANT dumbasses never apologize for the things they say. That is a fact, they never do apologize. So what?
Are we supposed to lower ourselves to the snake belly level of Reich Wing Conservative GOP Tea Party RepubliCANT dumbasses?
No. We. Are. Not.
Kudos to you Ms. Melissa Harris Perry.