MSNBC has fired the employee responsible for an “outrageous and unacceptable” tweet that suggested conservatives hate biracial families, network president Phil Griffin said in a statement. He apologized to Republicans who on Thursday announced a boycott of the liberal network.
“The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged it was offensive and wrong, apologized and deleted it,” Griffin said.
“We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. I personally apologize to [Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus] and to everyone offended. At MSNBC, we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues, and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change.”
Late Wednesday night a tweet originated from the official MSNBC Twitter account that referenced a new commercial for Cheerios. A similar ad sparked a hateful backlash from anonymous YouTube bigots last year.
“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” the original tweet read, with a link to the MSNBC story on the ad.
The network later apologized twice via Twitter and ultimately deleted the tweet.
Wednesday’s incident comes one month after MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry joked about 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson on her show. Harris-Perry, herself a child of a biracial family, later issued a tearful on-air apology.