MSNBC Host Apologizes to Romney Family for Black Grandson Jokes

MSNBC Host Apologizes to Romney Family for Black Grandson Jokes

Melissa Harris-Perry and panel joked about lone child of a different race amid otherwise white Romney family photo

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry apologized Tuesday for a segment on her show where she and panelists joked about the adopted black grandchild of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, featured in the family's Christmas photo.

Also read: MSNBC Host Makes Fun of Mitt Romney's Black Grandson

“I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family,” Harris-Perry tweeted along with the hashtag, #MHPapology.

Harris-Perry, a black woman who herself was raised by a white Mormon family, said she was familiar with the Romneys’ unique family blend and “never meant to suggest otherwise.”

In a segment on the Dec. 29 episode of MSNBC's “Melissa Harris-Perry Show” called “What's So Funny About 2013,” Harris-Perry presented the photo to a panel of actors and comedians and suggested that it had generated a lot of “emotions” since the Romneys shared it on Christmas Eve.

Also read: Alec Baldwin Defends Martin Bashir Over MSNBC Resignation, Slams Network

As a suggested caption for the photo, panelist Pia Glenn sang, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn't the same.” (Lyrics of the original Sesame Street song are, “One of these things just doesn't belong.”)

Harris-Perry continued her New Year's Eve Twitter mea culpa by apologizing to all interracial adoptive families.

“I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices,” she tweeted.

  • Individual Immunity

    Lean forward msnbc and do the right thing, fire this racist hatemonger. Ridiculing an adopted black boy? How low can a person sink? This pathetic channel has finally lost its mind…

    • therrendunham

      And I'd be willing to bet a dollar that you were lined right up with everyone else, “standing with Phil.”

      Look, the lady apologized (which makes her better than me). And she may have been reflecting on her own experiences (you know, being a black child in a world of white Mormons?), just as Phil had. Shouldn't that perspective be as valid as his?

      That said, I don't endorse going in on politicians’ children and other minor relatives, so on that she was wrong; that said, beyond the lame jokes, there are many, many avenues of race and class that could be mined, but are going to be missed because the people who'd speak on them will be droned out by those who are too quick to cry racism.

      • Individual Immunity

        There is absolutely no comparison. Phil is the head of the most popular TV reality show in cable history, over 18 million viewers. His show is by itself responsible for over 85% of the entire A&E network's profits! They've spent the past few days on their knees begging him and the family not to quit. Duck Dynasty has all the power in their relationship, don't be fooled by the media, they can't afford to kill the show and never planned to, it was all just a public relations gimmick to shut up GLAAD and they took the bait. And, by the way, you're also wrong about another thing, I've never even seen an episode although after all this fuss I'm going to tune in like millions of others will, you can't pay for this kind of publicity and they've made us all curious now.

        MHP on the other hand like Bashir is on a very low rated show on an already very low rated network gasping for oxygen. The 3 regular viewers she has will hardly miss her. With this scandal combined with her past ones (yes, this nut had a dubious track record even before her latest insanity, research it yourself) she's already cost the network much more in lost advertising dollars than she'll ever bring in, the true definition of a liability. The intensity of the twitter outrage is 10 times worse for her now than it ever was during the bashir scandal. She's doing more damage to msnbc by the hour. How long do you expect her to last? I'm betting not even a week.

        • therrendunham

          You're tight; there is no comparison.

          While it's ridiculous to assert that one show generates 85% of a network's profits (A&E wouldn't have suspended him if Duck Dynasty did), the network makes a lot of money off the show. Not because of the Robertsons, but because they have them by the nads…A&E owns the show, they own the licensing, and they own the syndication rights. If the Robertsons want to leave the show, A&E likely has it in their contract wording that would prevent the family from taking their act to another network for years. DD is a show about nothing, featuring a wealthy family who mugs it up on TV like modern-day Clampetts, mocking the very people who faithfully watch the show.

          MHP, on the other hand, may not have the ratings, but carries more insight. The only controversy haters can muster is a reflection of the dismal state of diversity in the GOP, and perhaps the photo in question was cathartic for the family, as if they are free enough from the right-wing fringes of the GOP to be comfortable being seen holding a black baby, which is tragic in itself.

          • JudtheStud

            Yep, continue throwing hate at the Romney family, keep proving everything the nation thinks about the far left is accurate, that you are a bunch of soulless creeps who'll stop at nothing, even attacking an adopted grandson, just to score cheap political points against a Republican, who cares if it's a loving family photo on a Christmas card. You're even more pathetic than we imagined.

          • Joe

            Pathetic and mean. It's just unbelievable! Mean towards a black baby. Tells a lot about you dearest liberal.

          • therrendunham

            I don't give a damn about the far left or the right; consider that a privilege of not being an ideologue. But whatever; see a black face and automatically think Democrat. Never mind if the commentary might actually make a salient point; no, it has to be “that guy's picking on OUR (insert target of unrequited affection here). Again, whatever, ahem, “stud…” ;)

      • JudtheStud

        Absolutely not. He follows a religious philosophy shared by millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide. His coments occurred in an interview, not on the show. She invited a panel to come ON HER SHOW and her producers put up that photo for the sole purpose of using the msnbc airwaves to attack and ridicule a little adopted child! You're now attempting to defend her? Go ahead, you're doing more damage to her and msnbc than her critics ever could, even she didn't try so many lame excuses in her pseudo apology. She needs to be fired, the sooner the better. Unless of course you love giving FOX all this free ammunition! ;-)

        • therrendunham

          BS; the only people who subscribe to his religious philosophy reside in the southern United States; those other billions of Christians worldwide would see you as heretics, and perhaps rightly so.

          Was the panel attacking a black baby, or was it critiquing (however inelegantly) the dismal state of racial diversity of the GOP, as illustrated by the fact that it took a year after its presidential candidate LOST for him to feel comfortable enough to be photographed holding that black baby?

          • JudtheStud

            You obviously know nothing about Islam, Christianity or Judaism if you think his views on homosexuality are only held by Southern Christians, are you new to this planet? LOL! Enough attacks on Romney and his grandson already, you are coming off as a major troll jerk but maybe that's what you're aiming for, congrats loser.

          • therrendunham

            I know enough to appreciate that this is NOT about religion or some interpretations from certain texts; but if that's the only way you can prop up your argument–using an unrelated topic as a means of deflection–than whatever, YOU'RE the troll.

      • Joe

        You are as mean spirited as Ms. Harris-Perry. Just simply mean.

        • therrendunham

          My heart breaks from such harsh, unqualified criticism.


    • Gabriel

      I think her behavior is pretty bad, and possibly worthy of firing …

      … but when's the last time Fox News fired someone for a similar offense?

      Let me when you can find such an instance. :)

      • Individual Immunity

        Who on Fox news has made fun of a former presidential candidate's adopted black infant grandson on the basis of his race not belonging in that white family? We're all waiting…the comments were shameful and worthy of the KKK, only msnbc ever plays this dirty, they truly deserve their horrible ratings…

        • therrendunham

          When John McCain ran in '08, and the GOP operatives (along with FOX News) slandered him with accusations that he fathered an illegitimate black baby, when in actuality he adopted a girl from Cambodia.

  • Slider

    Disturbing trend for liberal media

  • Woop DeDoo

    “Harris-Perry, a black woman who herself was raised by a white Mormon family”

    Disgusting. OooOoOoOOoh, god, I hate this ungrateful, hypocritical c-nt.

  • Bobo Brazil

    I wouldn't even let this beeeothch blow me.

    • the man

      Your a” lire”

      • Moriah

        What is a lire? I'll have to look that up. Unless you mean liar.Where did you go to school? Or did you go to school?

  • Equality

    She isn't black…her mother is white. By the rules of the 1990 Census, the race of a person is determined by the race of the mother because you will always know the race of the mother. If you're a racist that uses the “One Drop Rule” from the Jim Crow laws, then she is black. On the other hand, she could just be saying her race is black so she can take advantage of racist laws like affirmative action along with many other special racist privileges for blacks.

    • Equality

      And yes, MSNBC needs to fire her like they did to Alec Baldwin for making an insensitive comment…no double standards!

    • therrendunham

      That just has to be the STUPIDEST thing I have ever heard. First of all, there is NO such provision in the 1990 census that determines one's race via maternity:

      “3. The assignment of a specified race was made on an individual basis. That is, no effort was made to to minimize racial heterogeneity within households. Any such attempt would have made it difficult to assign race in a manner which approximated the specified-race distribution reported by persons with the same Hispanic origin response.” (US Bureau of the Census 1990 CPH-L-74)

      I know many biracial and bi-ethnic people (including my children) who identify as one demographic but openly embraces the others; if the Harris-Perry identifies as black, white, or both, then it's HER business. Then again, i always find it amusing to see whites complain about the one-drop rule when it no longer suits their interests.

  • Zagloba

    Uh oh, it's Benghazi all over again. Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Vince Foster!

    • Jeffrey

      Never forget Vince Foster!!!!

  • John Ryff

    Another racist black person who thinks it's okay to make racist comments, I mean after all, she's black and blacks can't be racist because they are “not in power right?” MSNBC…will the last one watching please turn the lights off on the way out. IF YOU STILL WATCH THIS NETWORK PLEASE WAKE UP AND STOP!!

    • therrendunham

      Just one question: What. Was. Racist?

  • DUbangee Urmomma


    • therrendunham

      Sponsored by the good, Christian white folks who brought down a decent network by propping up the coffers of half-billionaires who exploit their audience by pretending they eat squirrel for dinner.

  • NeaAnderthal

    She is just one more opportunist using every asset that she has trying to make as much money as possible and used the fact that she has some African Genes as a free ticket to criticize someone else with impunity and feed her audience what they want to hear, criticizing Republicans and Fox news with every tool possible. her African genes have most likely helped her get to where she is today via affirmative action.

  • carlito

    Chill shorty, she is an ebony princess herself, sista and her blood is the only peeps who can comment like this. If the white devil make same comment dey be gatted, word!

    On a side issue, I must point out that, grammaticality, she is severely lacking in the statement “as black child born into large white mormon family”. Without me even mentioning she could not have been born into the family.

  • Outrage Weary

    An apology never to be read by the Romneys for a comment they never heard. Thankfully, they had armies of people in reserve that had the time and inclination to be offended for them. It was a cheap, partisan joke that was funny to some but not to most. Worthy of the ensuing outrage and “news” coverage? No.

    • Joe

      When someone has Ms.Harris-Perry's media spotlight. Has the ability to influence people she needs stay above it all. Simply said she needs to be honest trustworthy and decent. She was not. The whole episode was jr. high schoolish and screamed mean girls!

  • travell

    obama may have to execute this semi sister to save face

  • jerald

    Yawn. This sounds like another veiled attempt to getting ratings for a giant sinkhole of a station.

  • Joe

    Harris-Perry just doesn't understand yet. She comes across as above it all. What's all the commotion about? She needs to go. Why after this amount of time does she still have a job? The tears are for herself not for hurting the Romneys. She was exuberant about making fun of them and the youngest new member of their family. Get rid of her. Do the right thing MSNBC

  • Anthony Silas

    Mellissa Harris Perry should be fired for being such a wimp. The comments her panel made were not that bad or malicious. They weren't even directed at the baby. It's no wonder Fox News kicks the crap out of MSNBC. When the broadcasters at Fox News or any right winger makes offensive comments, they have the guts to stand by them and defend them when people call them out on what they said. When anyone at MSNBC makes a joke and the people at Fox News cry like a bunch of little babies, the people at MSNBC apologize like a bunch of punks. Martin Bashir's bashing was justified because what he said about Sarah Pailin was disgusting. The complaining about the Harris-Perry panel by Fox News is just petty. Harris-Perry should be replaced by Natasha Leggero, someone with guts. She made a joke and stood by it when people complained. That's what they need at MSNBC, people with guts, not folks who buckle like a belt when the people at Fox News whine, spit and moan. The people at MSNBC need to grow a pair!!!!!!!

    • moriah

      You forget that it's all about ratings. If peple get po'd and stop watching, the network will drop the show. Better for her to apologize for making a racist comment. If she's going to be on national tv then she needs to be careful not to offend the audience.

  • therrendunham

    All these conservatives so offended at a little jokey-joke. Again, the p^ssification of America is evident by all these posts.

    • Jeffrey

      Sauce for the goose…

  • Jill

    Harris-Berry, being a black woman adopted by a white family, should have realized on the offset that this was NOT something to put in her “What's so funny about 2013” Would she like her family pictures viewed on “what's so funny about (pick a year)? Seriously…she found something “funny” about the picture. She has the nerve to state her working principal about people who offend have no right to apologize. Yet apologize she does…And what about that idiot Pia Glenn for singing that song..where is her apology. My cousins adopted a little black girl and I find Melissa and Pia totally insensitive, and do not believe Melissa's apology for one minute. As a black woman adopted by a white family, Melissa, of all people, should have been more sensitive and used some brains by NOT putting the Romney Pic on her “what's so funny…” I wasn't funny. And as for MSNBC…no wonder you fools are losing credibility with the kind of bigots and morons you have on your network. Everyone walks on eggshells trying to be “politically correct” and not “labeling” people..yet you allow this kind of crap to be broadcast. No wonder FOX is #1 cable news.

  • Brenda Welch

    everybody wants their 5 minutes of fame…let's just get attention one wy or another. Where's the picture of your family?

  • Anthony Silas

    I think it's sad the way both Fox News and MSNBC go after each other. They both turn meaningless comments into more than what the are. Fox News went after Martin Bashir, so MSNBC goes after Megyn Kelly. MSNBC goes after Phil Robertson, so now the people at Fox News are going after Melissa Harris Perry. When does it stop?! We get it…Fox News is arm of the right wing, MSNBC the arm of the left. They call themselves news channels, but these channels for political ideologies.

  • Chuck