MSNBC will issue an on-air apology for a segment Monday in which reporters wore a sombrero, played maracas and mimed taking shots of tequila on Cinco de Mayo.
“On Monday, Cinco De Mayo, ‘Way Too Early’ made sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday. It was not our intention to be disrespectful and we sincerely apologize for the ill-advised references,” MSNBC said in a statement.
“Way Too Early” host Thomas Roberts invited viewers to take a shot of tequila every time the show made reference to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner from Sunday night, and reporter Louis Burgdorf did his “Cooler” segment wearing a sombrero. In the control room behind Burgdorf, a crew member can be seen wearing a sombrero as well.
Roberts also played with maracas, and the table on his set was adorned with another sombrero, shot glasses and plastic margarita glasses throughout the show.
MSNBC issued the apologetic statement and agreed to an on-air apology after Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a former MSNBC producer, called the segment “abominable.”
“This is simply the worst example I have seen of a discriminatory stereotypical portrayal of any community by any media,” Balta said according to TVNewser. “The fact that this was done by a news organization is abominable.”
The on-air apology will take place during Wednesday’s episode of “Way Too Early,” which airs at 5:30 a.m. ET, an MSNBC representative told TheWrap.