Sherri Shepherd Calls out Barbara Walters For N-Word Use
Barbara Walters tripped and stammered over the use of a racially-charged epithet in the reporting of a story recently, when the staid anchor was discussing the brouhaha over a hunting camp used by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.
When the offensively-named camp came up in discussion during a recent candidates’ debate, fellow Republican candidate Herman Cain used the word in describing the location, though other candidates were not as comfortable calling the ranch by its iffy moniker. Of her feelings in using the word, Walters said:
“It’s very hard for me to say… It gives me chills.”
Shepherd then discussed the different way she felt hearing co-host Whoopi Goldberg use the word as opposed to when Walters used it. Shepherd clarified:
“When I heard [Whoopi] say it, it was fine… I didn’t like the way [Barbara] said it… I don’t know if it’s a semantics thing, but it’s something that goes through my body.”
“Is it because I’m white?”
Shepherd then said:
“It’s something about hearing you say it… I don’t like it when you use the word… when you say it it’s a different connotation.”
Walters then pressed:
“If I’m reporting on this, you mean I can’t use the word?”
To which Shepherd dodged:
“You can do anything you want! You’re Barbara Walters!”
Walters quite reasonably pointed out that the statement was a little passive aggressive and unfair on Shepherd’s part:
“I’m sorry, that has nothing to do with it, Sherri… I never knew you felt this way and I find it just amazing.”
Shepherd also told Walters that the veteran newswoman can’t “take away” how Shepherd feels when white people use the slur, even in the context of a news broadcast. Should the word be stricken even from the news? Was Shepherd fair to Barbara Walters?