After winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the only thing anyone would feel like doing is trying to spell another word or have racist remarks thrown at them. 12-year-old Ananya Vinay proved at this year’s contest that she could spell virtually every single thing thrown at her and with relative ease. As her joy should last for a long time, her victory is now overshadowed by a CNN host who threw some “racist” comments at the child for assuming she could “use” Sanskrit.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota took it upon herself to believe that Vinay was “used to using” Sanskrit due to her being an Indian-American. It may be needless to say, but there has been plenty of backlash and criticism for Chris Cuomo’s co-host on New Day.
After becoming the Scripps Spelling Bee Champion earlier this month, Ananya Vinay started making the media rounds as expected. She graced CNN’s New Day with an interview which had hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo try to have some fun with her and ask her if she could spell “covfefe.”
For those who may not be aware, “covfefe” is the odd-sounding word that President Donald Trump recently used in a tweet and Vinay gave it a shot but couldn’t spell it. That is when Camerota dropped the strange and unnecessary comments, according to Yahoo News.
— Suparno Satpathy (@SuparnoSatpathy) June 4, 2017
Vinay asked the normal questions she would in a spelling bee in the hope of spelling “covfefe” correctly, but it didn’t happen. Despite coming close in her attempt, Camerota tried to make it sound like the champion shouldn’t be disappointed, but it came out very wrong.
“It’s a nonsense word. So, we’re not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you’re probably, uh, used to using, so, I don’t know. Anyway,”
Social media lit up after Camerota’s reply to Vinay with the implication that she was being racist to the spelling bee champion. As the Independent reported, a spokeswoman for CNN defended Camerota and simply said it had nothing to do with the heritage or background of Vinay.
Apparently, Camerota has made jokes about “covfefe” being of Sanskrit origin already, so, this should have seemed quite normal. Still, there were a lot of people who did not feel that way and took great offense to the way things came about.
SpellingBee winner Ananya must be speaking Sanskrit at home, says CNN! insult to injury, they think gibberish covfefe comes from Sanskrit. https://t.co/17tUtThh33
— Vinay Vinayak (@VinayVinayak) June 4, 2017
Again, many congratulations to Ananya Vinay, winner of the 2017 US Scripps National Spelling Bee!! @CNN wow. Uncouth, racist, uncalled for.
— Jen Killpack (@jenkillpack) June 4, 2017
CNN guesses the U.S. national spelling bee winner is ‘used to using’ Sanskrit. If she were Jewish would u say ‘your real language Hebrew’? https://t.co/x4EDTNE6fh
— Susan Benesch (@SusanBenesch) June 4, 2017
The spokeswoman for CNN also referred to an earlier panel in which Alisyn Camerota joked about the root origin of “covfefe” on Wednesday. She said that if Camerota is guilty of anything, it is of “recycling a joke” and not in making fun of Vinay.
Camerota has not responded to any of the tweets addressing her for the comments that many have seen as “racist.”
Ananya Vinay is the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion, and she is going to take pride in that fact for quite a long time. Despite the comments made by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, whether they were meant in a racist fashion or not, the young girl is happy with her accomplishment and carry on. Wondering if “covfefe” is of a Sanskrit origin is the least of her worries whether she can actually use or read the language or not.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]