Melissa Harris-Perry has issued an apology for a segment on her MSNBC show where panelists mocked the black grandson of Mitt Romney, but the trouble for the host may not be over yet.
The segment happened during a recent segment titled “What’s So Funny About 2013?” in which Harris-Perry showed a Romney family Christmas picture. In the picture Mitt holds his infant grandson Kieran Romney, the adopted son of Mitt’s son Ben and his wife Andelynne.
The panelists made fun of the picture, with Pia Glenn saying: “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same. And that little baby, front and center, would be the one.”
Comedian Dean Obeidallah added more to the attack against Mitt Romney’s black grandson, saying:
“It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person.”
The statement drew immediate controversy from conservative circles, with Sarah Palin writing on her Facebook page:
“Leftist media hounds are not expressing an opinion with this attack; they are expressing a prejudice that would never be accepted if it came from anyone else but the lib[eral] media.This latest attack from the Left is despicable.”
On Tuesday Melissa Harris-Perry, who also is black, issued a lengthy apology on Twitter for the segment making fun of Mitt Romney’s grandson, writing:
“I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they r wrong for hurting. Therefore, while I meant no offense, I want to immediately apologize to the Romney family for hurting them. As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise. I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices.”
But Melissa Harris-Perry may not be out of the woods yet. While the controversy surrounding the segment may die down, in past instances talk show hosts have found that such flaps could be devastating. After Fox News host Glenn Beck found himself embroiled in a number of controversies, the network decided to distance themselves, ultimately dumping him in 2011.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh has also stirred controversy, losing a number of sponsors after calling a college student a “slut” after she spoke to Congress in favor of healthcare plan-sponsored birth control.
While Melissa Harris-Perry has not yet seen the same level of blowback, she may not be in the clear yet, and the next few days will likely tell.