Tom Brokaw is under fire for some controversial comments claiming that Hispanics need to work harder at assimilating and saying that some Americans do not want “brown grand babies.”
The legendary NBC News anchor appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday, talking about how Hispanics are a growing an important demographic in American politics. In his remarks, Brokaw wondered if Republicans would be able to better compete for the votes of this group and noted that he has heard an undercurrent of fear among right-leaning Americans about “race mixing.”
“A lot of this we don’t want to talk about but the fact is on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary important new constituency in American politics — Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats,” Brokaw said, according to the New York Post.
“I hear when I push people a little harder, ‘I don’t know whether I want brown grand babies.’ That’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that’s going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.”
Tom Brokaw went on to say that he believes “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation,” saying it is their responsibility to make sure their children are speaking English and becoming fully integrated into their communities.
The remarks drew an almost immediate backlash, with PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor condemning Brokaw’s statements immediately after the segment ended. She noted that growing up in Miami, she saw nearly all of the children of immigrants learning and speaking English, even if their parents still only spoke Spanish.
The blowback was so severe that Brokaw released a statement apologizing for his remarks, saying he felt “terrible” that some were offended by the remarks.
“I never intended to disparage any segment of our rich, diverse society which defines who we are,” Brokaw wrote among a long string of statements apologizing.
— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) January 28, 2019
Tom Brokaw has found his way into other controversies in recent months. The longtime NBC News anchor also faced sexual harassment allegations from three different women, charges that Brokaw vehemently denied. A collective letter from women working at NBC was drafted in support of Brokaw and reached more than 100 signatures, but there were some allegations that the network pressured women to sign onto the letter.
One NBC employee spoke out, telling Fox News, “we had no choice…the unspoken threat was that if your name was not on it, there would be some repercussion down the road.” Tom Brokaw denied the allegations.