Thursday, April 17, 2014

MSNBC anchor apologizes for mocking Mitt Romney's family photo with black grandchild

Compiled by Sarah Petersen, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Dec. 31 11:30 a.m. MST

 Mitt and Ann Romney with their grandchildren.

Mitt and Ann Romney with their grandchildren.

(Mitt Romney Twitter account)

On Christmas Eve, Mitt Romney posted a family picture on Twitter of him and his wife Ann, along with their grandchildren. In the post, Romney wished all a Merry Christmas.

But what MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry drew attention to was the fact that sitting on Romney's knee was one African-American grandchild, Kieran James, the adopted son of Mitt's son Ben, which she pointed out during a segment on Sunday.

Harris-Perry asked guests on the show for a caption to go along with the family photo to which actress Pia Glenn responded, "One of these is not like the others. One of these things just isn't the same."

Since Harris-Perry's segment, many have accused the host of going too far with her racist remarks, and on Tuesday morning she released an apology on Twitter.

"I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. #MHPapology," Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted.

She later continued, saying: "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."

Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin was quick to call out the cable news station for tasteless mockery.

"Holy unbelievable. The hypocritical leftist lamestream media should be shamed by every caring, child-loving American. It has once again reached a new low," Palin wrote on her Facebook page.

"It's a beautiful thing the Romney family has done by embracing 'the spirit of adoption.' What on earth is more beautiful? Shame on MSNBC for mocking this."

Glenn also responded on Twitter, questioning the media outcry over the segment.

"If I point out the 1 black person & you translate that as an attack ON HIM, who's racist? I don't personally see anything wrong with being black," Glenn tweeted.

But several hours later, after responding to many angry messages online, Glenn addressed those she and Harris-Perry had offended.

"Adoptive parents giving a child of ANY ethnicity a loving home, I apologize. I absolutely did not intend to harm you, but it seems that I have."

Glenn continued to post apologies to multiracial families and adoptive families.

"I am absolutely aware of the added challenges of interracial adoptive families and I see how I added to that. I did not mean to. Still wrong," Glenn posted.

"As I said earlier, any parent who gives any child a loving home is doing a wonderful thing. Period."

Racist remarks regarding multiracial families have made other headlines this year. This past summer, Cheerios released a commercial featuring a biracial family. But owner General Mills had to disable comments for the ad on YouTube due to offensive remarks.

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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1. Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA,
Dec. 31, 2013

I have to admit that I'm not only tired of Fox News' hyper-partisanship, but MSNBC hyper-partisanship as well. Give it a rest everyone.

2. airnaut
Everett, 00,
Dec. 31, 2013

Agreed...
pretty tackless.

Meanwhile --
5 years and counting---
I'm still waiting for apologizes for all those "mocking" comments FoxNews and AM radio have made towards our "black" President.

3. atl134
Salt Lake City, UT,
Dec. 31, 2013

Maybe if she were a conservative christian white duckhunter instead of a liberal from an interracial family it'd be okay.

4. Esquire
Springville, UT,
Dec. 31, 2013

Now if we could only get some folks on Fox to apologize for their statements. Never happens. MSNBC apologizes. CNN apologizes. Fox?

5. pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah,
Dec. 31, 2013

Agreed, not only tackles but very disappointing from someone who should not only know better, but who by instinct should never react that way.

It will be interesting to see what MSNBC does.