MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry Apologizes for Mocking Mitt Romney's Black Grandchild

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry Apologizes for Mocking Mitt Romney's Black Grandchild

Mitt Romney's adopted Black grandson Kieran was the subject of a comedic segment on Melissa Harris-Perry's talk show.

Published December 31, 2013

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry apologized Tuesday for mocking Mitt Romney's adopted grandson, Kieran, who is Black, in a segment on her Sunday broadcast titled "2013: The Year in Political Ridiculousness."

After an image of the family's Christmas card with Romney holding the baby, who was adopted by Ben Romney and his wife in September, is flashed on the screen, actress Pia Glenn began singing, "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."

Harris-Perry then joked about how she dreams of a marriage in 2040 between Kieran and North West, daughter of rapper Kanye West and reality star Kim Kardashian.

"Could you imagine Kanye West and Mitt Romney as in-laws?" Harris-Perry asked.

Conservatives quickly condemned Harris-Perry and MSNBC. Blogger Caleb Howe accused Harris-Perry of treating Kieran like a "token."

"He’s not a child adopted by loving parents prepared to provide him with a better life in keeping with the family’s values. Nope. He’s just a token," he wrote. "A punchline, not a person. But it’s funny, because Republicans are racist, see? So it’s all fine!"

Using the hashtag #MHPapology, the talk show host, whose mother is white, posted several tweets Tuesday morning apologizing for the gaffe "without reservation or qualification." She also pointed out that like Kieran, she was a Black child born into a large, white Mormon family and "feels a familiarity" with the family photo.

Other guests, who participated in the "revelry" responded to the backlash in part by defending their actions. Comedian Dean Obeidallah tweeted that he was mocking the GOP's lack of diversity, not the baby.

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(Photo: Courtesy of Romney for President, Inc.)

Written by Joyce Jones


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