MSNBC Host: Sorry I Joked About Black Romney Grandson

Jokey Melissa Harris-Perry segment sparks backlash
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2013 10:34 AM CST

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry offered a belated apology today for a Sunday segment in which she and her panelists poked fun at a photo of Mitt Romney's family that included Romney holding his recently adopted African-American grandson, Kieran, CNN reports. Harris-Perry showed the photo as part of her "look back in laughter," and asked her panelists to comment. Actress Pia Glenn began singing, "One of these things is not like the other," while comedian Dean Obeidallah said the picture "really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party." Harris-Perry speculated that the boy might someday marry North West.

"I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification," Harris-Perry tweeted today. "As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise." Glenn apologized yesterday after initially defending her joke. "Any parent who gives any child a loving home is doing a wonderful thing. Period," she wrote. Obeidallah, meanwhile, emailed CNN to say that his intended target was the GOP, and that he apologized "to the Romney family and especially the baby if any of them were offended." (Read more Melissa Harris-Perry stories.)

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