GMA Co-Anchor Sorry for Saying 'Colored People' on Air

Amy Robach says she meant to say 'people of color'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 22, 2016 1:23 PM CDT
GMA Co-Anchor Sorry for Saying 'Colored People' on Air
In this Nov. 9, 2015, file photo, Amy Robach attends the 25th Annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York.   (Evan Agostini)

Good Morning America co-anchor Amy Robach has apologized for saying "colored people" on Monday's broadcast of the ABC program, the AP reports. During a segment on diversity in Hollywood, Robach, who was substituting for Robin Roberts, noted recent criticism for casting white actors "in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people." Her use of the term sparked criticism on social media, with one viewer tweeting, "Offensive," while another said Robach "gets a pass this time" but vowed to ditch GMA for a rival morning program if it happened again. After the broadcast, Robach released a statement explaining she had meant to say "people of color." She called the incident "a mistake" and "not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life."

The words used to describe African-Americans have evolved over time from words like "Negro," "colored," and "Afro-American" to the current "black," "African-American," and "people of color," notes Deborah E. McDowell, director of the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. "We no longer use the term 'colored people,' although once upon a time that was a term in use," McDowell says. "Now the preferred usage is 'people of color' if you are speaking about people of color broadly. If you are referring specifically to African-Americans, people will frequently be specific and refer to us as 'African-Americans.'" (The newly crowned Miss Teen USA recently apologized for her own racial slurs.)

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