MSNBC TV host apologises for joke about Mitt Romney family photo

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:18pm


TV host Melissa Harris-Perry has apologised to former US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for joking about Romney's adopted black grandchild on her show.

During a segment on her self-titled MSNBC show, Harris-Perry posted a photo of the extended Romney family, including newly adopted infant Kieran James Romney, who happens to be the only black person in the photo. She asked her panel of guests, including actress Pia Glenn and comedian Dean Obeidallah to come up with captions for the photo.

The panel made a series of jokes, all based around the fact that there was a single black baby in the photo. Harris-Perry speculated about a wedding between Romney's grandson and North West, the daughter of singer Kanye West and reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

On Tuesday, Harris-Perry issued an apology in a series of tweets, writing: "I apologise to the Romney family. I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they're wrong for hurting. Therefore, while I meant no offence, I want to immediately apologise to the Romney family for hurting them. As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise. I apologise to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices."

Glenn also apologised, writing: "I can say all day what I 'meant', but my intentions do not negate the very real pain I have caused. I sincerely apologise."

Obeidallah also apologised.