So, this happened.
On Sunday’s episode of Melissa Harris-Perry’s self-titled show on MSNBC, Perry and a panel of comedians and other entertainers came together to have a quick laugh about the year 2013. They did so through various photographs from this year by adding captions to them, something we, and many other sites like to do with funny photos. But when a photo of Mitt Romney and all his grandkids, including his black grandson Keiran, was posted and jokes were made about the baby, people weren’t happy about it (and you know Republicans especially weren’t feeling it). Keiran, whose name ironically means “black” in Gaelic, was adopted by Romney’s son Ben and his wife Andelynne and became a member of the family in September.
When the photo was put up, things started off light with Perry saying, “Everybody loves a baby picture, and this was one that really, a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year. This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”
From there, the jokes came with panelist Pia Glenn singing, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same.” She joked after her song that “that little baby, front and center, would be the one.”
Perry tried to get in on the jokes, saying, “And isn’t he the most gorgeous? My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”
Comedian Dean Obeidallah even joked that Kieran would finally bring some color to the Republican Party: “I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”
Of course, the anger and calls for apologies came quickly, with folks at Fox News asking how Perry still had a job at MSNBC, and your main man Don Lemon even going in on her and the panel on CNN. Perry apologized for her own statements, and the panels’ comments this morning:
I get it. It’s all a little too crass, and considering Ben and Andelynne provided Kieran with the home (and most likely the love) he needed that others couldn’t, they should be applauded instead of mocked. And their baby definitely shouldn’t be a punchline. But the sense of outrage I kept reading about didn’t run through my veins. (I think I just have a disdain for Mitt Romney that can cloud my better judgment, and I was a bit critical of him having the baby front and center on his lap in the picture.) If you watch the clip, it all doesn’t come off that bad, well, at least Perry’s commentary. However, I know that if the tables were turned and it was a panel on Fox News making such jokes about a black politician and his family adopting a white baby, I would feel some type of way. Therefore, I can agree that Perry and crew needed to apologize because there’s nothing okay about making a joke out of a child. What about you?
Check out the video for yourself and let us know what you think.