Melissa Harris-Perry apologized Tuesday for a controversial segment on her show about Mitt Romney's adopted grandson, Kieran, who is black.
The MSNBC host came under fire after joking about a photo of the Romney family that showed Romney holding his newest grandson on his knee. During her show Sunday, Harris-Perry had shown the photo and asked her panel for caption ideas. The roundtable joked about the baby being the only black person in the picture.
Harris-Perry tweeted Tuesday, using the hashtag "#MHPapology":
"I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize 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 [are] wrong for hurting. Therefore, while I meant no offense, I want to immediately apologize 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 apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices."
She also issued an apology online later that day, writing that the intent had been to celebrate the diversity of Romney's family. "Whatever the intent, the segment proceeded in an unexpected way that was offensive," she wrote. "Without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family and to all families built on loving transracial adoptions."
During the show Sunday, actress Pia Glenn had joked, "One of these things is not like the others." Harris-Perry said the baby is "gorgeous," and she said she imagined what would happen if Kieran and North West got married and Mitt Romney and Kanye West were in-laws.
Comedian Dean Obeidallah, who was also on the panel, mocked the photo for "really [summing] up the diversity of the Republican Party."
Glenn later apologized, the Daily Intelligencer reported. She tweeted:
I can say all day what I "meant", but my intentions do not negate the very real pain I have caused. I sincerely apologize.
— Pia Glenn (@PiaGlenn) December 31, 2013
Obeidallah also told CNN that he had "not intended in any way to mock the Romney family or the baby they adopted," adding, "I apologize to the Romney family and especially the baby if any of them were offended by that joke."