Melissa Harris Perry Brought To Tears In Emotional Apology To Romney Family

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MELISSA HARRIS PERRY: We have a lot of news and politics to discuss this morning. But before we get to that, I am going to start with an apology. Last Sunday we invited a panel of comedians for a year in review program. It's what we call our look back in laughter. But in one of those segments we looked at a number of photos that caught our attention over the course of the year. In that segment, I asked my guests to provide kind of off the cuff ideas for captions of the photos that we were seeing.

Among the images we aired was one of the Romney family that showed Governor Mitt Romney’s grandchildren, including his adopted grandson who is African American. Now given my own family history, I’d identified with that picture and I intended to say positive and celebratory things about it.

Whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive. And showing the photo in that context, that segment, was poor judgment. So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family. Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground-rule that families are off-limits. And for that, I am sorry.

Also, allow me to apologize to other families formed through transracial adoption, because I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule. On this program, we are dedicated to advocating for a wide diversity of families. It is one of our core principles. And I am reminded that when we are doing so, it must always be with the utmost respect. We’re genuinely appreciative of everyone who offered serious criticisms of last Sunday’s program, and I am reminded that our fiercest critics can sometimes be our best teachers.

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