News & Notes | Jan. 5
Former politics and African American studies professor Melissa Harris-Perry issued an apology on Saturday to Mitt Romney for her remarks about his adopted African-American grandson. Harris-Perry mocked the Romney family Christmas card, which depicts the former presidential candidate surrounded by his wife and 22 grandchildren, in a Dec. 28 segment of her MSNBC show, the New York Daily News reported.
Harris-Perry first addressed her actions on Twitter, posting on Dec. 31 that she was “sorry. Without reservation or qualification.”
“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,” Harris-Perry said on a Jan. 4 segment of her show, appearing to hold back tears throughout her apology. “I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule,” she added.
Romney accepted Harris-Perry’s apology as “heartfelt” in a Sunday appearance on Fox News. “I recognize that people make mistakes. And the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake. And they’ve apologized for it. And that’s all can you ask for,” he said.
The photo appeared on the show’s “Nerdland Plays Caption That!” segment, in which Harris-Perry and guests assigned their own captions to popular photos from the year. In his holiday photo, Romney holds his baby grandson, Kieran, who was adopted in September by one of his five sons.
Harris-Perry joked of a 2040 wedding between Kieran and North West, the daughter of rapper Kanye West and reality star Kim Kardashian.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin came to Romney’s defense, posting on her Facebook page that “this latest attack from the Left is despicable.”
Harris-Perry left the University in February 2011 for Tulane University, after feeling that her colleagues “did not value [her] intellectual contributions.”