Samantha Bee's Apology To Ivanka Trump Shows She Knows Her Comment Crossed A Line
Days after Roseanne Barr was fired for making racist comments on Twitter, another high-profile television star is in hot water for saying something offensive. Samantha Bee has apologized for calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless c*nt" on her late night show Wednesday. Bee issued the apology after facing backlash from the White House, as well as from many folks on the right and a handful of liberals.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night," Bee said in a statement. "It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
Bee made the joke during a segment about President Trump's deportation policies. In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration would officially begin splitting up immigrant families that cross the border illegally; since then, the number of unaccompanied minors living in immigrant shelters in the United States has skyrocketed, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
“You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c*nt!,” Bee said. The expletive was censored on the television broadcast but not in online clips posted by TBS, according to the Daily Beast.
Bee's joke drew criticism from the White House, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling it "vile and vicious" and demanding an apology from TBS.
“Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network," said Sanders. TBS did indeed release a statement on Wednesday suggesting that it accepts Bee's apology.
“Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night," TBS said. "Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.” Bustle has reached out to TBS for further comment.
Unlike Barr, however, it appears that Bee will keep her television show. Many on the right claimed cited this as evidence of a double standard, with Fox News correspondent Tomi Lahren writing on Twitter that conservatives "can’t get away with what the Left can." Bee's defenders argued, however, that there's a difference between a woman using a gendered insult against another woman, which is what Bee did, and a white person comparing black people to apes, which is what Barr did. Others pointed out that Barr herself called Hillary Clinton a "c*nt" in 2016 and faced little to no criticism from the right.
In her statement denouncing Bee, Sanders said she regretted what she called the "collective silence by the left and its media allies" regarding the incident. Many prominent media figures did, in fact, criticize Bee's joke, however, including Chris Cuomo, John King, Chris Cillizza and Brooke Baldwin at CNN, Lahren at Fox News, and Byron York at the Washington Examiner, among others.
“Let me just say no, no, no,” King said on his show. “From one parent to another, criticize the policy. Some things just aren’t funny. Roseanne’s racism is not funny, Sam Bee using that word is not funny.”
In a comment that was largely ignored in the subsequent controversy, Bee also made a joke on Wednesday night implying that the president is sexually attracted to his daughter, and suggested that Ivanka Trump could leverage this to change his policies (“Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to f*cking stop it," Bee said). Relatively few of Bee's critics made note of that joke, however, and neither she nor TBS addressed it in their apologies.