“Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee is facing a barrage of criticism after describing Ivanka Trump with a derogatory word on her TBS talk show on Wednesday. She’s now backpedaling on her word choice.
“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. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it,” Bee said in a statement to The Times.
TBS also planned to provide a statement on the matter.
“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 … ,” she said, using the profane word.
“He listens to you! Put on something tight and low cut and tell your father to … stop it! Tell him it was an Obama thing, and see how it goes. OK?” Bee added.
Though Bee was cheered by her studio audience, critics denounced the former “Daily Show” correspondent and called for her talk show to be canceled in the same manner Roseanne Barr’s ABC sitcom was canned after she posted a racist tweet earlier this week.
TBS would not comment on calls for cancellation but said that Bee was right to apologize.
“Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night,” the network said in a statement. “Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Bee’s language was “vile and vicious.”
“The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Several talking heads on CNN, which is owned by TBS’ parent company, Time Warner, said Bee was “incredibly offensive” and went “way over the line” for using the vulgar term, according to Deadline.
Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who now hosts a segment of NBC’s “Today” show, said the “gleeful” coverage of Bee’s remarks was “disgusting.”
“How is this acceptable?” she tweeted Thursday. “And how are we expected to take any of these publications seriously if they gleefully repost something like this at the same time they (rightfully) condemn @therealroseanne? You know the saying Love is Love? Well Hate is Hate.”
Ivanka Trump’s brother, Donald Trump Jr., also weighed in, calling out a double standard: “imagine someone … anyone … said this about Michelle Obama or the Obama girls? You think they’d still have a TV show?”
By late Thursday morning, the video was no longer available on “Full Frontal’s” YouTube channel and a tweet on the segment was removed from the show’s Twitter account.
The news comes as Bee is set to receive a special award for advancing social change at the Television Academy’s 11th annual Television Award Honors ceremony in Hollywood on Thursday night.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue issued a statement ahead of the ceremony, calling for Bee’s removal from the list of honorees.
“The only social change she is inspiring is cultural degradation,” he said in a statement. “The Television Academy can send an unmistakable message to those who obscenely assault innocent women: such persons are deserving of condemnation, not commendation. If it does not act, then all the uproar over women being sexually abused by Hollywood celebrities will be seen as a public relations gimmick.
“Make no mistake, Bee is contributing to the very environment that allows predatory men to act with impunity,” he added.
On Twitter, several comedians came to Bee’s defense, including Kathy Griffin, who was cast out last year after a Trump-related pictorial but made a comeback this year.
“please do not apologize,” she tweeted to Bee.
Comedian Billy Eichner said that he thought Bee was “being generous” to Trump’s daughter.