Samantha Bee

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Samantha Bee Apologizes To Ivanka Trump For Vulgar Slur

May 31, 2018 - 3:39 pm
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NEW YORK (AP) — Samantha Bee apologized to Ivanka Trump and viewers on Thursday for using an obscenity to describe her on a segment of her TBS comedy show.

Bee said her language was "inappropriate and inexcusable."

"I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it," she said.

Bee called Ivanka Trump a "feckless c---" toward the end of a segment about President Trump's immigration policies on her show, "Full Frontal," on Wednesday. She used the slur in urging Ivanka Trump to speak to her father about policies that separate children from their parents.

Bee said, "Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to f---ing stop it."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called Bee's language "vile and vicious" and said executives at TBS and corporate parent Time Warner needed to demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of the administration would not be condoned.

TBS issued its own statement saying Bee was right to apologize. "It was our mistake, too, and we regret it," the network said. Nothing was said about whether Bee or the show would face disciplinary action.

Coming two days after ABC canceled "Roseanne" following a racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Bee's remark was immediately seized upon by conservatives who believe that offensive language by liberals is not viewed as harshly.

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, tweeted that there's a double standard in action when you compare the mainstream media's reactions between the two events.

"There's no uprising against Bee," Fleischer wrote. "Why? Because she is a liberal. Because the MSM protects Obama and his aides, but not Trump. The hypocrisy is sickening."

As CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Thursday, there have been many demands for apologies for a variety of remarks this week.

President Donald Trump himself noted that Robert Iger, chief executive of ABC parent Walt Disney Co., called Jarrett to tell her that ABC did not tolerate Barr's comments, and said Iger should apologize to him too for negative remarks made about him on ABC.

"Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC," Trump wrote. "Maybe I just didn't get the call?"

Barr herself has also apparently weighed in on the Bee controversy, asking that she not be compared to others.

As to Bee, it remains to be seen if or how she will be disciplined. Futterman noted that the whole situation is “complicated.”

“We’ll see if she gets some punishment; is she suspended by TBS, what they’re going to do? This is a very tough decision for all these networks. They have issues involving potential advertiser boycotts that they have to consider as well,” Futterman said. “So like I said, the word  ‘complicated’ really applies to all of this right now, and it’s going to be an interesting discussion. What can comedians say? Can you say it on Twitter? Can you say it in clubs? I’ve heard some awful things said in comedy clubs before that I’d never repeat on the air. This is a very, very complicated issue, potentially.”

Bee, formerly at "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, got her own show at TBS and it's one of the network's biggest successes.

Bee's commentary is likely to be a corporate headache. Time Warner, which owns channels including TBS, CNN and HBO, is in the process of being acquired by AT&T for $85 billion. The Justice Department has sued to block the deal, however, due to monopoly concerns, and a decision on whether or not it will proceed is expected June 12.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)