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MSNBC apologizes (again) for drunken Cinco de Mayo segment

MSNBC Cinco de Mayo segment

Just keep on leaning forward, MSNBC.

As if the network hasn’t issued enough apologies, MSNBC was forced to say they’re sorry yet again, this time for a segment on “Way Too Early” celebrating Cinco de Mayo, which featured a drunken producer dancing around in a sombrero, shaking maracas and swigging some tequila.

Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, denounced the segment in a statement and called on the network to apologize.

“This is simply the worst example I have seen of a discriminatory stereotypical portrayal of any community by any media. The fact that this was done by a news organization is abominable,” he said. “This wasn’t a chance occurrence. This was a planned segment where many decision makers at MSNBC’s Way Too Early program agreed on the content and execution which concluded on what was seen nationwide. It feeds to the ignorant misconceptions of a rich and proud people who unfortunately are too often portrayed as caricatures to be scoffed at.”

MSNBC executives apologized for the segment with a statement posted on the show’s website.

“On Monday, Cinco De Mayo, ‘Way Too Early’ made sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday,” the statement reads. “It was not our intention to be disrespectful and we sincerely apologize for the ill-advised references.”

Alex Korson, executive producer of “Morning Joe” and “Way Too Early” also called Balta to express his apologies, he said.

“He apologized for the segment [and] assured me that while the props were planned; the anchors took it upon themselves to put them on and act in the manner they did. He expressed remorse at how the producers allowed the segment and behavior to continue,” Balta said.

Thomas Roberts, host of “Way Too Early,” issued his own apology via his Twitter account.

MSNBC has become extremely familiar with issuing apologies for segments broadcast in bad taste. In January, host Melissa Harris-Perry was forced to apologize to former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his family after making a joke about the lack of diversity in the GOP at the expense of Romney’s adopted grandson.

Several months earlier, former host Martin Bashir issued his own apology to former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin after suggesting someone should defecate in her mouth. Bashir later resigned from the network.

And MSNBC executives have even had to say they were sorry for a tweet sent in response to a feel-good Cheerios commercial, which featured an interracial family. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus announced a boycott of the network until it apologized.

 

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