President Trump on Friday called for the firing of Samantha Bee, the host of TBS’s “Full Frontal,” over her vulgar comments about his daughter Ivanka Trump.
“Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?” the president tweeted. “A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!”
Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show? A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” for refusing to speak out against her father’s immigration policies. The remark drew widespread criticism from both sides of the political aisle, something the White House, which called Bee’s language “vile and vicious,” apparently did not notice.
“The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders 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.”
Bee apologized on Thursday afternoon.
“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 on Twitter. “It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
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.
— Samantha Bee (@iamsambee) May 31, 2018
TBS issued a statement in support of 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. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.
— TBS Network (@TBSNetwork) May 31, 2018
“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 on Twitter. “Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.”
The controversy came a day after Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC for making a racist comment about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Bee further addressed the controversy in a speech while accepting an award at the Television Academy Honors in Hollywood on Thursday night.
“Every week I strive to show the world as I see it, unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that. I take it seriously when I get it right and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong,” Bee said, according to IndieWire. “Stories about 1,500 missing unaccompanied migrant children flooded the news cycle over the weekend. So last night we aired a segment on the atrocious treatment of migrant children by this administration and past administrations. Sometimes even the ones who look best in swim trunks do bad jobs with things. Our piece attracted controversy of the worst kind.”
She continued: “We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals. If we are okay with that then really, who are we?”
Trump responded to ABC’s firing of Barr by twice noting he never received an apology from the head of ABC’s parent company, Disney chief executive Bob Iger.
“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
The president repeated his complaint on Thursday morning.
“Iger, where is my call of apology?” Trump tweeted.
Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
He did not denounce Barr’s slur.
At the White House, Sanders told reporters that Trump was “pointing out the hypocrisy in the media” before she read a lengthy statement citing examples of alleged bias.
“Where was Bob Iger’s apology to White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist, to Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness?” Sanders said. “Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant on ‘The View’ after a photo showed her holding the president’s decapitated head? And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous expletive-laced tweets attacking the president as a Nazi and even expanding Olbermann’s role after that attack against the president’s family? This is a double standard.”
Trump himself has a long history of using crude, vulgar or offensive language without apologizing.
As a candidate, he did apologize once, memorably.
After Trump was caught bragging about forcing himself on women on the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape made public in October 2016, he issued a videotaped statement of apology.
“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not,” Trump said in that statement. “I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”