“Good Morning America” co-host Amy Robach has apologized for using a racial slur on live TV Monday. In a statement released after the show, she called the incident “a mistake,” insisting that the term she had used was “not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life.”
But will the apology be enough, or will the network be forced to take drastic action? Before hazarding a guess, I ask that you take a look at a clip of the segment, which appears in the opening seconds of this video, posted by Us magazine. (Warning: If there are young children in the room … you may want to invite them to watch.)
Yep, that was it. She uttered the words colored people, a term in widely accepted usage — including by colored people — up though the 1050s, when it was declared politically incorrect. It was supplanted by the more-precise Negro, which was itself upstaged a decade or so later by black, which continues to be used to this day, even by speakers willing to accept the inaccurate and cumbersome term du jour African American (which technically refers a person born in Africa who migrates to the U.S.).
My point here is that while what Amy Robach said on air is dated, it is hard to see how it can be called “offensive” or deemed a “racial slur.”
I might be hallucinating, but did I just hear "colored people" on @GMA? Wow, it's too early to be so offensive
— Samantha Ponzillo (@SPonzilloTV) August 22, 2016
— FABWP (@_fabwp) August 22, 2016
The obvious question that arises is whether these same people are offended by the name National Association for the Advancement Colored People, which perpetuates that same dated term.
By the way, Robach in her mea culpa explained that she meant to say “people of color,” which is OK to use. Go figure.