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Melissa Harris-Perry Tweeting Up a Storm of Apologies to the Romney Family

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by Liku Zelleke

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry could have never imagined her final show for 2013 would come back to bite her so soon into 2014.

But, it did; and she is genuinely sorry about it.

It all started on her final show for the year – a review of 2013. The host and a guest panel that included actress Pia Glenn, Daily Beast’s Dean Obeidallah and comedian Judy Gold, were going through pictures of the major and most memorable events of the year.

As the pictures were being shown Harris-Perry and the panelists were coming up with clever quips, or so they thought, as captions for the images.

They seemed to be doing quite well right until the Mitt Romney family’s 2013 Christmas photo came into view.

The Romney’s, who are devout Mormons, have regularly shared their growing family with the world in photos like this one. In this particular one, the former Republican presidential candidate and his wife Ann sit in the middle of their 22 grandchildren. On his right knee, the proud grandfather holds a black baby, Kieran James, the son of Mitt’s son, Ben and his wife Andelyne. Baby Kieran joined the family in September.

Pia Glenn was the first to “caption” it. She broke out into a song: “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just isn’t the same.”

And then she added, “That little baby, front and center, would be the one.”

Dean Obeidallah was next. He thought the photo was “great” because “it really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party and the RNC, where they have the whole convention and they find the one black person.”

Finally, it was Harris- Perry’s turn: she called the baby “gorgeous” and then said her pipe dream for 2040 would be the wedding between Baby Kieran and North West, the infant daughter of rapper Kanye West and celebrity Kim Kardashian.

She joked, “Could you imagine Kanye West and Mitt Romney as in-laws?”

It wasn’t too long before there was a furor over the incident led by, none other than, Sarah Palin who blasted MSNBC for attacking the Romney’s and calling the comments made about them “holy (sic) unbelievable.”

Melissa Harris-Perry has since offered a sincere apology on her MSNBC page, here it is in full:

An apology from Melissa Harris-Perry

On Sunday’s program, we showed a photo of Governor Romney holding his adopted grandson, who is African-American.

The intent of featuring the photo was to celebrate it— I often speak to the issue of the increasingly diverse American family.

Whatever the intent, the segment proceeded in an unexpected way that was offensive. Without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family and to all families built on loving transracial adoptions.

I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. #MHPapology

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) December 31, 2013

I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they r wrong for hurting. #MHPapology

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) December 31, 2013

Therefore, while I meant no offense, I want to immediately apologize to the Romney family for hurting them.#MHPapology

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) December 31, 2013

As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise. #MHPapology

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) December 31, 2013

I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices.#MHPapology

— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) December 31, 2013