Within hours of being blasted on social media and in the mainstream press for her participation in a racially-charged skit, Hillary Clinton began distancing herself from New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and the cringeworthy “colored people time” joke.
“Well, look, it was Mayor de Blasio’s skit,” Clinton said in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “He has addressed it, and I will really defer to him because it is something that he’s already talked about.”
The controversy came for Clinton after she and de Blasio performed a comedy skit over the weekend at the annual New York City press dinner.
“I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough,” Clinton said to de Blasio.
“Sorry, Hillary, I was running on C.P. time,” de Blasio responded.
“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr., who is black, responded to de Blasio by saying, “I don’t like jokes like that.”
“Cautious politician time,” Hillary said nervously as the joke failed to translate to a noticeably silent audience.
In response to the overwhelming negative reaction to the joke, Mayor de Blasio’s office released a press statement. The mayor later appeared on CNN to explain that the phrase was used in a context where it was meant to be a satirical reference to “cautious politician time.”
“It was clearly a staged show,“ a defiant de Blasio said on CNN. “It was a scripted show. The whole idea was to do the counterintuitive and say, ‘cautious politician time.’”
“Every actor involved, including Hillary Clinton and Leslie Odom Jr., thought it was a joke on a different convention,” de Blasio added. “That was the whole idea. I think people are missing the point here.”
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