Charles Barkley, who was on the set when college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb on Thursday joked that he was on the CBS set for “diversity” to bring the “white man’s perspective,” said Gottlieb’s comments were not a big deal and people outraged over Gottlieb’s comments should “get a life.”
Gottlieb, who is white, appeared with Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley–all of whom are black–and made his tongue-in-cheek remarks that were received in a lukewarm manner, at best, after Gottlieb initially made them. Smith said Gottlieb was swimming hard upstream. Gottlieb, known as much for his irreverence as his questionable basketball analysis, also joked that the “cream was rising to the top” and he was bringing the point guard’s perspective.
After complaints from viewers, especially those on Twitter, Barkley later said people should not go “crazy” over Gottlieb’s comments.
“He made a joke earlier tonight,” Barkley said later on the program. “All those people on Twitter who are going crazy, which I would never ever do, listen–me, Kenny, Greg Anthony, and Greg Gumbel didn’t take that personally so all you people at home who’ve got no life who are talking bad about Doug Gottlieb get a life. It’s no big deal.”
Gottlieb, after saying the comments were obviously a joke in response to initial Twitter criticism, later issued an apology, saying it was not a “smart thing to say.”