Good Morning America host Amy Robach has apologized for making a reference to “colored people” on Monday’s broadcast of the ABC program.
“We all know Hollywood has received recent and quite a bit of criticism for casting white actors in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people,” Robach said during a segment about Zendaya Coleman’s rumored casting as Mary Jane in an upcoming Spider-Man reboot.
In a statement apologizing for her use of the controversial phrase, Robach told the Associated Press that she had made a “mistake,” adding that she meant to say “people of color,” and said it’s “not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life.”
— Mr Sinister (@BlkMagicTx) August 22, 2016
Roach’s comments were met with intense criticism on social media.
amazing… (not in the good way) … i mean what do you call black people in the privacy of your home? https://t.co/zfC64mBacA
— Solomon (@solomonmissouri) August 22, 2016
Zendaya — whose father is black and mother is white — was recently on the receiving end of a social media-driven debate about whether or not the young actress should be cast to play a historically white comic book character.
Rushing to the defense of the Disney Channel star was Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
“If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good,” Gunn tweeted, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Gunn said Zendaya’s ethnicity is immaterial in her casting as Mary Jane Watson.
“For me, if a character’s primary attribute – the thing that makes them iconic – is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks,” Gunn explained. “For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work. And, for the record, I think Zendaya even matches what I think of as MJ’s primary physical characteristics – she’s a tall, thin model – much more so than actresses have in the past.”
The last message on Robach’s personal Facebook page, about food, music, and culture in Rio, was posted on August 11. However, supportive messages have popped up from fans encouraging the GMA to come back from Monday’s drama stronger than ever.
“Amy, everyone knows you’re a sweetie and would never intentionally disrespect anyone,” one commenter wrote. “As a daily GMA viewer, you get a sense of people’s character, and the second I heard the faux pau [sic], I knew it was a trip of the tongue and nothing more.”
One 79-year-old black Facebook user said “Amy, you did nothing wrong….Personally, I like the greeting as “black”. Being older(79), I have a beautiful young lady that Iove to death who attends our church….I asked how she would like me to address her race, she said what ever made me comfortable!!”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson