CNN host Chris Cuomo swiftly apologized after attempting to crack a poorly-judged joke about pronouns at last night’s LGBTQ-themed Democratic Presidential nominee town hall event in Los Angeles.
It was the first time an LGBTQ-themed Presidential Q&A such as this was screened live to TV.
When Cuomo introduced Senator Kamala Harris to the stage, Harris told the audience her pronouns: “My pronouns are she/her/hers.”
As soon as she is introduced, @KamalaHarris immediately shares her pronouns. Then @ChrisCuomo promptly ruins the important moment. #EqualityTownHall pic.twitter.com/GqjVXBwmfx
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) October 11, 2019
Cuomo replied, “Mine too.”
Cue awkward silence. After a moment, Harris simply replied: “Alright.”
Among the first to call him out on the comment was the LGBTQ advocacy group, GLAAD.
Kamala Harris declared her pronouns on such a major stage and she should be applauded but instead it was so disappointing for Chris Cuomo to mock it in that moment. #EqualityTownHall #PowerOfOurPride
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 11, 2019
“Kamala Harris declared her pronouns on such a major stage and she should be applauded but instead it was so disappointing for Chris Cuomo to mock it in that moment.”
A few hours later, Cuomo took to Twitter to apologize.
PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her's, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) October 11, 2019
“When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall.”
The tweet has prompted almost 6k comments at the time of writing. Some welcomed the apology; others said he shouldn’t have apologized, and others were still upset he’d said the comment in the first place.
The gaff risked overshadowing the post-debate analysis. Nine of the current candidates took part in the debate. Bernie Saunders couldn’t attend as he is still recuperating at home following his heart attack.
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Highlights included Mayor Pete Buttigieg – the first Democratic presidential nominee who is openly gay – blasting the ban on gay men donating blood.
“My blood is not welcome in this country and it’s not based on science,” Buttigieg said. “It’s based on prejudice.”
He also recalled how he feared dying while in the military in Afghanistan while still in the closet, having never known what it was like to fall in love with another man and marry.
Buttigieg and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris pledged their support for the Equality Act and making PrEP affordable to all who want it.
Several said they’d introduce specific posts to help push for equality, such as Harris stating she’d create a new White House Position: chief advocate for LGBTQ+ Affairs.
Related: Jonathan Van Ness says the cost of HIV meds led to supporting Elizabeth Warren
Frontrunner Joe Biden, who has been criticized for some of his past voting records against equality, went to lengths to emphasize how he has changed over the years (he supported same-sex marriage before President Obama publicly did so).
He said that if elected, he would “curtail foreign assistance to countries” that curb LGBTQ rights.
Some were asked about religious fuelled homophobia, with Beto O’Rourke saying religious institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they discriminate: “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.”
Cory Booker agreed but was less unequivocal, saying instead, “There have to be consequences for discrimination.” Booker, like Buttigieg, voiced support for lifting the blood ban
Other subjects talked about included bans on conversion therapy, mental health and suicide, trans rights and anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.
“Some were asked religious-fuelled homophobia, with Beto O’Rourke saying religious institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they discriminate: “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.”
Kamala saying her pronouns was pure pandering, but jeez, – Search engine will help you to find hoewmore about Kamala: q6yGqeDKbskbatugGsfugu6lu4983896
Kamala saying her pronouns was pure pandering, but jeez, how dumb is this guy to make a joke about it at that moment?
And by pandering you mean showing some empathy
I don’t think Kamala was pandering. I think she was sticking it right up where the they their them crowd needs it stuck. I thank her for doing so on the world stage.
For those who failed English class, it was a positive progressive teaching moment.
I like Cuomo, but yeah that was a dumb statement. If he’d have said mine are he his him it would have gone over much better. UNLESS he was trying to tell us something. (wink)
As someone that prefers they/them for myself I saw what Kamala Harris did as a show of support. She was demonstrating that pronouns are decided by the individual and not other people. Totally agree that was a teaching moment, sadly you failed the lesson.
I completely support non binary people for who they are. I do not support taking a pronoun that is an established plural pronoun and try to make it describe a single person, raising much controversy. However in all fairness maybe you can educate me on why non binaries use plural terms that seemingly defies logic, to define themselves that others disagree with, when there are other words in the English language that could be used without controversy. Who coined it would also be helpful.
Words have changed use and meaning over time so repurposing words isn’t a new thing. There is also no controversy … Well, that isn’t true, there is a contrived controversy but it’s a red herring used to distract from bigotry. The reality is that using they/them isn’t confusing unless a person is truly dimwitted. This is super simple. You said “…to define themselves that others disagree with,” You are under the impression that how I defined myself is subject to the approval of others. It isn’t.
Also, using “they” as a singular pronoun dates back to the late 1300s. So, your issue with changing how it is used is a few centuries late. It really goes to show exactly how contrived the”controversy” is. Oxford and Merriam Webster have also updated the definition of they to include its use as a gender neutral pronoun. This is a non issue for any reasonable person.
You said “You are under the impression that how I defined myself is subject to the approval of others. It isn’t.”
Then does that mean you don’t mind me not changing pronouns for your benefit to address you, that you’re fine with me calling you he/she?
It’s not bigotry if I don’t want to change my interpretation of the English language. I will vote for your equality rights right along with mine and party if you’re in my company. So best not to confuse a resistance to you manipulating the English language with a bigotry label. That’s just an insecure knee jerk reaction.
If you don’t think it’s a controversy you’re not looking past your own front door. I’ve seen many comments on posts finding changing pronouns to benefit a tiny segment of society completely unsupported but that they support you as non binary persons.
Allow me to update you on the they them controversy….. Google: Sam Smith’s they/them pronoun backlash highlights an ongoing cultural disconnect by NBC NEWS.com.
They them is culturally used as plural no matter how you want to spin it.
I’d appreciate it if you’d address my concerns in my first post to you and not deflect with Trunpian insults. Thx.
I don’t personally get worked if people, like yourself, don’t use my preferred pronouns. It’s actually helpful when people self identify as jack*ss.
Pointing to a vocal minority isn’t proof of cultural controversy, using that low of a bar I could point to any Alex Jones as said and claim it a big controversy. Hide behind your faux grammar champion shield all you want, you are’t fooling anyone. Cheers.
You’re a complete fail at civil debate on this subject however, I do support and wish you good luck while battling the frigid turbulent waters toward attaining rational thought.
Well at least Kamala had the class and dignity to ignore his 3rd grade joke like the dude bro BS that it was.
This whole townhall was a circus
From the opening extremely off-key singing, Joe Biden talking about gay bath houses, Fredo saying his pronouns are she / hers, the black trans protestor taking the mic from a 8 year-old trans kid to shout about CNN not caring about black people, Mayor Pete getting heckled by trans protestors, and the pandering.
Then you have Elizabeth Warren saying she supports taxpayer funded gender reassignment surgery for inmates! She feels that a criminal in prison should be allowed to get taxpayer funded gender reassignment surgery while in jail because they shouldn’t have to spend their time in jail as the wrong gender
What a shock, the right wing troll account that always supports Republican bigots, doesn’t like Democrats. (Eye Roll).
Typical Cam response: deflect
Doesn’t seem like the protesters liked them either. It’s never good for a campaign when the people you’re pandering to shout you down
Non-binary pronouns are an affront to my connection with reality. Its a loser with the electorate. You can be supportive without buying into every silly left-wing social engineering plot.
They is in big trouble. (Logically, we must use the third-person singular!)
How was that (Cuomo) not funny?
Those pronoun games and ridiculous. Especially Them/they/those/ w/e
Waiting for some self-hating queer to refer to “Ms Cuomo”. You know it’s coming.
With his statement, he kind of already did that to “her”self.
Another Tempest in a T-Pot.
I liked it when they did not feel the need to announce their pronouns. Doing so just seems like pandering and over political correctness.
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