skeletons in the closet

That time Sandra Bernhard called Mariah Carey the N-word has come back to haunt her again

Sandra Bernhard

Pose star Sandra Bernhard is once again being haunted by a racist joke she told over 20 years ago.

An old clip from Bernhard’s 1998 comedy special I’m Still Here… Damn It resurfaced on Twitter this week. In it, she insults Mariah Carey, referring to the singer as “n**gerish” and suggesting she’s not fully Black because she’s technically biracial.

“And now (she’s) trying to backtrack on our a**es, acting real ni**erish up there at the Royalton Hotel suite with Puff Daddy and all the greasy, chain-wearing Black men,” Bernhard says in the clip.

She then goes on to mimic Carey by speaking in higher-pitched voice, saying, “Oh yeah, Daddy. This feels kinda good. I didn’t know I would be into this.”

The punchline ends with Bernhard joking, “I’ve got a little bit of Black in me, too. I didn’t tell you that.”

Even at the time, the joke didn’t land well. Eventually, Carey contacted the NAACP and had the comedy special yanked from the air.

In a 1998 interview with New York Magazine, Bernhard defended herself by saying, “I have carte blanche to use that word from my friend Paul Mooney. I’m a card-carrying white-black girl. Plus, I have a huge Black following, so you know, it’s like a black person saying [n**gerish].”

In 2006, she again defended herself in an interview with Seattle Weekly, saying, “I think anybody Black who comes to my shows gives me carte blanche to say that because I’m really coming from their place. I’m not some cracker up there…It’s so obvious that I’m a part of that culture.”

Last year, Bernhard told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that she and Carey have since buried the hatchet and are now on good terms.

Despite Bernhard claiming the two have made up, many on Twitter who are seeing the clip for the first time are still outraged.

Even Bernhard’s Pose co-star Indya Moore weighed in, tweeting: “Very hurtful, confusing, And disappointing.”

Bernhard has yet to issue any comment on the clip resurfacing or the renewed backlash it has been receiving.

Related: This supercut of all the times Ellen was racist towards Sofia Vergara is truly eye-opening