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Watch Samantha Bee Apologize for Ivanka Trump Insult on ‘Full Frontal’

“I crossed the line. I regret it and I do apologize for that,” host says

Samantha Bee opened Full Frontal Wednesday with an apology for calling President Donald Trump’s aide and daughter, Ivanka Trump, a “feckless cunt” during a segment about the migrant crisis at the U.S. border.

“It is a word I have used on the show many times, hoping to reclaim it, this time I used it as an insult,” Bee said. “I crossed the line, I regret it and I do apologize for that. The problem is that many women have heard that word at the worst moments of their lives. A lot of them don’t want that word reclaimed, they want it gone. And I don’t blame them. I don’t want to inflict more pain on them. I want this show to be challenging, and I want it to be honest, but I never intended it to hurt anyone – except Ted Cruz.” 

Bee then deadpanned, “Many men were also offended by my use of the word. I do not care about that.”

Bee used the epithet during a segment that examined two major issues of the Trump administration’s immigration policy: Separating migrant children from their parents and the Office of Refugee Resettlement losing track of nearly 1,500 migrant children in 2017. Bee criticized administration officials such as Chief of Staff John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for their role in enacting these policies, but she also singled out Ivanka Trump, who posted a tone-deaf photo of herself and her son while migrant families were being separated at the border.

The insult drew swift condemnation from pundits, and even White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Bee’s show “vile.” Bee eventually issued a statement apologizing for the insult and took the segment off YouTube. During her message Wednesday, Bee said that she regretted that her language distracted from more important issues and fueled the 24-hour news cycle.

“I should have known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile immigration policy,” Bee said. “I would do anything to help those kids. I hate that this distracted from them, to them I am also sorry.” 

Bee closed with a note on the supposed death of civility, suggesting critics shouldn’t look to a comedian who’s spent years shouting down drunk hecklers as a paragon of politeness. “I’m really sorry that I said that word,” Bee said. “But you know what? Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions.” 

Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Apology

“You know, a lot of people were offended and angry that I used an epithet to describe the president’s daughter and adviser last week. It is a word I have used on the show many times, hoping to reclaim it. This time, I used it as an insult. I crossed the line. I regret it and I do apologize for that. 

The problem is that many women have heard that word at the worst moments of their lives. A lot of them don’t want that word reclaimed. They want it gone, and I don’t blame them. I don’t want to inflict more pain on them. I want this show to be challenging and I want it to be honest, but I never intended it to hurt anyone, except Ted Cruz. 

Many men were also offended by my use of the word. I do not care about that. 

I hate that this distracted from more important issues. I hate that I did something to contribute to the nightmare of 24-hour news cycles that we’re all white-knuckling through. I should have known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile immigration policy. I would do anything to help those kids. I hate that this distracted from them, so to them, I am also sorry.  

And look, if you are worried about the death of civility, don’t sweat it. I’m a comedian. People who hone their voices in basement bars while yelling back at drunk hecklers are definitely not paragons of civility. I am, I’m really sorry that I said that word, but you know what? Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions. OK. Thanks for listening.”

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