A week after receiving backlash for using a vulgar term to refer to Ivanka Trump, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee addressed the controversy on her TBS program Wednesday night.
“I crossed the line. I regret it and I do apologize for that,” Bee said. “The problem is that many women have heard that word at the worst moments of their lives … and don’t want it reclaimed. I don’t want to inflict more pain on them. I want this show to be challenging and I want it to be honest.
“I never intended it to hurt anyone except Ted Cruz,” she joked. She added that she “didn’t care” that some men were offended and that she “hated that it distracted from more important issues.” Bee also jokingly introduced the new “mandatory censors” that would be used on her show.
Bee’s comments, in which she called the first daughter a “feckless c—,” drew ire from many after her May 30 show, with sponsors like State Farm and Autotrader.com pulling their ads from the program. The comedian apologized the next day, saying, “I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
TBS similarly addressed the issue, tweeting, “Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.”
The same day she issued her apology, Bee was honored by the Television Academy along with six other shows relating to “social change.” Press was barred from the event’s reception, where she reportedly said in part, “You know, the thing is our show is steeped in passion. Every week I strive to show the world as I see it, unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that. I take it seriously when I get it right, and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong.”
This week, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who worked with Bee on the Comedy Central show, supported the Full Frontal host. Stewart suggested that the outrage was a fabrication by members of the political right, saying, “It’s a game, it’s a strategy and it’s working.”