Published: 02:55 BST, 31 December 2013 | Updated: 19:26 BST, 31 December 2013>
Melissa Harris-Perry has been forced to apologize Tuesday, two days after her MSNBC political commentary show turned Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson into the butt of a political joke.
Harris-Perry stirred the pot on the segment Sunday by displaying a giant photo of Mitt Romney's extended family Christmas photo to a panel of liberal pundits and comedians.
'It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person,' joked Dean Obeidallah, just one of the uncouth digs the group made at the expense of Kieran Romney.
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Outrage: A panel on MSNBC show Melissa Harris-Perry enraged some viewers Sunday with a segment that made Mitt Romney's black adopted grandson the butt of a joke
'Poor judgment': Harris-Perry apologized for asking guests to comment on the Romney family portrait
Harris-Perry is herself African-American and her show often focuses on black issues. The seemingly light-hearted segment presented photos and asked panelists to 'caption' them them jokes and commentary.
'One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn't the same,' said actress Pia Glenn.
For her part, Harris-Perry did not directly ridicule the baby but did quip that she looked forward to a 2040 'wedding between Kieran Romney and North West.'
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On Tuesday, Sarah Palin called the joke 'despicable' and said MSNBC should be ashamed of itself for allowing the segment to go to air.
'Leftist media hounds are not expressing an opinion with this attack; they are expressing a prejudice that would never be accepted if it came from anyone else but the lib[eral] media,' Palin wrote on her Facebook page in a post accompanying the photo of the Romney family.
'This latest attack from the Left is despicable.'
She added: 'You really need a conscience, yellow journalists. May your 2014 New Year's Resolution be to find one.'
'It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person,' joked comedian Dean Obeidallah (left)
¿One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn¿t the same,¿ quipped actress Pia Glenn (far left)
While Harris-Perry is black, as are many of her guests, the segment has outraged many conservatives who say the comments unfairly attacked the baby and were wholly inappropriate
The host also called the baby, who was adopted by Mitt Romney's son Ben and his wife in September, 'gorgeous.'
Other conservatives immediately swarmed to social media, furious over the insensitive segment.
'MSNBC has become a club where the smug go to exchange hateful opinions and reassure each other it's acceptable,' tweeted Romney 2012 senior adviser Stuart Stevens.
'Wildly inappropriate incident. Viewers and the Romney family deserve better,' tweeted one-term Massachusetts senator and ladies magazine centerfold Scott Brown.
Kieran, pictured with his mother Andelyne, has been adopted by Mitt Romney's son Ben
Shortly thereafter, Glenn—who is herself a woman of color— apologized.
'Adoptive parents giving a child of ANY ethnicity a loving home, I apologize. I absolutely did not intend to harm you but it seems that I have,' she tweeted.
On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Melissa Harris-Perry apologized to the Romney family.
'I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family,' she tweeted, with the hastag #MHPapology.
'I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they r wrong for hurting.
'Therefore, while I meant no offense, I want to immediately apologize to the Romney family for hurting them.'
She added that as a black child born into large white Mormon family 'I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise.'
'I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices,' she concluded.'
Comedian Dean Obeidallah sought to defend himself in an article on the Daily Beast.
He said he had received scores of nasty tweets from people calling him a 'baby-bullying bigot.'
'You may think (my joke was) funny, unfunny, cliché, idiotic, etc. Comedy is subjective,' he wrote.
'But say what you will about my quip, I didn't criticize the Romney family for adopting the baby nor did I mock baby Kieran in any way. Nor would I.
'My joke was about the lack of racial diversity we see at the Republican National Convention—a topic lampooned for years by comedians.'
The baby boy became the center of a different sort of controversy after revelations that his name means 'little and black' in Gaelic made headlines in September.
This news has been published by title Romney Family Adopts A Black Baby Named Kieran & People Are Upset About It
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