First, the video. Meredith Viera is known to be an ally to the gay community, so many were surprised to see this rather homophobic exchange between her and the cast and crew of Hurt Locker.
But unlike George Stephanopoulos, who was even more homophobic in his interview with Ewan McGregor a few weeks ago, Ms. Viera recognized that the exchange could have been offensive to some folks. Shortly after the show, she released this statement:
“During an interview with the cast of The Hurt Locker on Monday, I turned to actor Anthony Mackie and made a joke about “man hugging” in reference to a hug he and fellow actor Jeremy Renner had shared a few weeks earlier on our air. It was meant to be lighthearted, but some were offended by what they believed to be a homophobic comment. That was never my intent, but that doesn’t matter. Words are extremely powerful and should never be chosen lightly, even in a lighthearted moment. I apologize to any and all that I offended. My support of the gay and lesbian community is longstanding and well documented. It has not and will never waver.”
Thanks, Meredith. If only other folks would follow your lead in recognizing homophobia, owning it, and reaching out as you have done.
(Thanks to Good As You.)