Comedian Samantha Bee dropped a very specific expletive on Full Frontal Wednesday night, but despite online calls to TBS to cancel her show, the network took ownership of the controversy Thursday, saying "it was our mistake too, and we regret it."
In a segment lambasting the Trump administration's handling of immigration, particularly the separation of children and parents at the US border, Bee called out Ivanka Trump for not speaking out against her father's policies. Bee referred to Trump's daughter as a "feckless c***."
That disparaging term brought an onslaught of online criticism, reminiscent of what occurred with Roseanne Barr this week after a racist Twitter tirade resulted in.
Like Barr, Bee issued an apology on Twitter, 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."
Bee's Full Frontal tackles plenty of political stories, and she isn't afraid to drop cuss words in the pursuit of making a point.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Bee's comments "vile and vicious" and said, "Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network."
TBS did speak out but didn't say anything about canceling the show, which first debuted in early 2016. "Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired," said TBS, which has referred to Bee's series as a "buzz-generating, critically acclaimed show."
Full Frontal has a history of generating strong opinions from both liberals and conservatives. Fans of the show shared their support for Bee on Twitter, with Parks and Recreation actor Billy Eichner tweeting, "Honestly I think Samantha Bee was being generous."
Full Frontal sponsor Autotrader wasn't so forgiving. The car classifieds site pulled its sponsorship of the show, saying "the comments expressed by Samantha Bee were offensive and unacceptable and do not reflect the views of our company."
Insurance company State Farm also suspended its advertising, says it's reviewing future ad placements, according to The Wrap.
Credit card company Discover, however, has chosen to remain, saying on Twitter, "Our media buys consistently change and reflect the diverse content and audiences we serve. Editorial direction and content are created by the individual program. "
Bee's use of the expletive and the ensuing conversation around it has been trending on Twitter all day, fueled in part by comparisons to the Roseanne situation. It's a perfect storm of politics, entertainment, social media and outrage.
First published May 31, 1:08 p.m. PT.
Update, May 31 at 3:04 p.m. PT: Adds to include sponsorship statements from State Farm and Discover.
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