NYC Mayor De Blasio Defends Making Racial Joke On Stage With Clinton (VIDEO)

|
April 12, 2016 10:21 a.m.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday evening that people are “missing the point” of a joke he told during a weekend comedy skit with Hillary Clinton, which was widely interpreted as racially charged.

“It was clearly a staged show, it was a scripted show. The whole idea was to do the counterintuitive,” de Blasio said on CNN.

“Every actor involved, including Hillary Clinton and Leslie Odom Jr., thought it was a joke on a different convention, that was the whole idea of it, so I think people are missing the point here,” he continued.

The bit was part of the annual Inner Circle dinner on Saturday, which also involved de Blasio rapping along with Odom Jr., a star of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Clinton made a surprise appearance on stage, and joked to the mayor, “Thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough,” which drew cheers and laughs from the crowd.

De Blasio responded with the crack, “Sorry Hillary, I was running on C.P. time,” a reference to the negative stereotype “Colored People Time.”

In video of the skit, Clinton slowly turns away from de Blasio and Odom Jr., who is black, says, “That’s not – I don’t like jokes like that, Bill.”

After another beat, Clinton replied, “Cautious politician time. I’ve been there.”

The skit sparked widespread backlash online, and the New York Daily News skewered the joke on its cover, which slapped the headline “skit for brains” over a laughing photo of Clinton and de Blasio.

Watch the full skit online via the NYC Mayor’s Office, with the joke starting around eight minutes in:

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Senior Editor for Content Strategy and Audience Development:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: