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

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.”

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:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: