A morning news anchor found herself at the center of criticism when she called Black actors “colored people.”
Amy Robach covered the controversy surrounding Zendaya’s casting as Mary Jane in the new “Spider-Man” reboot. While addressing Hollywood giving roles of Black characters to white actors, she referred to Black stars with the outdated term.
“Now we all know Hollywood has received recent and quite a bit of criticism for casting white actors in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people,” Robach said on Good Morning America Monday. “Is this potentially the industry trying to right itself doing something right? What do you make of this move? Could it be in reaction to all of that negative press before?”
Black Twitter largely reacted in disbelief over the Georgia native’s comments.
Jill Karshell thought GMA needed to teach Robach about proper terminology.
— Jill Karshell (@JillKarshell) August 22, 2016
Jordan Warren hoped someone pointed out the error.
— Jordan Warren (@misterjordanow) August 22, 2016
User FABWP threatened to find a different news show to watch each morning if Robach uttered the phrase again.
— FABWP (@_fabwp) August 22, 2016
MaryJo Robinson wondered how the program would respond.
— MaryJo Robinson (@dolliedimple) August 22, 2016
ZsaVette Ellis-Frye tweeted GMA should let Robach know that the phrase is “highly offensive.” She recorded her reaction to the anchor’s statement with the hashtag #ZendayaWillSlayAsMaryJane.
@neicilaw thought she had traveled to a different decade.
— Cinnamon Says 🌺 (@neicilaw) August 22, 2016
Tori Lynn also questioned the current decade.
— Tori Lynn☀️ (@victorialj1908) August 22, 2016
@Msleeturner1 said she “got floored” by Robach’s description of African-Americans.
While Shannon admonished the reporter.
— Shannon ✊🏾 (@ATLFalconGirl) August 22, 2016
According to Atlanta Black Star producers cast Zendaya, whose mother is white and father is Black, as the webbed superhero’s love interest. Typically, white actresses play the character. When news broke that the Disney Channel star would be involved in the upcoming film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” many voiced their irritation.
Still, others were happy about Zendaya’s participation.
— Pretty Brown & Nerdy (@PBNtweets) August 18, 2016
Update: Robach has apologized for her phrasing, calling it a “mistake.”
In a statement released to the Associated Press after GMA‘s broadcast this morning, the anchor said she meant to say, “people of color.” She mentioned the phrase “colored people” was “not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life.”