CNN anchor Chris Cuomo cracked a tone-deaf joke at the network’s LGBTQ town hall debate Thursday night — sparking uproar on social media and prompting the anchor to issue an apology.
Cuomo was welcoming Sen. Kamala Harris onstage in Los Angeles when the 2020 Democratic candidate told him, “My pronouns are she, her, and hers.”
“She, her and hers? Mine too,” Cuomo replied with a smile, eliciting audible groans from the audience.
“All right,” Harris finally replied, ending an awkward silence.
Cuomo was quickly roasted on social media over the gaffe.
“Dear @ChrisCuomo, people’s pronouns are not a punchline,” the National Center for Lesbian Rights tweeted.
“In a year where LGBTQ Americans are finally being recognized on the national Presidential stage, making jokes about gender pronouns is beneath your dignity. Please do better in the future.”
Josh Stickney, a spokesman for Equality California and Silver State Equality in Nevada, expressed his “incredible disappointment.”
“When HALF of trans teens attempt suicide for bullying and harassment, this kind of mocking is unacceptable,” Stickney tweeted.
GLAAD, meanwhile, tweeted, “Kamala Harris declared her pronouns on such a major stage and she should be applauded but instead it was so disappointing for Chris Cuomo to mock it in that moment.”
Cuomo issued a mea culpa later that night.
“PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize,” he tweeted.
“I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall.”
The hotheaded host is no stranger to spats over how people are addressed — having been famously caught on camera over the summer lashing out at being called “Fredo,” which he compared to the N-word.