Amid an advertiser and conservative backlash, Samantha Bee has apologized for calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt” on last night’s Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.
The comment came during a Full Frontal segment in which Bee was discussing how the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement had “lost” 1,500 migrant children last year, and how the country was now separating all children from their parents who attempted to come into the country illegally.
Then, after pointing out that Trump had tweeted a photo of her with her son last weekend, Bee said, “Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt! He listens to you! Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to fucking stop it.”
The expletives were bleeped out of the TBS broadcast.
The comment prompted a backlash today, with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders calling Bee’s language “vile and vicious” and “not fit for broadcast,” while two Full Frontal sponsors announced they were pulling out of the show.
Conservative groups drew parallels to ABC’s recent cancellation of Roseanne following Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about President Obama’s White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and demanded that TBS take action.
Bee issued her apology this afternoon.
Shortly afterward, TBS issued a statement of its own: “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. It was our mistake too, and we regret it.” Parent company Turner also pulled a clip of the Full Frontal segment off of YouTube.
Prior to Bee’s apology, Autotrader announced that it would no longer be sponsoring Full Frontal, calling Bee’s comments “offensive and unacceptable.”
UPDATE: Late Thursday afternoon, State Farm also announced it was suspending its advertising on Full Frontal. The company said in a statement: “As part of our overall advertising with TBS, our ad did appear last night. We have asked TBS to suspend our advertising in the program and are reviewing any future placements. We constantly review programs to ensure alignment to our programming guidelines and brand values.”
Speaking with Adweek earlier this month, Bee admitted that Full Frontal and her approach to comedy isn’t for all advertisers:
“I’m almost certain that it has scared away some brands. And I actually really can understand why. We can’t change our content to suit brands. I’d rather not be on television than do that. We cannot have a brand dictate the content of our show. No thanks. I would exit TV. Bye. I’m too old for that bullshit. But I do think that there are brands out there who are brave enough to advertise on our show and are forward-thinking. There really are. I have to believe that.”