If you thought you were tired of hearing about Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a cunt, imagine what it must be like to be Samantha Bee. The late-night host opened her show with a frank, sincere apology Wednesday night, complete with Canadian-accented sorrys. The apology was mainly for any offended women, viewers exhausted by the 24-hour news cycle, and the migrant kids Bee was originally trying to draw attention to in the segment in which she dropped the C word. She is not sorry to men or Ted Cruz, but she is really sorry about the distraction from her juvenile immigration policy investigation.
In fact, Bee felt so bad about taking attention away from those kids that she did yet another segment on them, devoting roughly one third of her show’s half-hour time slot to the issue. According to Bee, the Trump administration is detaining upwards of 11,000 migrant children without their parents.
The rest of her show poked fun at the incident—the aforementioned segment, for instance, opens with, “Sorry for breaking America?!”—but her cold open made time for a genuine (and yes, still funny) mea culpa. You can watch both Bee’s opening speech and migrant children segment below, beneath a transcript of her apology.
Hi, I’m Samantha Bee. You know, a lot of people were offended and angry that I used an epithet to describe the president’s daughter and adviser last week. It is a word I have used on the show many times, hoping to reclaim it. This time, I used it as an insult. I crossed the line, I regret it, and I do apologize for that. The problem is that many women have heard that word at the worst moment of their lives. A lot of them don’t want that word reclaimed, they want it gone. And I don’t blame them! I don’t want to inflict more pain on them. I want this show to be challenging and I want it to be honest, but I never intended it to hurt anyone, except Ted Cruz. Many men were also offended by my use of the word. I do not care about that.
I hate that this distracted from more important issues. I hate that I did something to contribute to the nightmare of 24-hour news cycles that we’re all white-knuckling through. I should’ve known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile immigration policy. I would do anything to help those kids. I hate that this distracted from them, so to them I am also sorry.
And look, if you are worried about the death of civility, don’t sweat it. I’m a comedian. People who hone their voices in basement bars while yelling back at drunk hecklers are definitely not paragons of civility. I am! I’m really sorry that I said that word, but you know what? Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions. OK! Thanks for listening.