A co-anchor on the ABC morning show “Good Morning America” offered an apology and an explanation after she offended viewers by using the term “colored people.” The AP reports that Amy Robach, who was co-anchoring as a fill-in for Robin Roberts, used the term this morning during a discussion of diversity in Hollywood.
“Her use of the term sparked criticism on social media. ‘Offensive,’ tweeted one viewer. Another said Robach ‘gets a pass this time’ but vowed to ditch ‘GMA’ for a rival morning program if it happened again,” the AP reports.
Robach was discussing recent criticism of the casting of white actors “in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people.”
Robach explained in a statement released after the broadcast that she meant to say “people of color.” She admitted it was a mistake and said it was “not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life.”
The report notes that the terms used to refer to African-Americans have evolved over time. Deborah E. McDowell, director of the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, is quoted in the report saying: “We no longer use the term colored people, although once upon a time that was a term in use. Now the preferred usage is people of color if you are speaking about people of color broadly. If you are referring specifically to African-Americans, people will frequently be specific and refer to us as African-Americans.”