“There are certain things you just don’t talk about,” he said. Sherri Shepherd on her co-speaker today. Then she indicated that these recurring themes are “politics, religion and Rihanna against Beyoncé.
Here is part of what take first said the star. For context, Smith was asked about his thoughts on the upcoming Rihanna power first half performance.
I don’t want to say I’m not excited. It’s a great. This is not where I go with this. It’s a lot. she’s amazing. And congrats on the new Mama Hood. There’s one thing she doesn’t: She’s not Beyoncé. [Audience boos] The only reason I raised Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl. And without Bruno Mars and Coldplay.
For Smith, who is ESPN’s highest-paid personality precisely because of these hot performances, comparing two great musicians and choosing one over the other feels like good TV. But there is a difference between comparing and rating performers in an inherently competitive arena like sports and comparing and rating performers in the more subjective world of entertainment. Especially when those actors are two black women in an industry that still struggles with racism and sexism. Today, Shepard got her finger on one of those hot buttons.
Stephen A, he used to be on his show take firstHost Sherry noted, “And he was used to a group of men. But he was never in front of an audience of women. When he did that, I was like, ‘Oooooohhh.’”
For his part, Smith apologized not once but twice.
First, he posted a video trying to provide context that he says will compare anyone attending the Super Bowl halftime show to featured performances from Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars.
“Michael Jackson can still be alive and I would say, ‘He has to live up to that,’” Smith said in the clip. “I’ve always said that. I meant that as disrespectful to Rihanna. I know she’s awesome, and she’s my sister. Nothing but love for her. But Beyoncé is my sister, too. I got love for both of them. I just think Beyoncé is the greatest performer today.”
Just minutes after that video was posted, in a series of tweets, the ESPN personality called his televised comments “a horrible mistake” and “something that was supposed to be… [sic] To have a fun moment on The Sherri Shepherd Show just got out of hand.”
He continued, “My apologies again to Rihanna. To be clear, I’m a huge fan. Cherie and I were having fun. That’s all.”
The posts had more than 10 million views by midday Thursday.
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