NBC "Today Show" co-host, Meredith Vieira, apologizes for gay panic "joke"

"During a celebratory interview with the cast of the multi-award winning movie, The Hurt Locker, NBC “Today Show” co-host, Meredith Vieira, jokingly made reference to a past hug between actors Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner at the time the film was nominated," reports GLAAD.

VIEIRA: “You hugged him pretty tight, I must say, in the moment. There was a lot of man lovin’ goin’ on last night. Do I have reason to be worried?”
Anthony Mackie then offered a heartfelt response, completely disarming the idea that there may be a problem with two men embracing.

Meredith Vieira's statement:
“During an interview with the cast of the hurt locker on Monday, I turned to actor Anthony Mackie and made a joke about “man hugging” in reference to a hug he and fellow actor Jeremy Renner had shared a few weeks earlier on our air. It was meant to be lighthearted, but some were offended by what they believed to be a homophobic comment. That was never my intent, but that doesn’t matter. Words are extremely powerful and should never be chosen lightly, even in a lighthearted moment. I apologize to any and all that I offended. My support of the gay and lesbian community is longstanding and well documented. It has not and will never waver.” See video here.

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