Robert De Niro Under Fire for ‘First Lady’ Joke

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By: Vibe / March 21, 2012

Actor Robert De Niro may be eating his words today after an ill-received joke at a benefit for President Barack Obama landed him in a bit of controversy.

As Yahoo! reports, during Obama’s reelection campaign in New York City on Monday night, De Niro made a racial joke while introducing First Lady Michelle Obama. He said, “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” 

He then went on record Tuesday, via E! News, and apologized by saying, “My remarks, although spoken with satirical jest, were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone, especially the First Lady.” 

Newt Gingrich, Obama’s Rebublican rival, was not satisfied with De Niro’s joke or apology. While on the campaign trail, he stated, “I think the country is ready for a new first lady, and he doesn’t have to describe it in racial terms.” He continued by saying, “It was at an Obama fundraiser. It is exactly wrong, it divides the country,” calling for Obama himself to issue an apology on behalf of De Niro.

Although we’re sure that Robert De Niro’s comment doesn’t ‘divide’ the country, nor does Obama have an obligation to apologize, the joke should’ve just stayed in his head.—Keenan Higgins