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MSNBC anchor apologizes for mocking Mitt Romney's family photo with black grandchild

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 10:45 p.m. MDT

Mitt and Ann Romney with their grandchildren. (Mitt Romney Twitter account) Mitt and Ann Romney with their grandchildren. (Mitt Romney Twitter account)

On Christmas Eve, Mitt Romney posted a family picture on Twitter of him and his wife Ann, along with their grandchildren. In the post, Romney wished all a Merry Christmas.

But what MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry drew attention to was the fact that sitting on Romney's knee was one African-American grandchild, Kieran James, the adopted son of Mitt's son Ben, which she pointed out during a segment on Sunday.

Harris-Perry asked guests on the show for a caption to go along with the family photo to which actress Pia Glenn responded, "One of these is not like the others. One of these things just isn't the same."

Since Harris-Perry's segment, many have accused the host of going too far with her racist remarks, and on Tuesday morning she released an apology on Twitter.

"I am sorry. Without reservation or qualification. I apologize to the Romney family. #MHPapology," Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, with his laptop at hand, sits with his family by Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, July 14, 2012, at his home in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Evan Vucci, AP) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, with his laptop at hand, sits with his family by Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, July 14, 2012, at his home in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Evan Vucci, AP)

She later continued, saying: "As black child born into large white Mormon family I feel familiarity w/ Romney family pic & never meant to suggest otherwise."

"I apologize to all families built on loving transracial adoptions who feel I degraded their lives or choices."

Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin was quick to call out the cable news station for tasteless mockery.

"Holy unbelievable. The hypocritical leftist lamestream media should be shamed by every caring, child-loving American. It has once again reached a new low," Palin wrote on her Facebook page.

Standing with their families, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann, and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., second right, stands with his wife Janna after Romney's concession speech at his election night rally in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (Charles Dharapak, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Standing with their families, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann, and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., second right, stands with his wife Janna after Romney's concession speech at his election night rally in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (Charles Dharapak, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

"It's a beautiful thing the Romney family has done by embracing 'the spirit of adoption.' What on earth is more beautiful? Shame on MSNBC for mocking this."

Glenn also responded on Twitter, questioning the media outcry over the segment.

"If I point out the 1 black person & you translate that as an attack ON HIM, who's racist? I don't personally see anything wrong with being black," Glenn tweeted.

But several hours later, after responding to many angry messages online, Glenn addressed those she and Harris-Perry had offended.

"Adoptive parents giving a child of ANY ethnicity a loving home, I apologize. I absolutely did not intend to harm you, but it seems that I have."

Mitt Romney posted this picture announcing the adoption of his 22nd grandchild, Kieran James Romney. (Mitt Romney Twitter account) Mitt Romney posted this picture announcing the adoption of his 22nd grandchild, Kieran James Romney. (Mitt Romney Twitter account)

Glenn continued to post apologies to multiracial families and adoptive families.

"I am absolutely aware of the added challenges of interracial adoptive families and I see how I added to that. I did not mean to. Still wrong," Glenn posted.

"As I said earlier, any parent who gives any child a loving home is doing a wonderful thing. Period."

Racist remarks regarding multiracial families have made other headlines this year. This past summer, Cheerios released a commercial featuring a biracial family. But owner General Mills had to disable comments for the ad on YouTube due to offensive remarks.

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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