*The “Today” show apologized for a joke aired on Wednesday morning’s broadcast that riffed on the news that the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral used fake signs during world leaders’ remarks.
During their segment on the story, an inset image of some random man mimicking the motions of sign language to interpret the hosts’ words appeared onscreen for several seconds on Today.
The hosts appear to immediately recognize that the joke was in poor taste. “No, guys, let’s not do that,” said host Natalie Morales as soon as the image appeared onscreen. “No, no, wrong,” added Al Roker, who covered his face with his hands.
“We aired a joke in our 9:00 hour that was offensive. We apologize to our viewers,” the show later wrote on its official Twitter account.
The online clip that Today posted on its website shows a different angle than the widely circulated YouTube clip showing the incident (below, via New York Daily News). Only the audible reactions of Morales and Roker can be heard in the official “Today” clip.
In the same segment, Morales tried to defend the look on Michelle Obama’s face while her husband was taking the infamous selfie with British prime minister David Cameron and Denmark’s prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Morales argued that the First Lady wasn’t showing disgust. It was just that some people have a ”bitchy resting face.”
“How many of us have photos taken of us…you just have that bitchy resting face, as we say,” Morales giggled.
“With all due respect to the First Lady,” a surprised Willie Geist interjected.