‘It was racist!’ Naomi Campbell calls out Sandra Bernhard for using the N-word to describe Mariah Carey in 1998 comedy show… as the pair discuss race on her No Filter podcast
Naomi Campbell has condemned a past racist remark made by comedienne Sandra Bernhard about her friend Mariah Carey.
In an intimate one-on-one chat between the British supermodel and the American singer that was published on Tuesday, Naomi, 50, brought up the topic of a controversial segment from Bernhard’s show where she used the N-word to describe Carey, who is biracial.
Campbell described the offensive stand-up bit – from Bernhard’s 1998 comedy special, ‘I’m Still Here… Damn It’ – as ‘so rude and disrespectful’ and ‘complete racist’ while speaking on her No Filter podcast.
Seeing red: Naomi Campbell was furious as she called out comedienne Sandra Bernhard for calling Mariah Carey the N-word two decades ago in a podcast chat with the diva on Tuesday
‘People can be very hurtful, but one of the things that hurt me, because I care about you, was what Sandra [Bernhard] said,’ Campbell began.
‘I was just like, “Are you for real?” How did that even slide by. It was so rude and disrespectful. And I will say it here: complete racist. You don’t say that!’ she continued.
‘You are black,’ she said, pointing toward Carey. ‘You have every right. You are working also, in a professional capacity. I just felt like, now, I wanted to clear that up because I was pissed.’
Both Campbell and Carey had spoken earlier in their chat about the impact of racism on their lives, but the model came back to the topic to share her outrage at Bernhard’s comments, which were from her 1998 special.
Unbelievable: ‘I was just like, “Are you for real?” How did that even slide by. It was so rude and disrespectful. And I will say it here: complete racist. You don’t say that!’ Campbell said of Bernhard; shown in August 2019
Offensive: Bernhard called Carey ‘ni****ish’ and criticized her for associating with ‘greasy, chain-wearing Black men’ like ‘Puff Daddy’ in her 1998 stand-up special I’m Still Here… Damn it; seen in 2009
‘And now [Carey’s] trying to backtrack on our a**es, acting real ni****ish up there at the Royalton Hotel suite with Puff Daddy and all the greasy, chain-wearing Black men,’ Bernhard began her bit.
‘”Oh yeah, Daddy. This feels kinda good. I didn’t know I would be into this,”‘ she continued, raising the pitch of her voice to impersonate the singer.
‘“I’ve got a little bit of Black in me, too. I didn’t tell you that,”‘ she ended, referencing Carey’s biracial background, which the singer has talked about throughout her career.
The offensive comedy act resurfaced in August, but Carey has been open about the hurt it caused for decades.
‘Sandra Bernhard used words about me that every African American I know — and definitely I personally — find inappropriate,’ she told Mirabella in 1999, as quoted by SFGate.
‘If my skin were two shades darker, she wouldn’t have done it. I think she perceives me as white, which is a common perception. And, yeah, I am a freaking mutt and interracial freak, but she implied I was a white person trying to be black. And it is offensive to me, because I’ve been the victim of racism on both sides!’
Not a fan: The offensive bit resurfaced in August, but Carey was open about finding it offensive for more than two decades
Misinformed: ‘If my skin were two shades darker, she wouldn’t have done it. I think she perceives me as white, which is a common perception,’ she told Mirabella in 1999
Carey seemed relieved to hear that Campbell was on her side during their chat.
‘I wish I would have called you back when it happened because I was so upset and there was nobody — nobody came to my rescue at that point,’ she said, though she brushed off Bernhard’s remarks as the result of ‘ignorance.’
Campbell went on to criticize people for publicly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement (which Bernhard has done), despite having made racist remarks earlier.
‘Let’s really remember what you said, because those things will come back to haunt you, know what I mean? Now you want to backtrack.’
Reunited: Most of Carey and Campbell’s conversation was more positive and lighthearted, including when the two women tried to reclaim the word ‘diva’
Most of Carey and Campbell’s conversation was more positive and lighthearted, including when the two women tried to reclaim the word ‘diva.’
‘I look at “diva” as a positive word. I think of diva as someone who sings big, but it’s a positive thing,’ Campbell said.
‘I don’t like the negative connotation that the press tried to label the word “diva” with, because they tried to use it in a way to silence you.
‘I don’t have a problem with it either, because I know the actual definition,’ Carey replied.
Simple: Carey said the word refers to ‘typically an opera singer with a soprano voice’ while jettison the other connotations in her book The Meaning Of Mariah Carey
She said she had used the word with its original definition in her new memoir The Meaning Of Mariah Carey when writing about seeing the Black American operatic soprano Leontyne Price perform.
Carey had received a letter from the legendary singer, which she said was ‘one of the greatest things I’ve ever received.’
She went on to give her definition of diva: ‘Typically, it’s a talent woman who is typically an opera singer with a soprano voice. And then everything else, we don’t care what they say.’
The Always Be My Baby singer also said she wanted people to know that ‘the Naomi Campbell that I know has always been there for me and has really gone out of her way to make my life better.’
Sweet: The Always Be My Baby singer wanted people to know that ‘the Naomi Campbell that I know has always been there for me and has really gone out of her way to make my life better’