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Chris Cuomo apologizes for failed gender pronoun joke to Kamala Harris at CNN's LGBTQ town hall


That was awkward

Robyn Beck / AFP

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo apologized Thursday night for joking about gender pronouns during a town hall he hosted on CNN focused on LGBTQ issues.

Cuomo was introducing Harris to the stage, and once the applause died down, Harris announced her preferred gender pronouns to the audience.

"Thank you guys," Harris said to the crowd. "And my pronouns are she, her, and hers."

"She, her, and hers?" Cuomo asked. "Mine, too."

"Alright," Harris said, unsure of how to receive such a joke in front of a crowd that obviously would take offense to it.

The backlash, as it almost always does, came in swiftly and severely.

"People's pronouns are not a punchline," a tweet by the National Center for Lesbian Rights said. "In a year where LGBTQ Americans are finally being recognized on the national Presidential stage, making jokes about gender pronouns is beneath your dignity. Please do better in the future."

Cuomo issued an apology on Twitter for the joke.

"When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her's, I said mine too," Cuomo tweeted. "I should not have. I apologize. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall."

Even that apology wasn't enough for some who were offended by the joke.

"Admit what's behind this is YOUR ignorance," Angelica Ross, a transgender actress on the FX show "Pose," wrote. "You just showed you don't understand the importance of pronouns, so how do you confidently crown yourself an ally?"

That wasn't the only awkward moment in CNN's town hall. At one point, former Vice President Joe Biden's habit of invading personal space resurfaced when he appeared to almost kiss CNN's Anderson Cooper while telling a story about former President Barack Obama.

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