Better late than never, we suppose… but still, we shudder to think that comments like this were ever part of mainstream entertainment dialogue.
Nikki Bella is apologizing publicly this week after past comments she made about late former pro wrestler Joanie “Chyna” Laurer made the rounds online.
The comments — which occurred back in 2013 during an appearance The Bella Twins made on the popular show Fashion Police — have been universally (and rightfully) criticized as being transphobic.
In a recently-resurfaced video clip that was filmed now not even nine years ago, Nikki can be seen on the set of the infamous fashion commentary show holding up a picture of Chyna and saying (below):
“We don’t know if it’s a man or a woman.”
Longtime Fashion Police host Joan Rivers then piles on, adding (below):
“ vagina has a penis.”
Here’s the controversial old clip in question:
Though Chyna died back in 2016 after an accidental drug overdose, her official Twitter account is still active, being run by “those who want to honor her legacy.” Over the weekend, that account took notice of the resurfaced Nikki Bella clip from 2013 and commented on it, heightening the controversy considerably.
In a since-deleted tweet about the embattled Bella Twins star’s Fashion Police comments, Chyna’s Twitter account wrote (below):
“That video from the @BellaTwins is disrespectful. Chyna would of been hurt by this. But we will just show love. I just hope they are sorry. We will run this page and campaign with light not hate.”
Fans attempted to soften the blow in response, with some saying it was “a comedy show” and others wondering whether Nikki’s comment was “scripted for Joan to deliver the punch line.” Could be! Even if that is true, though, the comments are still “disrespectful, period” regardless of the context, as Chyna’s account noted in a response to the original tweet.
And now, just days later, Nikki is owning up to it.
Writing on the official Bella Twins Twitter account on Monday morning, the 37-year-old reality TV star and retired pro wrestler offered up an apology:
“I want to sincerely apologize for a comment I made over 8 years ago on Fashion Police. I am sorry and embarrassed by my 29 year old self, who offended Chyna and, in turn, hurt her family and others. I wish I could take it back. Please learn from me, it’s not worth hurting someone’s feelings for a meaningless laugh. Chyna will always be remembered as an icon and pioneer who helped create the opportunities for women in wrestling that exist today. Thank you Chyna!”
Here’s the full tweet (below):
Obviously, we can see where Nikki is coming from here. We’ve said plenty of stupid s**t in the past, so we’re certainly open to giving a second chance to those who can admit their mistakes, apologize for them, and grow from them!
But, yeah, that was also a super transphobic comment, one that punches down for no reason other than to be cruel. So the anger pointed at Nikki totally makes sense, as those jokes are legitimately offensive and inappropriate.
Thank goodness so many more people understand that now — that would never fly on TV today.
We suppose that all we can do now is advocate for a kinder, more inclusive society for all people as we move forward so comments like that old Fashion Police quip are never, ever considered to be acceptable again.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Where do U stand on this apology? Sound off with your take here down in the comment (below)…
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