The “Today” show offended some viewers on Wednesday morning when they attempted to make a joke about the fake sign-language interpreter that appeared at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. The “joke” didn’t go over well.
While the hosts were discussing the controversy surrounding the interpreter, an apparent “Today” show producer popped up in the corner of the screen and began making fake signing gestures.
Host Natalie Morales immediately piped up to try and stop the offensive footage from airing.
“Oh no, no, no. Guys, let’s not do that,” Morales said, shaking her head.
The other "Today" stars chimed in to agree and the hosts’ disapproval quickly got the producer removed from the air, but the damage was already done.
@TODAYshow Needs to send out Apology for your disregard to deaf people that your producers willingly aired making sign language mockery. :-(— Angela Marie (@angela_fayard) December 11, 2013
@TODAYshow That was uncalled for! Your producer or camera man didn't need to add insult to injury. Being hearing impaired or deaf is no joke— Angela Marie (@angela_fayard) December 11, 2013
Isn't it little too early to be making fun of deaf people, @TODAYshow?— E. Schuman (@theericschuman) December 11, 2013
The NBC show issued an apology to the members of the deaf community that they offended.
We aired a joke in our 9:00 hour that was offensive. We apologize to our viewers.— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2013