Imagine Disrespecting Gayle King

Christopher Luu
·4 min read
Imagine Disrespecting Gayle King

This Is How Gayle King Kept Her Cool During Her R. Kelly Interview

Kelly cried, screamed, and jumped out of his seat.

Just hours before she was arrested, Miya Ponsetto — who has earned the not-so-flattering nickname SoHo Karen — appeared alongside CBS This Morning host Gayle King for a virtual interview.

Back on December 26, People reports, Ponsetto was caught on camera approaching a Black teen, the son of Keyon Harrold, at the Arlo Hotel in New York City. She accused the teen of stealing her cell phone in what's being called a case of racial profiling and harassment. As King recounted the facts this morning, Ponsetto snapped "Enough!" and gestured defiantly — and proceeded to get called out on Twitter. The 22-year-old woman was compared to a petulant teenager and, well, much worse.

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It was supposed to be a story of redemption. Instead, Ponsetto told King, "I admit, I could have approached the situation differently, or maybe not yelled at him like that or made him feel ... inferior, or like I was hurting his feelings" and then proceeded to yell at her, saying, "I don't feel that is who I am; I don't feel this one mistake defines me."

When King mentioned that Ponsetto's alleged actions were, in fact, wrong, she snapped: "OK, so basically I'm a 22-year-old girl. Racism, uh, is … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?" eventually adding, "alright Gayle, enough!"

Twitter users (who managed to get daddy trending because of Ponsetto's hat) were appalled at her actions, pointing out that it was just another instance of her privilege. Nylon (citing podcaster Alex Cooper) reports that the hat is from Urban Outfitters and was swiftly removed from the store's offerings after it managed to trend on Twitter.

In further clips from the interview, Ponsetto attempted to deny that race played a role in the altercation.

"You keep saying you're Puerto Rican. Does that mean that you can't be racist because you're saying you're a woman of color? Is that what you mean?" King asked.

"Exactly," Ponsetto replied, prompting King to reply, "I would disagree with that."

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In a statement to CBS This Morning, the teen's parents clarified that SoHo Karen didn't actually apologize during the interview.

"This is not about an apology from someone who, until a few days ago, was claiming she did nothing wrong, and in fact alleged Keyon Harrold Sr. had assaulted her," a statement from the family reads. "Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin."

Ponsetto was arrested Thursday in California on a fugitive warrant, NBC News reports.

This post was updated to include additional interview footage.