The internet did not respond kindly to Ellen Pompeo calling Kamala Harris “overconfident.” The Grey’s Anatomy star was tuned into the second Democratic debate on Wednesday, but riled people up with remarks about Harris on Twitter.
Pompeo’s controversial comment came in response to a Bloomberg tweet suggesting that an “emerging trend” in the debate was that Kamala Harris only wanted to debate Biden. The star’s response: “Because she’s overconfident and believes he is her only competition.”
Because she’s overconfident and believes he is her only competition https://t.co/HYPRXtoLIr— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
Many interpreted her criticism as a “racial comment,” and took Pompeo to task. “Black women are allowed only a certain amount of confidence,” one person tweeted. “Must always yield something to whatever white man is around.”
Black women are allowed only a certain amount of confidence. must always yield something to whatever white man is around— Petty_Shabazz 🌈 (@a_for2day) August 1, 2019
Another wrote, “I know you didn’t just call a black woman running for president overconfident.”
I know you didn’t just call a black woman running for President overconfident. Sit your ass down.— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) August 1, 2019
Others suggested that her comment was meant to suggest Harris was being “uppity” and said that “white women need to do better.”
Let me be very clear this was racist— Delonté Donray ➒ (@dilemmv) August 1, 2019
Wow I disagree with that. Is overconfident the acceptable way of saying uppity? Every single person on the stage was confident but somehow the black woman....... White women need to do better, be the change we need. ..— AuntieBS (@BsAuntie) August 1, 2019
You don't get to call a WOC who went to Howard U, got her law degree at UC Hastings, was the first black woman DA in SF's history, was the first POC AG of any state, is the 2nd black woman Senator/1st S.Asian woman Senator in US history ... that she's overconfident. Gtfo. https://t.co/bPFA1XuLXd— K@ren V@lenzuela 🐘🦈 (@VictoriaNoir89) August 1, 2019
Just say what you're thinking - Kamala Harris is "uppity".— Powerful Mel Ankoly 🦈 #ForThePeople (@Mel_Ankoly) August 1, 2019
Um excuse me...you work for a confident Black woman, and are married to a Black man, with biracial children, you might want to watch how you frame your language about the only Black woman candidate🙄🙄🙄🙄— Corey Bu-Shea (@coreybking) August 1, 2019
Good God. Is that like being over-prepared? What an awful and demeaning comment to a strong Black Woman.— Alexandra (@nycbubbles) August 1, 2019
Just stop with the hate. White women must do better.— Native Wakandan Here on H1B Work Visa (@MargueriteEHill) August 1, 2019
“Overconfident”. I guess even with all your activism, you can’t help but let that 53% come out every once in awhile pic.twitter.com/PA8hV8DyYg— Five by Five🇵🇷 (@buffypolitics) August 1, 2019
On top of that, her comment was also slammed for being sexist:
Oh Ellen, what an awful take. First she doesn’t have to bother challenging candidates polling at 1%. Second, men never have to apologize for being tough & confident.— Violet Skyye (@Violetskyye) August 1, 2019
Overconfident? Yikes on the unintended sexism. pic.twitter.com/ZUmv6suCxo— Ladaaaaan. (@Drilllinayy) August 1, 2019
That's some heinous misogyny you're pushing with that comment.— JC (@AirborneChick2) August 1, 2019
Pompeo — who never shies away from a discussion about race (and has faced criticism that she’s anti-white for “celebrating brown people”) — soon found herself defending her tweet. She said the fact that it was turned into a “racial comment” was “so weak.” She added, “Stop looking for sh** to get mad about.”
Not sure why my comment is now a racial comment ..so weak.. two people on a stage with a bunch of others they all came off a certain way and they are up there for intreptation... stop looking for shit to get mad about https://t.co/yox5u2D8T4— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
And responded directly to some of her critics:
I do but all the back and forth with him was so pointless why did she even stoop to that level? Just tear it up with a plan.... stop all that foolish back and forth with Biden... the fighting is such a waste of time and and she should be past that they already sparred https://t.co/1dE69ocxGp— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
She does in her life... but in this race on that stage she should have cared more about telling us some ideas than wasting her time with Biden... he’s not saying anything new or interesting ignore that fool https://t.co/XWwgrlnvrI— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
First I don’t have to tip toe around when I’m talking about a performance on a stage by a candidate... to me that’s what she is first in this context.. race has nothing to do with her ideas or plans as a candidate... it informs her plans but I only care about their ideas https://t.co/kzGQDTJkLh— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
Not even close to what I said or the context I said it in.. https://t.co/6C1gwhLUeJ— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
Never said she was unqualified and her race and gender have nothing to do with my comment about her performance and how she spent her time on stage https://t.co/rIgOPvE5Ul— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
At the end of the night, she signed off with love — and reminded people that she’s allowed to have opinions.
Goodnight everybody ...love you all no matter what ... you can feel anyway you want ....but so can I ...and have love for everyone ❤️💋💯— Ellen Pompeo (@EllenPompeo) August 1, 2019
Soledad O’Brien was one of those in Pompeo’s corner. “Save your energy and fight with actual terrible people, not each other,” she wrote.
Since I’m big fans of you both I would argue: everyone gets to have their perspective and their opinion. Save your energy and fight with actual terrible people, not each other. https://t.co/YEbTosu4dz— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) August 1, 2019
Pompeo wasn’t alone in thinking that Harris didn’t have a great night. One of the most talked-about moments was when she was ripped into by Tulsi Gabbard for her record on marijuana prosecutions and death penalty.
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