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Chris Cuomo Apologizes for Quip About Preferred Gender Pronouns at CNN Town Hall

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has apologized for making a quip about preferred gender pronouns during a CNN town hall event with California Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

CNN ran a series of town hall events focused on LGBTQ equality, and Cuomo moderated Senator Harris’ half-hour. Cuomo introduced Harris to lengthy applause from the audience, and had an awkward exchange.

“Good to see you senator. Thank you for joining us,” Cuomo said.

“Hi, how are you? How are you?” Harris said.

She then thanked the crowd, and told Cuomo “My pronouns are she, her, and hers.”

“She, her, and hers?” Cuomo said, then smiled and added “Mine, too.”

“All right,” Harris said.

That crack earned Cuomo the wrong kind of attention on social media.

The listing of pronouns by cisgender people is intended to show solidarity with trans and gender-non-conforming people, to make others feel comfortable listing their own preferred pronouns, and to push back against the hurtful practice of misgendering.

Many users who took the joke as mockery of pronoun sensitivity were offended by the remark , and perhaps even more painfully, many others cheered Cuomo for what they also perceived as mockery, but deserved mockery.

Later in the night, Cuomo apologized via Twitter, writing “When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. 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.”

Cuomo has consistently called out anti-LGBT policies and personalities on his show, but the true test of an ally may be in how they handle intense criticism.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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