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A Fox News commentator has apologized for making a racist remark to a black guest during a "Fox & Friends" segment on Sunday.
During a discussion on the rhetoric used while debating immigration, conservative David Bossie told Joel Payne, a black Democratic strategist, “you’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
Payne seemed taken aback by the comment, and responded, “Cotton-picking mind? Brother, let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton and I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that.”
Bossie, a deputy campaign manager for President Donald Trump and president of conservative advocacy organization Citizens United, continued to insist that Payne was out of his mind.
Hours later — amid an influx of criticism on social media — Bossie tweeted an apology, writing, “During a heated segment on ‘Fox & Friends’ today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did. I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers.”
Fox News also addressed the incident, calling Bossie’s remarks “deeply offensive” and “wholly inappropriate” in a statement, CNN reports.
“His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them,” the statement continued.
Fox News did not comment on whether or not Bossie would be suspended following his remarks, CNN reports.
The network’s statements are in line with the commentary host Ed Henry made later during Sunday’s segment.
“I want to make clear Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase,” Henry said following a commercial break. “It was obviously offensive, and these debates get fiery. That’s unfortunate.”
During a televised appearance on MSNBC on Sunday, Payne said that he felt “demeaned” by what Bossie had said. After the show was over, the two had a “brief, very terse exchange,” during which Bossie expressed “some regret,” Payne said. As for Bossie’s Twitter apology, Payne said that he accepted it.
“Personally, look, I try not to hold grudges so, for whatever it’s worth, I accept the apology. I appreciate those sentiments,” he said. “I do hope, however, that he’s a little bit more thoughtful going forward.”
“And by the way, this is a person who is routinely in the ear of our president,” he added. “So as offended as I was by David Bossie, I’m even more offended by some of the things that come out of the mouth of the Commander-in-Chief.”
[Photo: David Bossie addresses the crowd during South Carolina Freedom Summit in Greenville, South Carolina on May 9, 2015. By Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]