ST. PAUL, Minn. – GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann received an apology from an NBC executive after an off-color song was played during her appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night,” her spokeswoman said late Wednesday.
The Minnesota congresswoman received a personal letter from NBC’s vice president for late night programming, Doug Vaughan, a day after she appeared on the show. As Bachmann walked onstage, the show’s band had played a snippet of a 1985 Fishbone song whose title includes a derogatory term for women.
Vaughan wrote that the incident was “not only unfortunate but also unacceptable,” Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told the Associated Press. She said Vaughan offered his sincerest apologies and said the band had been “severely reprimanded.”
Fallon also apologized to Bachmann when they spoke earlier Wednesday, she said. He’d tweeted earlier, saying he was “so sorry about the intro mess.”
“He was extremely nice and friendly and offered his apology, and she accepted it,” Stewart said, adding that the comedian said he was unaware the band planned to play the song. “It’s just unfortunate that someone had to do something so disrespectful.”
Bachmann lashed out earlier Wednesday at NBC for not apologizing or taking immediate disciplinary action. In her first comments on the flap, Bachmann said on the Fox News Channel that the Fallon show band displayed sexism and bias by playing the song.
“This is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite,” Bachmann said. She added, “This wouldn’t be tolerated if this was Michelle Obama. It shouldn’t be tolerated if it’s a conservative woman either.”
In her Fox interview, Bachmann suggested that discipline for the show’s band, The Roots, was in order. She said she believed Fallon’s comments to be sincere.
The Roots’ bandleader, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, has said the song was a “tongue-in-cheek and spur-of-the-moment decision.”