Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes is Sorry She Snubbed Michelle Obama

Wanda Sykes, comedienne, TV producer, actress, and Emmy Award-winning writer, once sat near former First Lady Michelle Obama at an event during former President Barack Obama’s first year in office.

Most people in that situation would have relished the opportunity. But, at the time, Sykes wasn’t interested in a conversation. She snubbed one of the most popular people on the planet.

In promotion of her new Netflix special, “Not Normal,” Sykes talked about regretting the snub. During the 2009 White House Correspondents dinner, Michelle Obama wanted to chat, but Skyes’ mind was preoccupied.

“I still kick myself about it,” Sykes said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “When I did the dinner, I was sitting pretty much right next to Michelle Obama. She kept trying to make conversation, but I was so focused on having to go up and perform that I was blowing her off. I think I even looked at her one time like: “Will you shut up? Don’t you see I’m sitting here going over my notes?”

Luckily for Sykes, Michelle Obama has a good sense of humor.

“I saw her on her book tour, and we laughed about it,” Sykes said. “She was like, ‘I was just trying to make conversation, and you wanted nothing to do with me.'”

The day she snubbed the First Lady, Skyes actually made history becoming the first openly lesbian and African-American woman to appear at the White House Correspondents Dinner. After coming out in 2008, Sykes has used her platform to support the LGBT community and promote equality.

‘I pick up my phone, and it’s blowing up’

As a TV producer, her credits include “The Cosby Show,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “That ’70s Show,” and most recently, the reboot of the sitcom “Roseanne.”

But after Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about former President Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett, there was an immense backlash, and Sykes decided to depart from the show. ABC wound up booting Barr and changing the show to “The Conners.”

“The morning we were ready to come back for the second season, I pick up my phone, and it’s blowing up,” she told The New York Times. “I’m like, ‘What is this?’ I looked at the Valerie Jarrett tweet, and I was like, Aw, jeez, I can’t condone this.

“I emailed Bruce and Tom Werner and I was like, ‘Guys, I can’t be a part of this.” I didn’t hear anything right away. They were probably busy trying to figure out what they were going to do. So then I said: ‘I’ve got to get ahead of this. I can’t just be silent.’ That’s why I said I wouldn’t be going back.”

When asked if she thinks Barr is a racist, Sykes said:

“I think she has some issues. She’s said that she had some mental issues. But I don’t know. Here’s the thing. You could be a good person and a racist and not even know it. All racism doesn’t have to be nasty.”

Related Story: Roseanne Barr’s Kooky Racism Was Public For Years 

Latest News

girls high school sports

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Officially Bans Transgender Students From School Sports

Holding true to threats he has made in the past, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has officially signed into Texas state law a rule that would restrict transgender students from participating in high school sports consistent with their gender identity. ESPN’s Katie Barnes reported that following Abbott’s action, Texas has become…


New FBI Report Estimates Anti-Asian Hate in the United States Increased by 73% in 2020

We’ve known anti-Asian sentiment increased dramatically in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but new government data quantifies just how shockingly severe that jump has been. Based on recently released FBI data, Sakshi Venkatraman of NBC News reported that “anti-Asian hate crimes increased more than 73% in…

Boeing building

Boeing Global Services CEO Ted Colbert Named Black Engineer of the Year by ‘US Black Engineer & Information Technology’ Magazine

Originally published at boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The…

map of Iowa

Black Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn Threatened With Lynching After Penning Anti-Trump Op-Ed

An Iowa Democrat has been threatened with violence simply for writing an opinion piece critical of the former president. Brianne Pfannenstiel of the Des Moines Register has reported that “Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn received multiple threats, including one of lynching, after he penned an opinion piece critical of…

Facebook logo

Facebook Forced To Pay a Record $14-Million Settlement for Discriminating Against US Workers

October continues to be a month Facebook likely wishes it could forget. First came Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who explained in chilling detail how the site and its algorithms are designed to profit off what she called “the spread and amplification of hate, misinformation and political unrest.” Then there was…