Alisyn Camerota, the host of a CNN show, has been accused of making a 'racist' comment when speaking to 12-year-old Ananya Vinay, winner of the Scripps Spelling Bee contest.
Ananya, who is of Indian origin but was born and raised in Fresno, California, was recently named champion of the 2017 spelling bee competition, among approximately 11 million others who had entered the competition.
The host, Alisyn passed the 'racist' comment after Chris Cuomo, a second host, asked Ananya to spell the word 'covfefe', which Ananya couldn't spell correctly. Calling it a "nonsense word", Alisyn said that Ananya probably spelt it incorrectly on air because "its root is not in Sanskrit, which is what you're probably used to using."
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Alisyn then corrected Ananya's spelling of the word after her comment and said "so, I don't know. Anyway."
The word had been used earlier by President Donald Trump in a tweet which read, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe." The tweet had stayed up for five hours on his account and was mocked on social media.
After hearing the host's comment, tweets circulated on social media about the remark being racist but a response has not yet been received by CNN or the show's host.
CNN anchor assumes spelling bee champ, who happens to be of Indian descent, uses Sanskrit to find the origin of a word. Watch: https://t.co/LIPkEGozVF— Asha Dahya (She/Her) (@Ashadahya) June 4, 2017
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12-year-old Ananya Vinay won the National Spelling Bee so naturally CNN had her on to spell "covfefe" and say some racist stuff to her. pic.twitter.com/Qirb8CpBV9— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) June 3, 2017
CNN also has a pending class action suit which allegedly claims that African-American employees were given lower performance ratings as well as unequal pay in comparison to other employees.
Meanwhile, ESPN commentators called Ananya 'unflappable' for her demeanour throughout the competition.
As the winner, Ananya took home $40,000, which she said will go towards her university education.
This article originally appeared on The Independent
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