A CNN anchor has drawn criticism for what many perceive as a racist assumption about a spelling bee winner.
Ananya Vinay, 12, appeared on CNN via satellite Thursday to celebrate her big win at the Scripps National Spelling Bee earlier that day. The day before, President Donald Trump had tweeted out the mysterious word ‘covfefe,’ so the anchors, Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo, asked Ananya to spell it.
Since the spelling bee winner had been at a 13-hour spelling bee that day and not on Twitter, Ananya appeared to be unfamiliar with the word, which doesn’t exist, but offered a spelling anyway.
Camerota further derailed the already awkward interview by suggesting the California native is “used to” speaking Sanskrit, which the anchor had for some reason associated with ‘covfefe,’ which was very likely an uncorrected typo.
“It’s a nonsense word. So, we’re not sure that its root is actually in Sanskrit, which is what you’re probably, uh, used to using, so, I don’t know. Anyway,” Camerota said.
Her co-anchor appeared to be momentarily taken aback by her claim and Ananya simply looked down and gave a half-shrug before the interview quickly wrapped up.
Watch the cringe-worthy interview here:
Ananya Vinay is the first solo National Spelling Bee winner in four years.