Twitter users ripped into ABC’s The View co-host Sunny Hostin for calling former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley a “chameleon” for not going by her first name.
Hostin implied that the former diplomat was self-conscious over her Indian ethnicity so she changed her name, although “Nikki” is her middle name and she’s gone by it since childhood. But even her co-hosts disagreed with the sentiment, as did conservatives on Twitter who accused Hostin of being prejudiced.
Hostin’s controversial statements came in response to co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin remarking on who she thought would be a great GOP candidate for the 2024 presidential election. “I think we’ve got some if they’re willing to challenge Trump,” she started, adding, “I’d love to see Nikki Haley, I’d love to see Liz Cheney…”
Interrupting her, Hostin claimed, “And Nikki Haley the chameleon, and Liz Cheney who’s now the savior of …” Farah Griffin tried to wrestle back the conversation, sating, “I think Nikki Haley was an incredibly effective governor.”
Though Hostin fixated on the former diplomat’s name, asking, “What is her real name again?” Tensing up, Farah Griffin shot back, “A lot of people don’t go by their actual real names.” The co-host attempted to recall Haley’s original first name but couldn’t remember it. Hostin kept picking at the topic.
“You know, I think if she leaned into being someone of color,” Hostin continued before getting lost in the cross chatter.
Later in the conversation, Griffin stuck up for Haley once more, stating, “So Nikki Haley’s gone by Nikki since she was a child. It’s documented in high school. I wouldn’t be shocked if somebody, an Indian woman growing up in South Carolina at that time, she actually did to avoid prejudice.” She added, “So I just want to be careful about critiquing her for going by a name she has always gone by.”
Hostin was not finished. She claimed, “Yes, there are some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicities, so that we can pass …” Frustrated with Hostin’s rant, co-host Sara Haines, exclaimed, “Sunny, you go by a different name!” Hostin, whose real name is Asunción Cummings Hostin, justified her own nickname, stating, “Yes, most Americans can’t pronounce Asunción because of the under-education in our country.”
Goldberg, whose real name in Caryn Johnson, abruptly ended the conversation there.
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck assessed Hostin’s comments, writing, “ABC’s Sunny Hostin might — just might — be a racist for this disgusting smear of Nikki Haley, calling her a ‘chameleon’ and implying she’s adopted ‘Nikki’ as a fake name so Republicans aren’t turned off by her Indian heritage.”
American Greatness author Tim Young declared, “Sunny Hostin is a racist.”
Mocking Hostin’s own nickname, conservative actor Adam Baldwin wrote, “BREAKING: Ms. Hostin didn’t adopt the stage name ‘Sunny’ to reflect her disposition.”
The Spectator editor-at-large wasn’t fazed by Hostin’s behavior. He casually remarked, “Sunny Hostin race baiting? So it’s a day that ends in Y.”
Seattle radio host Jason Rantz tweeted, “TV’s dumbest lawyer @sunny Hostin effectively calls @NikkiHaley a sellout. Sunny is a vile human being.”
“This show has become so horrible,” commented Fox News contributor Joe Concha after watching the clip of Hostin’s remark.
NewsBusters associate editor Nick Fondacaro, who shared the original clip to Twitter, tweeted, “Since @Sunny is too dimwitted to debate policy, this is what she resorts to.”
“Sunny is literally the worst person on network television. And she doesn’t even realize she totally threw Whoopi under the bus…her real name is Caryn Johnson,” tweeted conservative podcast host Dave Rubin.