On Wednesday night’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the comedian addressed the recent controversy surrounding her denunciation of Ivanka Trump and the White House’s immigration policies, in which Bee called Trump a “feckless cunt.”
But Bee’s on-air apology made clear that she was not apologizing for offending Ivanka Trump or her father—or any man, for that matter. “Many men were also offended by my use of the word,” Bee said, “I do not care about that.”
Instead, Bee apologized for hurting women who have previously been demeaned by the word; for providing fodder for another crazed news cycle; and, most seriously, for driving attention away from the administration separating children from their families at American borders—the issue that drove Bee’s contentious segment in the first place.
“If you are worried about the death of civility, don’t sweat it,” Bee said. “Civility is just nice words.” With a president who brags about sexual assault and assigns words that are anything but nice (“animal,” “shithole,” “loser,” “rapist”) to entire groups, Bee’s use of an obscene word to condemn Ivanka for her tone-deaf treatment of family-separating policies may not have been civil, but it was certainly substantial. As Bee concluded, “Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions.”