A racially-tinged joke that Bill de Blasio and Hillary Clinton made this weekend in a comedy skit was “a disaster,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews told the New York City mayor in an interview Monday.
“Whoever writes your jokes up there, get a new joke writer,” a grinning Matthews said. “All that stuff was a disaster. It was a disaster.”
It was Saturday at a charity roast held at the New York Hilton that de Blasio and Clinton made the off-color joke about “CP time,” or “colored people’s time” — the stereotype that black people are chronically late.
Halfway through the bit, which was a spoof of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” de Blasio introduced Clinton, whom he has endorsed for president.
“I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough,” Clinton said after entering the stage.
“Sorry Hillary, I was running on CP Time,” de Blasio said, eliciting groans from the audience.
“That’s not — I don’t like jokes like that, Bill,” said Leslie Odom, Jr., a black actor who plays Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” and took part in Saturday’s show.
Clinton chimed in with her line and furthered the off-color joke.
“Cautious politician time…,” she said.
De Blasio, who has a black wife, did not respond to Matthews’ advice to get new writers. He merely grinned and shook his head.
The story did not receive the same attention one would expect it would have garnered had a Republican presidential candidate made the joke. The Daily Caller was one of the few to report the story. Liberal news outlets finally picked up the story on Monday. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton And Bill De Blasio Invoke Black Stereotype)
In another interview on Monday, de Blasio defended the skit and said that he thought those criticizing it are “missing the point.”
“It was clearly a staged show, it was a scripted show, and the whole idea was to do the counterintuitive and say ‘cautious politician time,'” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“Every actor involved, including Hillary Clinton and Leslie Odom, Jr. thought it was a joke on a different convention. That was the whole idea of it,” he added.
“I think people are missing the point here.”
The incident comes as the Clinton campaign grapples with the fallout from former President Bill Clinton’s exchange with Black Lives Matter activists who were protesting his 1994 crime bill at a campaign event in Philadelphia.
“This is what’s the matter,” he said, pointing at a protester’s sign. “I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out on to the street to murder other African-American children,” he continued.
“You are defending the people who killed the lives, you say matter.”
Many activists groups blasted the Clintons over the exchange.