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When The Roots played Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass B—-” for Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann‘s walk-on music during her appearance on NBC talker Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, many have voiced their opinions.
The Roots’ drummer Questlove (aka Ahmir Thompson) said in an interview with Pitchfork that since the incident, he has since received racial “epithets.”
“I’ve seen some really colorful epithets in the past four days, but ‘n—– f—head ghetto stick’ is probably the one that takes the cake,” he said. “I’m still trying to get my head around that one.”
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Questlove said that it has also affected his social media usage, ultimately regretting the decision to play the song. “Blocking 3,500 Tea Party extremists [on Twitter] in a three day period is no fun, especially when you’re a drummer dangerously close to carpal tunnel. In the end, was it worth it? Absolutely not,” he added.
The musician revealed that the decision to play the 1985 track wasn’t mulled over for very long.
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“It wasn’t like a chess move where you have to think 12 steps ahead; you’re just, like, “F—, all right, I’m gonna do it,” in a kamikaze-type way,” he admitted. “And I really didn’t think about how it could be perceived as a misogynist swipe — it didn’t hit me until my [Twitter] timeline started showing up that it was seen that way. I was like, “F—, I forgot ‘B—-‘ is actually in the title.”
Questlove said that there was a moment when he was afraid the band would be let go.
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“Last Wednesday, the day before [Thanksgiving]. We were seeing where she was going to go with it because, if you call the right channels, next thing you know advertisers are in the NBC building asking for proper action to be done,” he recalled. “So we were definitely waiting with bated breath. And then her camp was like, “Look, it’s Thanksgiving. Let’s just put all this behind us and call it a day.”
Late-night host Jimmy Fallon apologized to Bachmann a day after she appeared on the program, writing on his Twitter account Nov. 22, “I’m honored that @michelebachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back.”
The Roots’ song choice came under fire shortly after Bachmann’s appearance. Fox News’ Todd Stames wrote, “Could you imagine if the network had pulled a similar stunt with First Lady Michelle Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? NBC is not commenting and Fallon doesn’t appear to have the fortitude to respond. So allow me to fill in the blanks: NBC, you disgust me.”
Bachmann demanded an apology from NBC, who then sent a letter from Greg Vaughn, senior vice president of special programs and late night, on Nov. 23 apologizing for the incident and saying that what took place on TV was “not only unfortunate but also unacceptable.”
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