A segment of ABC’s “The View” with Baltimore-area congressional candidate Kim Klacik ended abruptly on Friday when the Republican answered a question about the coronavirus by saying that host Joy Behar “paraded around in blackface.”
By midafternoon, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, had joined the growing social media conversation about the episode.
Klacik, a long-shot candidate running for the seat long held by the late Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, was questioned by Behar on the morning show about the coronavirus pandemic in which nearly 200,000 Americans have died.
Behar suggested that Klacik had evaded an earlier question about President Donald Trump telling author Bob Woodward that he played down the seriousness of the coronavirus because “I don’t want to create a panic.”
“You have to put some blame on your president, I’m sorry," Behar told Klacik, who appeared remotely on a split-screen. "You’re putting it on something extraneous here. Talk to the point, please.”
Klacik answered quickly.
Klacik: Is this Joy speaking?
Klacik: The same Joy that paraded around in blackface not too long ago? C’mon Joy, I don’t think you should be asking questions.
Behar: That’s not true. Excuse me, excuse me. The Black community had my back. They know that that was not blackface. That was an homage.
Klacik: The Black community has my back.
Behar: Oh please, just answer the question.
In 2016, Behar, who is white, said on the program that she went to a Halloween party many years earlier as “a beautiful African woman.” She said then that she wore “makeup that was a little bit darker than my skin.”
A co-host, Sunny Hostin, chimed in Friday to rebut the claim of Klacik, who is Black, of having Black support.
“The Black community has your back? The Black community does not vote for you. What planet are you living on?”
“Wowww,” Hostin continued, stretching out the word.
Klacik then sought to explain the results of last April’s special election in which Democrat Kweisi Mfume defeated her by a 3-to-1 margin in the heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County.
“It was during a special election while we were still under [coronavirus] lockdown and I could not talk to people," Klacik said.
She addressed Hostin: "Can I speak or are you just going to speak over me?”
Behar then waved at the camera and said: “Listen, Kim, good luck to you. Thanks to Kim Klacik. We’ll be right back.”
“That was very immature but thank you for having me,” Klacik said before the network went to commercial.
Klacik did not return calls seeking her reaction after the show. The network had no comment, said spokeswoman Lauri Hogan.
Donald Trump Jr. retweeted Klacik and added his own commentary.
After losing the special election to fill the remainder of Cummings' term, Klacik is now the Republican nominee in the November election for a new term. She is again opposed by Mfume, who holds the seat.
She has supported Trump and replied “no” when asked on the show if she believed Trump had engaged in racist behavior before or during his presidency. “I find that President Trump has shown nothing but the opposite of racism,” she said.
Klacik is a Republican commentator who speaks often of working for her nonprofit helping disadvantaged women enter the workforce. She lives in Middle River, which is not in the 7th District, but says she knows Baltimore by working there.
Klacik spoke at the Republican National Convention last month, encouraging members of her party not to give up on running in cities that are Democratic strongholds.
Her appearance came after a campaign video in which she walks along Baltimore streets full of vacant homes, sits on a “Greatest City in America” bench and stands on a rooftop. She asserts that Democratic politicians have done nothing good for Baltimore and other cities, and that voters should not support them. The video was made by Benny Johnson, the chief creative officer for a conservative student group called Turning Point USA.
The ad resonated with Trump, who shared it with his tens of millions of Twitter followers. Klacik later got a call from the president’s campaign about a speaking role during the convention.