In the heat of live red carpet reporting, sometimes mistakes happen. But as Jenna Bush Hager quickly came to realize, those mistakes can haunt you in no time if you're not careful.
After awkwardly combining the movie titles for Hidden Figures and Fences into "Hidden Fences" while interviewing Pharrell Williams last night, Hager took time on air this morning to apologize for the incident, getting pretty emotional as she did.
According to E! News, she said, "I thought last night was terrific. There were a lot of great moments," she said in the 8 o'clock hour. "Viola Davis was one of my favorites when she said to Meryl Streep, 'You made me feel like enough.' I thought that was a beautiful speech."
"I had an error in the night, which I have to apologize for," Bush Hager told NBC colleagues Natalie Morales and Al Roker. "When I was interviewing the incomparable Pharrell, who I adore, I accidentally—in the electricity of the red carpet, which I have never done before—I called Hidden Figures 'Hidden Fences.' I have seen both movies. I thought they were both brilliant. I have interviewed casts from both of the movies. If I offended people, I am deeply sorry. It was a mistake, because you all know, I am not perfect. I am authentic but a human. What I didn't want to do is make anybody feel lesser than who they are. So, anyway, I hope…I apologized to both the cast, to Pharrell, but it was a mistake and I hope we can all move on."
Thankfully Roker offered encouragement as Hager wiped tears from her eyes.
"All of us who know you know your heart and know that was a mistake," he said. "Any broadcaster's been in a live situation and you make a mistake. Look, I forgot Braveheart when I was interviewing Mel Gibson last night." Morales chimed in to tell Roker, "You called Jessica Biel 'Jessica Alba!'"
"Exactly!" Roker told Bush Hager. "You don't want to go by me because I'm old. But the fact is, honest mistakes happen in live television, and this culture of Twitter and people waiting to pounce, to get on people, it's got to stop. It's got to stop somewhere because it's just ridiculous."
This story first appeared at Womanista.