Following the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in in violence and death, Tina Fey, a University of Virginia grad, attempted to address the situation with humor. Her segment, which instructed America to deal with the violence by eating a sheet cake, was met with poor critical reaction. Almost a year later, she’s admitted she could have taken things a different direction.
Fey made an appearance on David Letterman’s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. During the interview, Letterman praised Fey’s performance, saying it made him think “here’s something to let the gas out of a situation.” Fey accepted the compliment, but admitted that she “screwed up” when she ended her monologue of jokes by suggesting counter-protestors stay home rather than stand up against white supremacists at their rallies:
“The implication is that I was telling people to give up and not be active and to not fight,” Fey said to Letterman. “That was not my intention, obviously.” She said if she could go back and do it over, she would end with, “fight them in every way except the way that they want.”
The backlash against that idea was strong, but she says she only found out about it from friends, since she avoids social media. She considered creating a Twitter account to address the controversy, but passed.
“The culture of apology is not for me,” she said. “So what I will do is I promise, I swear to God, anybody who was mad at me, I hear you and I will learn, but I’m also not going to stop trying.”
Fey will be hosting SNL on May 19. So, maybe we’ll get an update on her position on Weekend Update.