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Drew Barrymore accused of disrespecting Kamala Harris by calling her 'Momala'

Drew Barrymore was accused of disrespecting Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday for calling on her to be a "Momala" for the country during an interview.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow called out talk show host Drew Barrymore in a column on Thursday and argued she disrespected Vice President Harris in her recent interview by calling her "Momala."

During Barrymore's interview with the Vice President, the talk show host said, "We need you to be Momala of the country." Harris said her stepchildren refer to her as "Momala," and the audience cheered after Barrymore's comments. 

While Blow acknowledged he didn't think Barrymore meant any harm, he wrote, "even gentle and oblivious stereotyping can be harmful, and it’s important that we explore why this comment, which may seem innocuous to some, is offensive to others."

The New York Times columnist accused Barrymore of disrespecting Harris during her praise of the vice president. While Barrymore held Harris in high regard, she did so "with a historical blindness," Blow wrote. 


Blow pointed to several stereotypes Black women face, and said "in this case, the stereotype at play is that of the mammy — the caretaker, the bosom in which all can rest, the apron on which we have a right to hang."

He argued that Harris, even when she shares anecdotes from her private life, deserved a separation between that and her political obligations. 

"That she would be called upon to comfort and nurture the country, rather than dutifully represent it, is demeaning and holds Black women captive to historical mythologies," he continued. 

Blow asserted that the U.S. needed Harris to serve her administration like "every White man before her," and concluded that Black women should not be burdened with "comforting the country in this moment of crisis."


During the interview, the vice president spoke about the importance of never letting "anybody take your power" and being intentional in understanding "what is in your power" before turning to comments about her laugh. 

"I mean, my staff, for example, sometimes they'll show me little things that just amuse me. Like, apparently, some people love to talk about the way I laugh," Harris said. 

Barrymore told Harris she loved the vice president's laugh. 

"I have my mother's laugh and I grew up around a bunch of women in particular who laughed from the belly. They laughed — they would sit around the kitchen and drinking their coffee, telling big stories with big laughs," Harris said.

Harris said she would never be the person to tone it down after imitating a high-pitched chuckle. 

"I'm just not that person, and I think it's really important for us to remind each other and our younger ones: don't be confined to other people's perception about what this looks like, how you should act in order to be. Right? It's really important," she said. 

Barrymore praised Harris throughout the interview for being the first female vice president, and repeatedly stressed how important it was to vote following the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade. 

"I believe in your protection of women, I believe in the fact that you are putting yourself out there front and center to care about them in a way we have wanted for many generations, a female in power. And when you got in, it was like we finally have got somewhere," Barrymore said. This is the first time I feel like the cards are stacked and the deck is stacked against me, because of reproductive rights and many other things."

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