NBC Washington is red-faced after the news network got the color of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s face mask incorrect, then seemed to crack a joke in reference to his black face yearbook photo scandal.
On Monday, the NBC affiliate tweeted a photo of Northam holding a mask up to his face.
“In a striking moment, Gov. Ralph Northam put on his own black face mask. He urged every Virginian to do the same.”
A short time later, NBC followed up, “Upon closer examination, the governor’s face mask appears to be dark green.”
The NBC deleted the two tweets altogether and was sorry.
Correction: We made a misjudgment in a tweet about Gov. Northam’s face mask. We sincerely apologize for the error.
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) April 6, 2020
“Correction: We made a misjudgement in a tweet about Gov. Northam’s face mask. We sincerely apologize for the error.”
In 2019, Northam apologized for wearing blackface while posing for a photo in his college yearbook.
After the 1984 photo was released, a photo surfaced of Northam from his 1981 Virginia Military Institute college yearbook. Under the picture and his name, it listed two nicknames — “Goose, Coonman” — in quotes underneath. There was no explanation of the names or the use of Coonman, which can be a racial slur. The context was not explained.
CNN has reached out to Northam’s office for comment on the 1981 photo.
Northam confirmed he was in the medical school yearbook photo, and said in a statement that the costumes were “clearly racist and offensive.”
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” Northam said. “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.
“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”