During an MSNBC broadcast, Brian Williams compared a President Obama speech to highly lauded and controversial late comedian Richard Pryor, sparking outcry on social media, many calling the comment racist.
Williams, who was suspended from “Nightly News” duties last year for misrepresenting anecdotes from his coverage during the Iraq War in 2003, took aim at Obama’s speech during his campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton.
“The president was being urged by one member of the crowd to preach,” said Williams during the broadcast. “He seemingly tried to at one point — borrowing almost a Richard Pryor delivery to deliver the degree of his disgust and disdain for the other side, the comments clearly aimed at Donald Trump.”
Twitter exploded with outraged viewers who called the statement racist and labeled Williams as a “bigot.” One person said he “proves his white privilege and ineptness” with the recent comments, and others accused him of disrespecting President Obama.
Williams is no stranger to controversy. Along with his 6-month suspension, he’s been called out for several inconsistencies in the past.
Williams moved to MSNBC after he was let go from NBC following his suspension. MSNBC did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment on Tuesday.
Brian Williams refers to Richard Prior while summarizing Prez Obama's wrap up proves his white privilege and ineptness.
— Rick Jenkins (@Rickiejay) July 5, 2016
I actually supported Brian Williams when he was caught lying, felt his suspension was unfair, until he decided to disrespect @POTUS
— Corey Bu-Shea (@coreybking) July 5, 2016
Dont be surprised Brian Williams said Obama gave "Richard Pryor" delivery
He now works for rightwing @msnbc – he's supposed to be racist
— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) July 5, 2016
— I'm That Type Of Guy (@Marrrrcussss) July 5, 2016
Brian Williams said the Obama's speech was the "Richard Pryor delivery". Chuck Todd asked if Obama was too good at this. MSNBC is a toilet.
— Chairman Meow (@jdny2) July 5, 2016
Brian Williams just called Obama's speech the "Richard Pryor delivery." wow.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) July 5, 2016
Brian Williams is a joke and so white he doesn't even realize how racist that sounded
— defiant maraleia because the GOP are criminals (@maraleia) July 5, 2016