Today show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager apologized on the show this morning for mistakenly referring to the movie Hidden Figures during NBC’s as “Hidden Fences” during the Golden Globes pre-show Sunday night.
“So, you’re nominated for ‘Hidden Fences,’” Hager said to Pharrell, who scored and produced Hidden Figures. The Voice coach and producer responded with a confused look, bordering on a side-eye.
— Andy Cole (@AndyCole84) January 9, 2017
The clip instantly went viral followed by the usual social media backlash. In her apology, Hager said, “If I offended people, I am deeply sorry. It was a mistake… What I didn’t want to do is make anyone feel lesser than who they are. It was a mistake and I hope we can all move on.”
Al Roker, who was sitting beside her, blasted the social media pile-on. “Honest mistakes happen in live television,” he said. “And this culture of Twitter and people waiting to pounce on people — it’s gotta stop. It’s just ridiculous… And for the New York Times to repeat these tweets, it’s a cheap shot.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 9, 2017
If anyone is to blame, it’s probably NBC for putting an inexperienced reporter on Red Carpet duty. Hager admitted it was her first Red Carpet gig ever. Folks like Ryan Seacrest make the job look easy. Asking celebrities about their clothes and the projects they’re working on may seem irrelevant, but it’s by no means easy. There’s is a lot of stuff to keep straight as the reporter is faced with interviewing one actor after another. I doubt Hager is an expert in pop culture.
By the way, there is no such movie as “Hidden Fences.” There is a movie Fences, adapted from a play by August Wilson and directed by Denzel Washington. And there is Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the brilliant women of color who were the mathematical brains behind sending the first American into space.
Hager likely got a bigger pile on than she might have, as daughter of former president George W. Bush, which is unfortunate.
UPDATE: Pharrell Williams responded to Hager’s apology via twitter:
Don't worry @JennaBushHager!Everyone makes mistakes. Hidden Fences does sound like an intriguing movie though. Just saying… ???
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) January 9, 2017