Commentary Strange Fruit

You can’t be as prominent and opinionated as Bravo network’s Andy Cohen without making a few mistakes along the way. But the way celebrities respond to being called out for their mistakes says the most about their character.

For example, in July 2015, during his talk show, Watch What Happens Live, Cohen gave his “Jackhole of the Day” award to Amandla Stenberg and Kylie Jenner.

“Today’s Jackhole goes to the Instagram feud between Kylie Jenner and “Hunger Games” star/Jaden Smith’s prom date Amandla Stenberg,” Cohen said on the show, “who criticized Kylie for her cornrows, calling it cultural appropriation.”

Many viewers bristled at Cohen dumping on the 16-year-old Stenberg, who had spoken out about cultural appropriation before.

“I stuck my nose into something that I knew nothing about and I knew nothing of what I was saying, and was tone deaf to,” Cohen says, “and got really shut down by Black Twitter.”

Cohen apologized, listened to the people of color in his life, and talks with us about it this week on the show.

“She had written a really impassioned, eloquent thing on her Instagram about cultural appropriation, which was a term that I had never heard of at the time,” Cohen says, “which I know, looking back, is the very definition of what white privilege is, which is a term that I also didn’t know much about, which was a double white privilege moment that I was involved in.”

Cohen will be at the Louisville Palace on March 11, with a show called “AC2: An Intimate Evening With Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen.”

Listen to this week’s episode in the player above and subscribe to Strange Fruit wherever you get your podcasts.

Laura is the producer of Strange Fruit, a weekly talk show focusing on race and gender, and oversees WFPL's Curious Louisville project.