The comment, made during a stop in London on her book tour for her memoir Becoming, came about while she was speaking with Stephen Colbert, who was the host of the stop.
“America is like a teenager,” Colbert began, with Obama agreeing before adding, “We are a teenager, we talked about this, we’re like a teenage country.”
“And we’re confused ’cause our body is changing,” Colbert joked.
“We’re changing all over the place. And we come from a broken family. We’re a teenager, where we’re a little unsettled and having good parents is tough. Sometimes you spend weekends with divorced dad and that feels like it’s fun but then you get sick — that’s what America’s going through. We’re kind of living with divorced dad right now,” Obama replied.
Colbert then laughed and proceeded to do a Trump impersonation.
Since video of the exchange surfaced on social media, Obama’s joke has divided some. Dana Bash, a CNN anchor, called it “unremarkably woke,” while various men identifying as divorced fathers on Twitter have also voiced their displeasure with the comment.
On Fatherly, a website that calls itself a “media brand for dads,” a writer by the name Jordan Shapiro, a divorced father of two, wrote an op-ed titled, “Dear Michelle Obama: Divorced Dads Aren’t Bad Parents.”
But some have also come to Obama’s defense, noting that the remark was made in the context of a joke and with someone who is a comedian.
Elsewhere in Obama and Colbert’s conversation, the two spoke about how Barack Obama never faced any indictments during his presidency.
“Let’s just stop and think about — for anybody who had problems with Barack Obama — what we were troubled by. There were never any indictments,” she said according to The Guardian.
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