Hostin’s Tuesday comments centered around Haley’s legal name, which is Nimrata Nikki Haley. The former ambassador is known by her middle and last name, professionally.
The comments were prompted by a discussion by the group talking about potential 2024 presidential candidates and what they might face if running against President Joe Biden.
Host Alyssa Farah Griffin listed Haley, a Republican, as a possible candidate and called her an “incredibly effective governor in South Carolina.” When Hostin interjected, asking, “What is her real name again?”
Griffin tried to steer the conversation back by saying many people in the media and other areas don’t go by their exact birth name, but Hostin doubled down on her seeming irritation.
Hostin continued, saying “There’s some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicity so that we can pass, that we don’t have to go by—”
At that point co-host Sara Haines laughingly interjected that Hostin herself wasn’t given the name “Sunny” at birth.
Hostin’s actual name is Asunción Cummings Hostin, and longtime host Whoopi Goldberg’s actual name is Caryn Johnson.
Hostin was quick to play off her own name choices by saying that it is only the lack of education about names such as hers in American culture that has caused her to adopt a nickname.
Haley chimed in via Twitter hours later, saying, “Thanks for your concern, Sunny. It’s racist of you to judge my name.”
“Nikki is an Indian name and is on my birth certificate – and I’m proud of that. What’s sad is the left’s hypocrisy towards conservative minorities,” the former South Carolina governor went on. “By the way, last I checked Sunny isn’t your birth name.”
Thanks for your concern @Sunny. It's racist of you to judge my name.
Nikki is an Indian name and is on my birth certificate—and I'm proud of that.
What's sad is the left's hypocrisy towards conservative minorities.
By the way, last I checked Sunny isn't your birth name… pic.twitter.com/NI3KZXjD6F
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 20, 2022
Haley’s point was further driven home by her spokesman, Ken Farnaso, who pointed to the ironic nature of Hostin’s name debate in a Tuesday tweet.
“Are we really going to play this [trash] game, [Sunny Hostin]?” Farnaso asked, posting a photo of Hostin’s legal name. “Nikki is an Indian name that means ‘little one.’ It’s [Nikki Haley’s] middle name on her birth certificate. You should know better than this — you don’t even go by your first name.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.