Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday issued an apology for a skit she participated in during her senior year at Auburn University. According to her statement, the skit featured Ivey in overalls and blackface. The full statement is as follows:
“I have now been made aware of a taped interview that my then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, and I gave to the Auburn student radio station back when I was SGA Vice President.
“Even after listening to the tape, I sincerely do not recall either the skit, which evidently occurred at a Baptist Student Union party, or the interview itself, both which occurred 52-years ago. Even though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit – and I still don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface – I will not deny what is the obvious.
“As such, I fully acknowledge – with genuine remorse – my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college.
“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.
“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s. We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”
Ivey is only the most recent governor to land in hot water over blackface. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam apologized earlier this year for what he called his ‘racist and offensive’ use of blackface while attending Eastern Virginia Medical School.