Ellen Pompeo slammed for calling Kamala Harris 'overconfident': 'Black women are allowed only a certain amount of confidence'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

The internet did not respond kindly to Ellen Pompeo calling Kamala Harris “overconfident.” The Grey’s Anatomy star was tuned into the second Democratic debate on Wednesday, but riled people up with remarks about Harris on Twitter.

Pompeo’s controversial comment came in response to a Bloomberg tweet suggesting that an “emerging trend” in the debate was that Kamala Harris only wanted to debate Biden. The star’s response: “Because she’s overconfident and believes he is her only competition.”

Many interpreted her criticism as a “racial comment,” and took Pompeo to task. “Black women are allowed only a certain amount of confidence,” one person tweeted. “Must always yield something to whatever white man is around.”

Another wrote, “I know you didn’t just call a black woman running for president overconfident.”

Others suggested that her comment was meant to suggest Harris was being “uppity” and said that “white women need to do better.”

On top of that, her comment was also slammed for being sexist:

Pompeo — who never shies away from a discussion about race (and has faced criticism that she’s anti-white for “celebrating brown people”) — soon found herself defending her tweet. She said the fact that it was turned into a “racial comment” was “so weak.” She added, “Stop looking for sh** to get mad about.”

And responded directly to some of her critics:

At the end of the night, she signed off with love — and reminded people that she’s allowed to have opinions.

Soledad O’Brien was one of those in Pompeo’s corner. “Save your energy and fight with actual terrible people, not each other,” she wrote.

Pompeo wasn’t alone in thinking that Harris didn’t have a great night. One of the most talked-about moments was when she was ripped into by Tulsi Gabbard for her record on marijuana prosecutions and death penalty.

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