“God forbid you say something a little bit wrong; you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, this that and the other. People need to calm down, get a little less politically correct, and I would say, love everybody.”
“Except, I’d say screw that Joy Behar b—- — everybody but that,” he added.
“You cannot say that,” said Fox News host Steve Doocy, who immediately apologized for the remark on Ritchie’s behalf.
Behar was critical of Ritchie’s White House visit last year with Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, calling it “the saddest day in the history of the White House since the British burned it to the ground in 1814.″
“I mean ‘lady,’” Rock said, correcting himself.
The backlash for his comments came quickly, which caused organizers for Saturday’s Nashville Christmas Parade to rethink their decision to name Ritchie the event’s grand marshal.
The parade has been a Tennessee tradition since 1927, according to the event’s website. Past grand marshals include Conway Twitty and Kelly Clarkson.
Nashville Mayor David Briley was “inclined not to participate” if Ritchie remained the grand marshal, his spokesman told the Tennessean.
“When you have the grand marshal of what’s labeled Nashville’s Christmas parade saying hateful things on national television, the mayor obviously does not want to be included in an event with someone like that,” spokesman Thomas Mulgrew told the Associated Press.
Nashville and Davidson County Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell shared similar sentiments, writing on Twitter that he was not planning on attending the parade, adding that Rock “evokes neither the spirit of Christmas nor the inclusivity I think represents the best of Nashville.”
In a statement Friday afternoon published by the Tennessean, parade organizers and sponsors announced that they were seeking to replace Ritchie with James Shaw Jr., who was celebrated as a hero in April after wrestling away the rifle from a gunman during a shooting at a Waffle House near Nashville.
“Parade organizers feel that the Grand Marshal should personify the spirit of the Nashville community,” the sponsors said in a statement, “and have invited James Shaw, Jr., who became a community hero after stopping a shooting at a local Waffle House earlier this year, to be honored.”
On Saturday, Shaw was joined in the carriage by relatives of Akilah Dasilva, a musician who was killed in the shooting, according to the Associated Press.
“It warms the heart to be here with the Dasilva family,” Shaw said.
Late Friday, Rock took to social media to apologize for “cursing on live tv” — but said he would not back down from his remark.
“Behar has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and when Myself, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent visited The White House last year, Behar called it ‘the saddest day in the history of the White House since the British burned it to the ground in 1814,” Ritchie wrote on Instagram. “Today I said ‘Screw that Joy Behar b—-.’ Mess with the bull, you get the horns. End of story.”
He added, “I apologized for cursing on live tv, I will not for my sentiment nor do I expect an apology from her or anyone else who has choice words for me or doesn’t like me. God Bless America.”
“All I can say is: this b—- and these b—-es would be happy to have you on the show and have a beer,” Behar said, referring to herself and her co-hosts.
Some prospective attendees of Saturday’s parade, and those who saw the news about decision due to the national attention it received, expressed displeasure with Ritchie’s removal on the event’s Facebook page.
“I will no longer be attending the parade due to Kid Rock being stripped of the Grand Marshal role,” one person wrote late Friday. Another wrote Saturday morning, “I am actually getting tired of the liberalism in the Country Music organization. 1 mean word and all he’ll breaks loose. Really, put your big boy cowboy boots on and let Kid do his thing, we love him!”
Reports surfaced Friday evening that Rock was planning to show up and participate in his role as grand marshal anyway. Bryan Lewis, attorney for Kid Rock’s business partner Steve Smith, told Variety the event would be a “standoff at high noon.”
The Tennessean, however, reports that Kid Rock was not seen at the parade. Event organizers did not immediately return an email requesting comment Saturday afternoon.
Rock on Saturday morning confirmed that he was no longer invited to host the parade, reminding fans that the event is bigger than him. He wished for a “successful parade.”
“Well folks, it is official . . . My parade has been rained on!” Rock wrote Saturday morning on Instagram. “But in the end, it is not about me. It is about the kids and the wonderful work they do at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Either way, myself, family and especially my granddaughter, are gonna enjoy today.”