At the time, Donald had said that Mexico was “sending people that have lots of problems,” including “rapists,” to the US and “and they're bringing those problems,” including “drugs” and “crime.”
Attempting to challenge Donald on his disgusting remarks, Kelly boldly stated, “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?”
Kelly’s comment was met with silence from the audience, while Rosie Perez pointed out, “There’s more jobs than that in the country for Latinos, and Latinos are not the only people who clean toilets.”
Kelly struggled to clarify her remark, saying, “In the sense that... You know what I mean?... Like, I’m saying that...,” while repeatedly being cut off by her View cohosts. She then finally stated, “I didn’t mean it like that, come on! I would never mean it like that. I’m not part of this argument.”
“I want to start by saying I ALWAYS take responsibility for my actions. In this particular case I will take responsibility for my poor choice of words but I will not apologize for being a racist as I am NOT. I whole-hearted fucked up today. I don’t want to bullshit anyone with lame excuses,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Although I was stopped mid-sentence by Rosie and couldn’t finish my point, I will not let Rosie take responsibility for my words. I should have known better as I was on The View and it was live. I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. It is my hope that this situation will open up a conversation about immigration and the Latin community as a whole. By the way I clean my own fucking toilets,” she added.
In the years since Kelly made that appearance on The View, her comment has frequently resurfaced across social media, with many users poking fun at the delivery of her controversial remark. It recently reemerged on TikTok, where several people have jokingly shared other absurd takes on stereotypes.
Now, breaking her yearslong silence on the entire thing, Kelly looked back on her “cringe” comment during a new interview with Rolling Stone.
“It hurt a lot of people, and that to me, by far, makes it the worst thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “I realized that I’m not great on live TV and that words are so powerful. And to be labeled as something you’re not is really difficult. But it happened. There’s nothing I can do.”
Clarifying what she’d meant to say at the time, Kelly explained, “This whole country is built on immigrants, and if you stop people from coming into this country who do the jobs that make this country exist and thrive and flourish, who’s going to do all the jobs that you don’t want to do yourself?”
Kelly went on to share that she received brutal death threats following her appearance on The View. She said, “I’ve never spoken about it before, ever. And it was something that was so painful. And so life-changing, chaotic, and crazy in every way. I mean, I received death threats.”
“I was so ignorant and so misinformed,” Kelly added before going on to explain what she’s since learned about white privilege. “I thought simply not being racist was enough. It’s not enough. You have to actively stand up against it.”
“I’ve learned when to shut up and to stop talking. I’m definitely not the person I was before that incident,” she added.
Then Kelly revealed that she’s planning on showing the infamous clip to her baby son, Sidney, when he’s older in order to educate him on “how powerful” words can be.
“I’m going to have to play that video for my son at one point and explain it to him. That is probably the cherry on the cake of how painful all of this is. I want him to understand what I was trying to say and how powerful words are,” she shared.
What’s more, Kelly shared her thoughts on the current TikTok trend inspired by her 2015 appearance on The View, noting that while she does enjoy seeing people “be creative with it,” it still hurts.
“It’s the most cringe moment of my entire life. But to see people be creative with it does put a smile on my face. It turns something so ugly into something funny,” she said.
“It goes to show that people never forget. And even though I’m the butt of the joke, I’m still laughing. And some of them are very smart. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hate myself a little bit more each time I see it,” she added.