NYT Issues Correction After Misidentifying Actress Angela Bassett As Omarosa

The New York Times has issued a correction after controversially misidentifying actress Angela Bassett as former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman in a photo taken at the Emmy Awards.

The mistake provoked disbelief and ridicule as it circulated on social media on Tuesday. In the photo, Rachel Brosnahan is accepting the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series from fellow actors Tiffany Haddish and Angela Bassett.

But in early print editions of The New York Times, the caption mistakenly identified Basett as Manigault Newman, the outspoken confidante-cum-critic of the Trump administration.

"We regret running an incorrect caption from a photo wire service in some early print editions," The Times posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, they shared the following correction: "A picture caption with an article on Monday about the Emmy Awards, using information from a photo agency, misidentified a woman presenting the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. The woman was Angela Bassett, not Omarosa Manigault Newman."

As the error went viral, reactions ranged from accusations of racism—yet another case of "all black people look alike"—to blaming the paper's recent cuts to its copy editing desk. In June 2017, The Times fired about half of its 109 copy editors, under the premise it was rebalancing the newsroom toward reporting. Copy editors warned that more mistakes would follow.

"Cutting us down to 50 to 55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality in the report, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic," the copy editing desk wrote in an open letter to the editors.

While it sounds implausible, having Omarosa Maginault Newman as a presenter for the awards show would not be completely unprecedented. Last year, Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer made a surprise cameo.

The show witnessed several anti-Trump speeches, prompting the president to tweet in response: "I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night—the worst ever. Smartest people of them all are the 'DEPLORABLES.'"

This year's Emmys were noticeably light on Trump-related controversy in comparison, as the president barely received a mention.

Backstage, Variety asked John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, about this shift in tone and whether it was a sign that America was "moving on."

He responded resoundingly. "No it fucking doesn't. If anyone takes away from the Emmys that we are moving on past the presidency that we are currently half the way through or a quarter of the way through, we are totally fucked."