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What is Nikki Haley's real name? Sunny Hostin slammed for saying ex-ambassador is a 'chameleon'

Hostin implied that Haley was self-conscious over her ethnicity so she changed her name, although 'Nikki' is her middle name and she's gone by it since childhood
UPDATED SEP 21, 2022
Nikki Haley (R) hit back at Sunny Hostin (L) after the liberal co-host slammed her for not using her Indian first name (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR,  John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Nikki Haley (R) hit back at Sunny Hostin (L) after the liberal co-host slammed her for not using her Indian first name (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR, John Lamparski/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called 'The View's co-host Sunny Hostin a "racist" for not using her Indian first name in the show. In Tuesday's episode, Hostin attacked Haley stating that the former governor of South Carolina is a "chameleon."

Hostin also claimed that Haley does not use her Indian name in an effort to appeal to Republican voters. Soon after this statement was made on 'The View,' a furious backlash began on Twitter.


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Later, Haley responded to the situation on Twitter. She tweeted, "Thanks for your concern @Sunny. It's racist of you to judge my name. Nikki is an Indian name and is on my birth certificate—and I'm proud of that. What's sad is the left's hypocrisy towards conservative minorities. By the way, last I checked Sunny isn't your birth name…"


Hostin made the remark about Haley's name on Tuesday's episode when cohost Alyssa Farah Griffin was engaging in a discussion on who should be the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election.  "I'd love to see Nikki Haley, I'd love to see Liz Cheney...," said Griffin. To which Hostin responded, "And Nikki Haley, the chameleon and Liz Cheney who's now the savior of —." 


However, Griffin backed Haley and said, "I think Nikki Haley was an incredibly effective governor." The co-host was not ready to let it go and Hostin fixated on the name again and asked Griffin, "What is her real name, again?." Meanwhile, Griffin who is an American diplomat explained, "A lot of people don't go by their actual real names." Still, Hostin kept picking at the issue, saying, "You know, I think if she leaned into being someone of color."

The conversation took place between Sunny Hostin (L) and Alyssa Griffin (R) ( Nikki Haley/Twitter)
The conversation took place between Sunny Hostin (L) and Alyssa Farah Griffin (R) ( Nikki Haley/Twitter)

Griffin was once again supporting Haley and added, "So Nikki Haley's gone by Nikki since she was a child. It's documented in high school. I wouldn't be shocked if somebody, an Indian woman growing up in South Carolina at the time, actually did it to avoid prejudice. So I just want to be careful about critiquing her for going by a name she has always gone by."

Hostin called Haley 'a chameleon' on the show ( Nikki Haley/Twitter)
Hostin called Haley 'a chameleon' on the show ( Nikki Haley/Twitter)

But Hostin would not back down and claimed, "Yes, there are some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicities so that we can pass." At that point, another  cohost Sara Haine stated, " Sunny, you go by a different name." Hostin then claimed, "Most Americans can't pronounce Asunción because of the under-education in our country."


She then continued, "But sometimes I would say, what Alyssa's saying, people, gravitate to different names for different reasons." Whoopi Goldberg, whose real name is Caryn Johnson, then decided to bring the conversation to an end and said, "I'm going to kill this conversation,' she told the audience, claiming: 'I am authentically myself, I am Whoopi Goldberg, and we'll be right back."

'Why isn’t Sunny Hostin fired already?'

Netizens were quick to react to the controversy, A user commented, "Why isn’t Sunny Hostin fired already? I’m so sick of these on-air talents and their racist comments. Totally disgusting. Today she was on The View making fun of Indian Americans. No time for that. She should be canned immediately. @ABC #theview #racism #nikki #haley" Another user slammed her stating, "I just think it’s funny that @sunny has a lot to say about Nikki Haley, but praises Robert “Beto” O’Rourke every chance she gets. You would that Asunción “Sunny” Hostin would take issue w/ a white dude usurping a Hispanic nickname for political purposes, but I guess not". Courtis Hock commented, "ABC's Sunny Hostin might -- just might -- be a racist for this disgusting smear of Nikki Haley, calling her a "chameleon" and implying she's adopted "Nikki" as a fake name so Republicans aren't turned off by her Indian heritage."

Jason Rantz tweeted saying, "TV's dumbest lawyer @sunny Hostin effectively calls @NikkiHaley a sellout. Sunny is a vile human being." Another user stated, "Liberal commentators seem unable to get beyond Nikki Haley's name and race-based attacks. Sunny Hostin was the latest to slam Haley on avoiding being a "person of color" and one of those people "who don’t go by their actual real names."

Another user chimed, "Sunny Hostin is arrogant and full of pride! Her comment about Nikki Haley is insensitive and judgmental! You fell flat on your face with that comment Sunny!!! What a disgrace! " A tweet read, "Did she say most Americans can’t pronounce Asunción because of “the under education”?! WTH?! She’s the most racist, classist, hypocrite I have ever seen. Also on the panel is Caryn Elaine Johnson aka Whoopi Goldberg. Self-awareness sure isn’t their strong suit, is it?"








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