Describing her as a “chameleon”, Hostin took a potshot at Ms Haley when political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin said she was an “incredibly effective governor in South Carolina” over her potential 2024 presidential run.
“There are some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicities so that we can pass, so that we don’t have to go by…” Hostin said on Tuesday’s edition of the daytime political talk show, asking her real name.
She was quickly interjected by co-host Sara Haines who pointed out that Hostin “goes by a different name” herself.
Hostin whose real name is Asunción Cummings “Sunny” Hostin said it was difficult for some Americans to pronounce Asunción because of their “under education”.
The exchange triggered outrage on social media as several said the comments were racist and she could be using her middle name for different reasons.
Ms Haley, whose full name is Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, said: “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…” she added.
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… pic.twitter.com/NI3KZXjD6F
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 20, 2022
Her spokesperson Ken Farnaso also slammed Hostin and asked if they will “play this game”, sharing a trashcan emoji.
“Sunny? Nikki is an Indian name that means ‘little one.’ It’s [Nikki Haley’s] middle name on her birth certificate. You should know better than this—you don’t even go by your first name,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ms Haley is a Republican party politician whose parents immigrated to the US from India. She was named Nimrata Nikki Randhawa at birth but has gone by Nikki since she was a child.
During the show, Ms Griffin backed Ms Haley, saying she has “gone by Nikki since she was a child” and she might have chosen to go by her middle name to “avoid prejudice” being “an Indian woman growing up in South Carolina at that time”.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was rejected for the role of US secretary of state during the Trump administration because of a “complexion problem”, a new book claims.
Titled The Divider,the book from The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker claimed Donald Trump rejected making Ms Haley US secretary of state because of a “complexion problem”.