Jeannie Mai, co-host of “The Real” daytime talk show, is coming under fire after she said she supports rapper T.I.’s going with his 18-year-old daughter to the gynecologist each year to make sure her hymen is “still intact.”
On Thursday’s episode, Mai backed T.I., saying it is challenging for fathers and daughters to have difficult conversations.
“I support what T.I. is doing because I understand how hard it must be to communicate with an opposite gender daughter, especially in this time and especially with what he must have seen and known of what boys are like,” Mai said.
She continued: “For me, I was a very wild girl. I didn’t like rules; I rebelled a lot.”
Mai said T.I. should communicate with his daughter about his concerns.
“Is it the STDs? Is it that she doesn’t understand what love is? Does he need to know who the boys are? Why doesn’t he trust her? … Whatever it is, he needs to speak it with her,” Mai said.
Her remarks caused a stir on social media.
“Hold up. So @jeanniemai is an avid advocate for people who have been sexually assaulted, but has no respect for a girls’ right to bodily autonomy? ” one Twitter user wrote.
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Another Twitter user said they were “shocked and disgusted” that Mai supports T.I.
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly also weighed in, tweeting: “’I was a very wild girl’ you still are for making f—– up statements like this @jeanniemai.”
Maia has not publicly commented on the backlash.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., made his remarks during an interview on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast that aired Tuesday. He said he goes with his daughter, Deyjah, to her gynecologist appointments to “check her hymen.”
The rapper told the podcast’s hosts, model Nazanin Mandi and makeup artist Nadia Moham, that his accompanying Deyjah to the doctor began after her 16th birthday.
“I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact,” he said.
The hosts laughed and joked that Deyjah was a “prisoner” in her home.
“The Real” co-host Adrienne Bailon said she “low-key” respects what T.I. said because it shows he cares and suggested that maybe the rapper was just trying to let his daughter know that having sex is a big deal.
Other co-hosts didn’t agree. Tamera Mowry-Housley said she wants her daughter to feel comfortable to talk to her parents about sex.
Guest co-host Eva Marcille said she thinks T.I.’s style of parenting is “retroactive” instead of proactive.
“You want to instill the things necessary in her not to be tempted,” she said.
The hosts of the “Ladies Like Us: podcast apologized on Thursday for how they had reacted to T.I.’s comment, saying they were caught off guard by it.
“Looking back, we should have reacted much differently in the moment,” Mandi and Moham said in a joint statement shared on the podcast’s Instagram page. “The comments that were made and the reaction that followed are not in any way a reflection of our personal views on the topic.”
T.I. has not spoken publicly about the reactions to his comments. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.