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Drew Barrymore is catching flak for her recent interview with Vice President Kamala Harris where she awkwardly encouraged her to be the “Momala” of the country. Detractors of the uncomfortable chat are calling it “cringey” with some even likening Barrymore’s comment to her asking the first Black and South Asian VP to be the “mammy” of the United States. 



Drew Barrymore x Kamala Harris

Source: Slaven Vlasic/ Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Albie Awards / Getty Images for the New York Times

Viewers of the actress-turned-daytime talk show host’s Monday episode of The Drew Barrymore Show (April 29) were unsettled when the 49-year-old star asked Harris if she could serve as “Momala” while pointing to the ongoing social and economic challenges within the country, along with tensions with foreign nations, as compelling reasons for the Vice President to take a leading role.

“I’ve been thinking that we really all need a tremendous hug in the world right now,”  Barrymore said, as she sat extremely close to Harris, 59, staring into the Democrat’s eyes with longing. 

“But in our country, we need you to be Momala of the country… We need a great protector.”

Barrymore then reached in and grabbed Harris’ hand, consoling the Vice President, who looked uncomfortable during the odd exchange.

Seeking to restore ease to the conversation, the VP gracefully steered the dialogue back on track.


Source: ROBYN BECK / Getty

She emphasized her unwavering dedication to protecting the American people amid the present political and economic uncertainties. Harris also voiced her frustration that her resilience and “strength” as Vice President have often gone unnoticed, overshadowed by narrow perceptions of strength in leadership, which tend to prioritize confrontation and “who you beat down” over helping others.


“If you ever want some objection indication of your individual power, see what you can do to help other people,” Harris added. “And it can be just a simple act including just taking some interest and actually listening to how people are feeling and to sincerely have some interest or care about their well-being or their suffering. I think we all know that’s what we want in each other. That’s what we want from leaders…that’s really what strength looks like. That’s the kind of strength that we want.”

After The Drew Barrymore Show aired, viewers flocked to X to share their reactions to the bizarre clip, some said it was really “weird” and “uncomfortable” to see Drew sitting too close to the Vice President. 

Drew Barrymore

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Albie Awards / Getty

“This is embarrassing. Drew Barrymore is almost in her lap,” one user penned.

Other netizens felt like the “Momala” comment came off cringeworthy and cult-ish and likened it to her calling Harris a “mammy.” 

Prior to the slightly awkward “Momala” moment in the interview, Harris candidly discussed the delicate balance of her responsibilities as Vice President alongside her role as a stepmother to her husband Douglass Emhoff’s two children, Ella and Cole. Her stepchildren were responsible for coining the affectionate term “Momala,” according to Elle.

Harris said she works together as a team with Kerstin Emhoff, Cole, and Ella’s biological mom, to make sure they are raised in a happy and loving environment. 

“We are on the same team about parenting. We respect each other and we like each other,” she told Barrymore.

I think what’s really important and will make it work is when all of the adults who are in that dynamic have respect for each other and understand that this is not about territorial ownership, right. But it is about respect. And I was very clear with the kids. I am not here to replace your mother. You have that one mother and I’m the second mother, “Momala,” and I think that when the adults are really clear about you know, a commitment to mature relationships, it makes it so much easier for the kids because children don’t want to have to choose,” she added. 

Watch the full interview below. 




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