Governor Ivey admits to giving interview about performing skit in blackface, apologizes to state

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a statement on Thursday after a recording surfaced from her time as an Auburn student. The recording is an interview with Ivey's then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, and Ivey for the Auburn student radio station.

In it, the couple gets asked about a skit they participated in at a Baptist Student Union party. LaRavia talks about how Ivey put black paint on her face for the skit called "Cigar Butts."

Ivey released a video statement that we uploaded in full.

Governor Kay Ivey also issued a written statement that reads in full:

“I have now been made aware of a taped interview that my then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, and I gave to the Auburn student radio station back when I was SGA Vice President.

“Even after listening to the tape, I sincerely do not recall either the skit, which evidently occurred at a Baptist Student Union party, or the interview itself, both which occurred 52-years ago. Even though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit – and I still don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface – I will not deny what is the obvious.

“As such, I fully acknowledge – with genuine remorse – my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college.

“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.

“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s. We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.”

Alabama GOP Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement in support of Governor Ivey:

"The Alabama Republican Party appreciates and supports Governor Kay Ivey taking ownership of and responsibility for this 50 plus year old incident. While it occurred when she was a college student, Governor Ivey has stood up, admitted her mistake and offered a sincere apology though she has no recollection of the event. Her extraordinary record of public service shows her ability to work with all people regardless of race, religion or party affiliation. We stand with Governor Ivey uniting our state for a greater future.”

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