I wrote the other day about the latest adoption plot on Grey’s Anatomy. Shondra Rimes, the producer, and Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, have spoken publicly about wanting to explore adoption in the show. And after an appearance on The View, some media sources cited Pompeo as “defending transracial adoption.” I happily looked up the video clip, and found that she does just about the opposite of defending transracial adoption.

Early on in the interview, Whoopi Goldberg asked her if she had gotten any backlash from the storyline of white parents trying to adopt a child of color.

Pompeo said, “Well, no one can say anything to me because I HAD a child of color.”

Here’s the clip.

So, when thrown a question about backlash from the show’s plot, Pompeo took the question personally–”no one can say anything to me.” Goldberg’s question is extremely culturally pertinent. They could have had a great conversation on the issue.

Pompeo could have talked about the challenges of  transracial adoption. She could have affirmed that, with the right tools and attitude, white parents might successfully parent a child of color that is not biologically related to them. Instead, she does that thing that makes adoptive parents cringe. That word that Pompeo so heavily accents–had–carries an idiomatic, physical meaning. She meant, “I gave birth to a child of color.” {As in “When did she have the baby?”} By answering Goldberg’s question as she did, Pompeo asserts that she can parent a child of color successfully because of her ability to conceive, carry, and birth that baby.

Pompeo’s statement has nothing to do with defending transracial adoption. She avoided the question of adoption altogether.

The rest of the conversation on the video is an embarrassing reminder that most celebrities can’t talk about substantial issues in an intellectual manner. I know the format of The View is casual, and I know Pompeo was probably nervous and taken aback at the situation. All of that aside, I really think Pompeo should show how smart and accomplished she is by hiring a media consultant who can help her speak about important issues in stressful situations.