Married to Medicine star Dr. Jackie Walters has vowed to “be better,” after facing backlash for resurfaced comments she made about pregnant Black women.
The OB-GYN has faced sharp criticism since an interview she did in 2020 went viral last week, and brought renewed attention to her comments saying pregnant Black women sometimes “cry wolf” to their doctors to get out of work.
In an emotional apology video posted to Instagram on Saturday, Dec. 23, Walters said she used the “wrong words.”
“First and most importantly, to Black women and mothers, including your friends, families, and the medical community who cares for you, because my words left you hurt and feeling unsupported, I want you to know I hear you, I see you, I believe you, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” she said while fighting back tears.
“I am brokenhearted over this. The guilt and reality that I have hurt and offended people, especially Black women and some of my own patients, pains me to my core,” Walters added. “As I look back over the two-hour video… I admit that I used the wrong words and descriptions to properly convey my concerns regarding maternal mortality related to women of color.”
She concluded, “I’ve been shaken and moved to be better.”
The reality TV personality made her original comments during an April 2020 podcast interview with her co-star, Dr. Heavenly Kimes, on Kimes’ “Heaven Help Us” podcast.
“Sometimes as African-American women, we’re a bit more dramatic in that you go to the doctor, and you complain, and you complain, and you complain, and you’re not taken seriously because you cried wolf the entire pregnancy,” Walters said at the time. “As African-American women, we want to also make sure you’re being serious with your doctor and not playing the game … Because then, we see you 25 times in the pregnancy, it’s hard to believe that there’s a true problem, when there is a true problem.”
The video went viral when a TikTok user shared the clip and said she was “concerned” about Walters’ comments.
As Baller Alert pointed out, Walters stirred even more debate (and accusations of being a hypocrite) when she recently appeared in a livestream with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss Black maternal mortality rates and to raise awareness about the issue.
The interview was featured on an episode of Married to Medicine to remind viewers that Black women in the U.S. are nearly three times more likely to die from childbirth, than women of other races.
Harris called the problem “inexcusable” for such a wealthy country, and said the Biden administration has been working to address maternal mortality by pressing states to expand Medicaid coverage, and by increasing information and setting up a hotline for pregnant women to get mental health support at 1-833-TLC-MAMA.