B. Smith’s husband of 26 years, Dan Gasby, landed himself in hot water after the Washington Post published a profile featuring himself, his wife who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and his new girlfriend Alex Lerner seemingly cohabitating as one big happy union. The public outcry on B.’s behalf is based on the belief that Dan is disrespecting his wife by parading this new relationship in the media when his wife clearly isn’t in the state of mind to give consent. Dan, however, says he believes the backlash is solely based on the fact that his girlfriend is a white woman.
To clear up the negative response to his new relationship status, Gasby has been on somewhat of a clean up tour to set the record straight. The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin have opposed Dan’s relationship on-air, saying the fact that Lerner has her own bedroom in their home is “very disrespectful.” They recently decided to give Gasby the opportunity to answer to their criticism as a guest on the show. With a noticeably absent Goldberg missing from the table, Hostin probed Gasby with Lerner in the audience.
“When we got the diagnosis at Mount Sinai … she stopped me, put her hand on my arm and … she said to me, ‘I want you to go on,'” Gasby said, defending his decision. “I’m not doing anything we didn’t discuss.”
Gasby also vents about the criticism he’s received since going public with his girlfriend. “Every kind of bad thing you can possibly imagine I was accused of,” he claims. “The other side of that coin was also because the person that I am now involved with is white, the racial innuendo is devastating.”
In addition to The View, Gasby and Lerner also spoke with Al Roker, who formed a friendship with the married couple over the years. During the conversation, Gasby again maintained that race plays a role in how people feel about his new relationship. “The 800-pound gorilla in this situation is she’s white,” Gasby told Roker on TODAY Wednesday.
“In other words, if Alex were black, you don’t think that…” Al said.
“Nah,” Gasby said. “Not at all. I’m not supposed to be conscripted to somebody because of their race.”
Despite Gasby’s belief that race has everything to do with how his girlfriend is being perceived, many folks on social media couldn’t disagree more.