TODAY's Talk

Hoda: Host who bashed Wimbledon champ's appearance 'an idiot'

July 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM ET

Radio host John Inverdale, left, criticized Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli's appearance.
TODAY
Commentator John Inverdale, left, criticized Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli's appearance.

Andy Murray may be garnering the world's attention for his Wimbledon victory over the weekend, but it’s the controversy surrounding the tournament’s woman champ that had Hoda and Kathie Lee all hot and bothered on Monday.

BBC commentator John Inverdale criticized the appearance of France’s Marion Bartoli by saying she was “never going to be a looker.” He wondered aloud whether her father had told her that “to compensate for that, you are gonna have to be the most dogged, determined fighter that anyone has ever seen on the tennis court.”

The comments infuriated Kathie Lee and Hoda, who straight out declared: "He’s an idiot."

Kathie Lee wanted Inverdale to be punished and couldn't believe he got a pass from his BBC bosses, who simply agreed the comments were “insensitive” and apologized on his behalf.

“I hope he got in a lot of trouble for it. I don’t want him to be fired – don’t Paula Deen him, okay?” she said. “I’m not going to be rude and say anything about his looks, but why is it that it’s okay for these men to say anything they want about women with immunity?”

Hoda noted that the comments were the biggest highlight coming out of last weekend’s women’s title match since Bartoli and her opponent, German Sabine Lisicki, are two relatively unknowns.

Bartoli, for her part, responded to the comments with class and graciousness.

"It doesn't matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact," she said. “Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes."

Inverdale later said he sent Bartoli an apology letter and, on air, described his remarks as “clumsy.” He said Bartoli is “a fantastic example to all young people that it's attitude, and will and determination together, obviously with talent, that in the end gets you to the top.”

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