Barbara “B.” Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby has come under fire again after claiming the criticism he got for dating another woman while taking care of his sick wife is because the other woman is white.
B.Smith, a former model, restaurant owner, author, and lifestyle icon known for her nationally-syndicated television show “B. Smith With Style,” was diagnosed in 2013 with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Smith was 64 at the time, and since then, her husband, Dan Gasby, has been taking care of her.
Last December, Gasby took to social media to announce that he was in a relationship with Alex Lerner, a chef from Manhattan; they met while Lerner, 53, was caring for her dying father who also had Alzheimer’s.
Gasby’s admission met with a lot of criticism online. Many social media users accused him of cheating on his wife and said he and Lerner should be ashamed.
According to the 64-year-old, however, the backlash had a lot to do with race. Gasby and Smith are African American while Lerner, the new woman, is Caucasian.
Discussing their situation with Al Roker on “TODAY,” Gasby said:
"The 800-pound gorilla in this situation is she's white.”
“I'm not supposed to be conscripted to somebody because of their race,” he added.
Again, Gasby’s comments sparked outrage from social media users and in the comments section of the interview’s YouTube upload, they made their voices heard.
One person said:
“He's fooling himself...race does not matter. He should not have gone public with this relationship. I heard he was shopping a reality show...the nerve...smh.”
“The fact that he is with a white woman means nothing,” another person countered. “He is just using that as a means to justify his actions. Nobody cares that she's white. She could be full African and he would still be a low life cheater. Done.”
Screenshot of a YouTube user's comment to Dan Gasby's comments. | Photo: YouTube/TODAY
A third user implied that Smith would not have done what Gasby were the roles reversed:
“It's NOT because she is white!!! It is because not only is Dan cheating but he brought this woman INTO his home! He can try to use the race card if he wants but deep down he knows this is wrong and Not the truth. B would have not done this to him. I understand it is hard but there are much better ways this could have been handled. He is WRONG on SO many levels.”
During the “TODAY” interview, Roker also asked the former TV producer why he chose to go public with his new relationship.
"Because that's what Barbara asked me to do,” Gasby answered. “B. told me to live, to go on, as I’ve told her,” he added in a different interview with PEOPLE magazine.
Gasby and Smith, 69, have been married now for nearly 27 years. The two have no children together, but Smith is a stepmom to Gasby’s daughter from a previous relationship, Dana.
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