Sunny Hostin, co-host on The View, was born Asunción Cummings, and during an appearance on Finding Your Roots on PBS, she revealed that she changed her Spanish name after Nancy Grace had trouble pronouncing it on TV.
Hostin brought her legal expertise to television after being invited to share her knowledge on Court TV with Grace. However, Grace tripped whenever she said Asunción and asked Hostin to change it.
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“She struggled, every take,” Hostin told host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “It was just so crazy. She couldn’t get it.”
Hostin recalled that Grace “said, at the break, ‘Can I say something to you?’ I was like, ‘Sure.’ She was like, ‘Do you have another name? A nickname? I don’t know.’ And she just kept at it. She was basically telling me, You’re very good at this, but that name is not gonna fly. You need to just go by a nickname.”
“I said, ‘Well, some friends in school who couldn’t pronounce my name call me Sunny. But, no one in my family calls me Sunny, I don’t use it professionally,'” she continued. “And the next segment, I was Sunny Hostin.”
After she changed her name professionally, Hostin noticed that her “career took off” and “all of a sudden, people remembered who I was.”
Later on in the episode, Hostin found out that her Puerto Rican heritage on her mother’s side was predominantly Spanish, who were slaveholders.
“Wow, I’m a little bit in shock. I just always thought of myself as Puerto Rican, half Puerto Rican, I didn’t think my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders,” Hostin said.
It was also uncovered that Hostin’s husband Many has some shared background with the Summer on the Bluffs author adding, “I think it’s actually pretty interesting that my husband and I have shared roots, so I do appreciate that, and I think it’s great for our children to know this information. I guess it’s a fact of life that this is how some people made their living, on the backs of others.”
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