A trip back to her home state has landed South Dakota native Mary Hart in some hot water.

Hart, the host of Entertainment Tonight from 1981 to 2011, was at Mount Rushmore July 3rd for President Donald Trump's Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore, where she introduced South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem.

Apparently, during her introduction of the Governor, Hart made an 'okay' gesture with her hands and now one group says there was a hidden message in that gesture.

The Desert Sun is reporting that the Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based anti-Semitism organization, is claiming that the gesture is associated with white supremacy and they are calling on the Palm Springs International Film Festival to drop Hart as the emcee of their annual gala.

Hart has hosted the event for nearly 20 years.

Mary Hart - 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Getty Images

Hart has released a statement about the alleged controversy:

'A White Supremacist symbol. Are you kidding me? I would never use one and never knew that the 'okay' sign was anything but positive.

I was invited to my home state of South Dakota to introduce my friend, Governor Kristi Noem, which I did, and I was proud to be at our great shrine of democracy, Mount Rushmore.

My South Dakota parents instilled in me to respect everyone and that means everyone, no matter their skin color or religion.'

The film festival's chairman, Harold Matzner, told the newspaper that he's reviewed footage of the Black Hills event found nothing wrong with Hart's appearance.

Mary Johanna Harum was born on November 8, 1950, in Madison. She was raised in Sioux Falls and in Denmark. She graduated from Augustana Academy in Canton in 1968, was Miss South Dakota in 1970, graduated from Augustana College in 1972, and later taught English at Washington Hiigh School.


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