The View’s Sunny Hostin reveals she changed her Spanish name because Nancy Grace couldn’t pronounce it

The View’s Sunny Hostin reveals she changed her Spanish name because Nancy Grace couldn’t pronounce it

Sunny Hostin has explained how fellow TV journalist Nancy Grace influenced her to change her professional name to something more Americanised.

Born Asunción Cummings, The View co-host used to go by her Spanish name early in her career when she appeared alongside Grace on Court TV.

However, Grace’s constant struggle to pronounce Asunción led her to create a stage name, Hostin revealed on a recent episode of PBS’s docuseries Finding Your Roots.

“[Grace] struggled, every take,” Hostin, 55, said. “It was just so crazy. She couldn’t get it.

“Then she said, at the break, ‘Can I say something to you?’ I was like, ‘Sure.’ She was like, ‘Do you have another name? A nickname?’ 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.’”

She continued: “I said, ‘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.’ The next segment, I was Sunny Hostin.”

Hostin said that once she started going by Sunny, “all of a sudden, people remembered who I was” and her “career took off”. She added that the phenomenon said “something about our world” and how it views minorities.

Sunny Hostin and Nancy Grace (Getty Images)
Sunny Hostin and Nancy Grace (Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the episode, Hostin – whose father is African American and mother is Puerto Rican – was shocked to discover that some of her family originated from Spain and “owned at least one human being”.

“Wow, I’m a little bit in shock,” she told Finding Your Roots host and educator Henry Louis Gates Jr. “I just always thought of myself as half Puerto Rican. I didn’t think my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders.

“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,” she said, acknowledging: “I guess it’s a fact of life that this is how some people made their living, on the backs of others.”

Hostin has been married to Emmanuel Hostin since 1998. They share two children, 21-year-old Gabriel and 17-year-old Paloma.

The journalist and lawyer has co-hosted The View since 2016 alongside fellow presenters Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro.