Tuesday, September 4

Jerry Lewis raises over $63 million; drops F-bomb on live television

When you are on television for a 21 and a half hour live telethon, a national television audience can forgive you if you get tired... but will they forgive Jerry Lewis for calling someone (or something) an "illiterate faggot" during the 18th hour of his broadcast?

Some gossip blogs have raised the question whether Lewis actually said, "fatty" instead. Either way, it's a major on air faux pas. You can watch the video for yourself here.

Lewis reps did not have a comment for TMZ about the slip, but according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Jerry Lewis 42nd Labor Day Telethon set a record of $63,759,478 in contributions and pledges.

The telethon does not use a lot of "A-list" celebrities (this year included: Ed McMahon, Jann Carl,Tom Bergeron, and Alison Sweeney), but it did rely on MDA's largest national sponsor, the International Association of Fire Fighters, to present checks representing the agency's year-round fund-raising efforts in the record amount of $25 million.

You gotta hand it to Jerry... even though there are critics of some of the marketing tactics, that's a lot of money to raise. Let's see when/how he issues an apology for using what I consider hate speech.

UPDATE: At 8:20pm, we saw that Jerry Lewis issued this apology:

"I made a joking comment to a member of my production team," he said in a statement issued to CNN. "I apologize to anyone who was offended. I, obviously, made a bad choice of words. Everyone who knows me, understands that I hold no prejudices in this regard. In the family atmosphere of the telethon, I forget that not everyone knows me that well; that something like this would distract from the true purpose of the telethon pains me deeply."

1 comment:

Sam Davis said...

Unfortunately, people often use words without thinking, particularly words that denigrate others. The young people of SGI-USA, the Nichiren Buddhist lay association to which I belong, have for some years now been conducting a Victory over Violence campaign throughout the country.

Among other lessons they are attempting to share is that a critical part of overcoming violence is understanding how words can promote dialog and understanding or exacerbate hate and incite violence.

It is to be hoped that Mr. Lewis will not only issue an apology, but understand the deeper implications of using "violent" speech.