Jerry Lewis Drops F-Bomb During Telethon

  1. Posted Sep 4th 2007 12:49PM by TMZ Staff

    [​IMG]A woozy Jerry Lewis, 81, went all Isaiah Washington on his telethon last night, calling someone -- or something -- an "illiterate fag."

    In the midst of a typically Lewis-ian rant in the 18th hour of his Labor Day telethon, France's favorite comedian swayed, trying to dodge the cameraman, then introduced a "family member" as "the illiterate fag," then remembered, seemingly, that he was on live TV ... stopped himself and tried to move on.

    The MDA telethon raised a record $63 million for muscular dystrophy over the three-day weekend.

    After scolding us for calling so early (it's not like he dropped an offensive slur or anything!), a rep for Lewis had no comment on the incident.

    UPDATE: Neil Giuliano, President of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), has just issued the following statement to TMZ: "Jerry Lewis' on-air use of this kind of anti-gay slur is simply unacceptable. It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm's way. Our nation's media have done an admirable job this year holding public figures accountable for their use of anti-gay slurs, and I hope they continue to do so with Mr. Lewis."

    Giuliano told TMZ that GLAAD is reaching out to Lewis' representatives today to request a meeting with him. "We want to sit down with him," Giuliano tells us, "help him understand why these words are so hurtful, and give him an opportunity to raise public awareness about the destructive impact of these kinds of anti-gay slurs, even more so in attempted humor."
  2. Lewis Takes Foot Out of Mouth, Issues Statement

    Posted Sep 4th 2007 5:49PM by TMZ Staff
    Filed under: TV, Wacky and Weird
    [​IMG]Alleged comedian Jerry Lewis has issued a statement to CNN, following the public outcry over his use of a gay slur on this weekend's MDA Telethon:

    "During the 21-1/2-hour live broadcast of my Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this weekend, I made a joking comment to a member of my production team. 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. The success of the show and all the good that will come from it shouldn't be lost because of one unfortunate word. I accept responsibility for what I said. There are no excuses. I am sorry."
  3. GLAAD Accepts Jerry's Mea Culpa

    Posted Sep 4th 2007 7:37PM by TMZ Staff
    Filed under: TV
    [​IMG]After Jerry Lewis apologized for making an anti-gay slur during his MDA Telethon on Monday, GLAAD issued the following statement to TMZ: "GLAAD thanks Jerry Lewis for his swift and direct apology for this incident. We join millions of Americans in applauding the important work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and wish MDA and Mr. Lewis much continued success in their efforts."
  4. I really like the younger, hilariously funny actor version of this man. What happened to him?! He's really strange now.
  5. totally deteriorating
  6. I think if he would have said what he said years ago, no one would have said anything about it.
  7. :shrugs: guess it depends on how many years ago.

    Did it have the same connotation 40 yrs ago?

    In any case, thank God people are more aware of what they say and how demeaning it can be.
  8. Though I never enjoyed his work as an actor/performer, I always commended his efforts for MDA.

    So sad that an annual event for such a great cause can be erased by such a ridiculously irresponsible moment.
  9. I really think he ought to start priming someone to take his place. He ought to have someone who is there through every telethon with him now so they can easily take over when Lewis is unable (or would be ill-advised) to do so.

    Clearly his 2 second delay is malfuntioning, which is very dangerous in live television. Comments like this are very hurtful and when they are used by people on TV can give the mistaken impression that language like that is okay to use. It is not. Comments like that do not come out of one's mouth accidentally unless they are a normal part of your vocabulary to start. In this light, I think Lewis is risking his legacy by continuing with the telethon for too many more years. If he starts priming a replacement now, he can bow out gracefully and pass the baton instead of making another faux-pas and being driven out in shame.
  10. ITA:yes:

    I can tell you that BS doesn't 'accidentally' flow from my lips!
  11. I agree. If you watch old shows like "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" , there were things on those show that people would find offensive today. Yet, they were the number one shows for over 10 years back in the day.
  12. In his golden years, I saw more of a meaner side to him, a very bigoted, opinionated miserable old man.

    They need a new spokesman for that telethon.
  13. Oh dear.... He's getting too old.