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Jerry Lewis Drops F-Bomb During Telethon

9/4/2007 1:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Click to return to TMZ.comA 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."


453 COMMENTS

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361.

sandy    

Jerry Lewis does rake in a pile of money for kids, but that still does'nt excuse him from being an obnoxious, woman-beating, prejudice jerk! And boy!, he's all that and more!

2543 days ago
362.

rreider    

" I can"t believe the reactions of people. NO he shouldn't have said it but to take money away from the people with MD just because he said something you don"t like you should be ashamed of yourself he said it not the people who would benifit from your donations. Also you people have obviously never been around older people sometimes they don"t realize what they are saying and words do have different meanings now then they did when he learned them. I for one thank him for all the good work he has done in the past, whether you like him or not he has helped millions."

Finally, someone with some sense. I will continue to donate to this cause regardless of the telethon MC. Others may take a different stand because comments like Jerry's stir up a lot of hatred. Look at the pointless gay bashing in this thread for examples.
People say that gays who don't want to contribute to this cause now are crybabies. The truth is that there is alot of pain in the world and many needy causes to choose from.
Jerry used to be a draw for contributions, If he is becomming a liability he should be replaced.

2543 days ago
363.

frank    

Jerry is entitled to his freedom of speech. So what if he offended someone. When did we as a society become so sensitive to what people say!? There is so much reverse discrimnation now, it has all become sickening. THe mencia guy, can trash hispanics but if someone else does it, its wrong. Black people can call each other nasty names, but anyone else will be accused of racism. If a white guy is called a cracker or honkey people feel "he had it coming". C'mon drop the nonsense. As a minority it irks me. IF people want to live in america and enjoy its freedoms then don't try to deny someone else theirs.

2543 days ago
364.

CharleyCats    

Amazing how people are so easily offended by insignificant things these days.
Well, they can bloody well get over it!

Personally, I am quite offended by the defilement of such a perfectly legitimate word as "gay" being associated with homosexuality. A word which, by classical definition, has nothing whatsoever to do with the homosexual condition nor it's underlying pathology.

Guess I'll have to get over it.

2543 days ago
365.

Rick D    

I'd like to know where Rosie O'Donnell is. (Maybe she's in Weight Watchers)/ She should be Number 1. I think she should be the first astronaut launched into space...directly towards the Sun.

2543 days ago
366.

johnny    

I think everyone needs to lighten up and stop looking to crucify people for any little thing they say . enough already

2543 days ago
367.

Tony    

the fruitcakes at TMZ aka Time Warner/AOL need to relax and sell off the company once more to relieve some stress

2543 days ago
368.

Annie    

Leave the man alone!

2543 days ago
369.

PAT    

At 81 years of age, he probably speaks his mind and could care less at what he said.

2543 days ago
370.

albino_elf    

I believe people can be what they wanna be, but to me and GODS eyes . gay is not NORMAL.

2543 days ago
371.

J.S.    

My favorite telethon faux pas was in early 70s. John Lennon, his band & Yoko were onstage performing a song when Jerry Lewis got onstage with a trumpet to play (badly) with John's band. Lennon and his band grabbed their instruments and left the stage mid-song, going out of the bldg to the parking lot, leaving Jerry Lewis alone on stage with his trumpet looking like the fool, sheepishly trying to explain it away as a joke until he was told that Lennon and his band had left the bldg and drove away.

2543 days ago
372.

sandy    

Leave him alone? So what happened to the "freedom of speech" you're all yelling about? If he can say whatever HE wants, why can't everyone else, and that includes those that DON'T like him!

2543 days ago
373.

JH    

Next Year donate your money to this worthy cause directly and not thru this telethon, or better yet get someone who values all human beings feelings to host next year. Jerry has proven he is and ignorant human being.

2543 days ago
374.

SoulWithoutShame    

Maybe he was talking about his cigarette that couldn't read

2543 days ago
375.

R D    

Why dont you people grow up every dang one of you have said something raciest in your life time in a joke or some other way grow up and lets worry about other things like all the peope in the USA going hungery and having no place to live

2543 days ago
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