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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

No Avatar
376.

buddah610    

As a lesbian I could care less about the f word or any other so called "derogetory"
term. We call ourselves worse so whats the big deal? GLAAD needs to get over it and find a more worthy cause. The only thing that is accomplished by publicly scolding
someone is that they think twice before saying it in public but they still say it in private.
You think your going to change the way an 81 yr. old man think's with a "sit down", get real! The man is in show buisness and probably has had more gay friends than we
could ever imagine.

2424 days ago
377.

chops martin    

thats called freedom of speech, nothing off limits..

2424 days ago
378.

valari    

he can say what he wants, just keep raising that money for ms.

2424 days ago
379.

Anthony    

Whats the big deal. Right away a celebrity says something that we'd ALL say, and its a mortal sin. So what that he was joking and said the god allmighty "F" word. And those of you who got so offended by it, well just go get into your knee high rolled up nylons, with your babooska on your head, your rosary in your hand, and shut the hell up! Get a life, its 2007!

2424 days ago
380.

Scott    

If you believe in the cause to donate money to fight to find a cure for MD and to support the research and needs of those who have any of the diseases, then it shouldn't matter what any host or performer did or said on the telethon to stop you from making good on your pledge. If Jerry actually said anything that was offensive to someone, though it wasn't directed at any group or viewers, or people who weren't even watching the telethon that now have something to complain about and rally around, then he should have a chance to explain himself, but it should have no bearing on the ultimate goal of raising money for a good cause. It is comforting to me who watches the telethon and donates on an annual basis, to know that Jerry has dedicated his life to the fight. He may be a crude man or just old, but his heart and dedication cannot be denied.

2424 days ago
381.

Lester    

Kick the guy off the telethon, that gay hater, wait, who going to do the telethon?

2424 days ago
382.

timothy west    

its was a joke! if you didnt think it was funny,F-U !!!!!!!

2424 days ago
383.

Russ Beckworth    

I used to do Volunteer work for the Telethon yrs. ago. I was under the impression Lewis did it voluntarily, little did I know. He gets paid for what he does. Piece of trash and has no sympathy for those kid's. Just wants the spot light. Won't miss him when he croaks and it couldn't be to soon.

2424 days ago
384.

arabarb    

Jerry Lewis should be dumped from MDA telethon... his rating and slurs are well known. at one MDA telethon he said in mentioning the effects of nerve diseases.." any one who so aflicted with ALS should put a gun in his/her month and end it all" CEO director of MDA R.R. told me personally that " I misunderstood his speech".... however it was on the tape but they never apologized for that horrible remark.

2424 days ago
385.

zal    

He is a comedian first and foremost.....most comedians have far worse mouths than that for goodness sakes.... give the man a break! This world is way too uptight!! If it isnt one group it would be another... lets all hum a few bars of give peace a chance......shall we??? Geezzzz!

2424 days ago
386.

ttaavvyy    

I find it interesting that so many of you condemn Jerry for saying what he said yet, in the next breath, call him names. Take your own medicine!

2424 days ago
387.

sidekick    

What I don't understand is why everybody is so upset about the gay slur when he's being so disparaging towards the illiterate. At least gay people can read gay books (see Oprah's reading list). On top of that, he is doing a telethon for people with MS, and you know half of those retards can't read.

2424 days ago
388.

Doc    

I'm seeing a lot of hate with Jerry's staement to a family member from the folks out here. Let's look at the money that he's raising for a good cause, wheather he's making some of it or not. What contributions of this type are currently being made by the gay community? It seems that we want to attack to preserve our way of life and condem anothers efforts to help donate to a wortwhile cause.

2424 days ago
389.

allen nowlin    

Martin and Lewis were gay lovers. Everybody in Hollyweird knows that. Hollyweird is gay country. Superman was gay, the first Batman sucked it, and even Paris eats it.

2424 days ago
390.

Big Dee    

kudos to Jerry. It's time for the Gays @ Lesbians see themselves as GOD sees them! HE calls them an abomination .In my opinion , all the G & L people out thereshould take a long look at what they present to the public. NOWHERE in the BIBLE does it say that GOD condones what they chosen to be. I say, call a thief a thief, a beggar a beggar, etc. If you don't like being called what YOU have chosen to be, don't push it in everyones face.

2424 days ago
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