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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."


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2606 days ago


Seriously people have a couple cameras follow you around for the majority of your life and by the time you're 81 let's see how many times you mess up and how many lives you save along the way. Really the money he's earned from the organization that wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him (YES HE STARTED THE MDA)has saved lives, made lives longer, easier, and a whole lot happier!!! Everybody makes mistakes! GET OVER YOURSELVES!!! He's HUMAN and not only is he human but he's AMERICAN yeah I said it americans are STUPID!!! I am one so I have the right to say that. Compare us to other countries around the world. Now compare Jerry to the best people you can find and he will more then likely be a much better person in the end. He's a great person stop trying to find stupid little reasons to make him look bad and glorify him for what he's done good. Why does EVERYONE always focus on the tiny bad things I mean really the man in 2 days earned over $63 MILLION dollars for children and adults that need it.

2606 days ago


Shut the hell up! Jerry Lewis has done more for these kids than any of you people could ever think of doing I've watched the telethons on and off for the past several years, and even when Jerry was sick he still did everything he possibly could to help the disabled that's a lot more than most of you can say for yourselves!

2606 days ago


Sue-z-Q, you must be a real jerk. Because an 81 year old man whow has been near to death for a couple of years and is recuperating as best he can makes a dumb statement, which he has apologized for, you are going to deprive the people suffering from the horrible diseases this 81 year old man has given they best years of his life to help. You are the sicko. I hope you have nightmares for the rest of your life that the cure for MD was not found because they were (whatever your check would have been) dollars short and hte researchers were unable to find a cure.

2606 days ago


Diana, I just read Jerry's book about his partnership and friendship with Dean Martin, and discovered a lot of things I never knew before, For instance, the whole thing about Dean Martin being a lush was a farce. Dean was uncomfortable around crowds of people, and someone early on in his career told him that people tended to stay away from you if they thought you were drunk, because of what you might do or say. Dean was a good drunk actor, or should I say actor playing a drunk. Diana, you are illiterate, and it was a pain to read your post, not only because your attacks on Jerry, but your obvious ignoring of your English teacher in school. I have seen immigrants with a better command of the English language than you. When you bring in 63 million dollars to help any portion of the population, then you can speak about Jerry, until you do, keep your fat mouth shut.

2606 days ago


Diana, you are a friggin' liar! It is criminal to accuse people of crimes. Jerry gets nothing from the telethons but the satisfaction of helping others. get up off your knees, Diana, wipe your mouth off and look at people much better than you.

2606 days ago


I think its time for the telethon to go the way of the dodo. I mean we dont hold telethons for cancer, or aids or other diseases. This idiot needs to be shipped back to france and stay there. His age is no excuse for his behavior, its time to take him off the air.

the MDA telethon is the biggest scam on the planet, I know people with MD and they have had their houses paid for, vans bought ect..... its supposed to be going for a cure, but thats a joke, if they havent found a cure by now move on.

2606 days ago


Jerry is NOT hated by the television crew. The man in charge of the TV production crew snuck up behind him during rehearsal and grabbed his ass. Jerry asked him what he was doing and he said " protecting my assettes" everone laughed and went on with rehearsal... And there are a lot of lies being posted here. I can tell you first hand Jerry is not the mean rotten guy some people are trying to make him out to be. I've seen him refer to himself as a "fat old washed-up jew". Pretty humble for a man who has 40 to 70 million people watching him for 21.5 hours once a year. He is a very genuine person with many unique abilities. in addition he uses these abilities, for very selfless reasons. The finger pointing Jerry haters, don't know the real Jerry Lewis or they would feel differently. As for GLADD, and Neil what's his name, they can jump in the lake for all I care. Their overreaction is doing more to stir up anti gay sentiment than anything Jerry ever did or could say... Jerry wasn't attacking them or anyone else. Jerry was doing what he does. Being funny..... Get real.

2605 days ago


roughmaster, I must tell you that you are misinformed. I have been a patient of the MDA for 6 years. They do not pay for your house, your van, your food or otherwise. They provide people with muscular dystrophies access to a doctor. They send disabled children to summer camp. They will contribute up to $2,000 for a wheelchair, leg braces, breathing machines or other needed medical equipment to help sustain some sort of quality of life. They provide group counseling for patient and caregivers. They rest of the money goes to research to find a cure. Although a cure has yet to be found for any of the over 40 neuromuscular diseases that they cover, great advances have been made in gene research and improving the quality of life for patients. In conclusion, I would like to state that since you probably don't have a disease that could kill you before you reach adulthood you may not feel that it is important to find a cure, however, there are hundreds of thousands of people who would like to live a full life and find a cure for their disease. If you are upset that there are no telethons for cancer, aids or other diseases then maybe you should spend less time typing and more time doing something. The only reason that we have a MDA Telethon is because people worked hard to bring it to fruition and MDA has worked hard to show people that they can be trusted with their money.

2605 days ago


No more MDA telethons by this idiot, Age is no excuse for his utterances. Let France have him!

2605 days ago



2605 days ago


425. Okay, as an adult who uses a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy, I have to say this. Yes, it's true that Jerry Lewis's MDA telethon does raise a huge amount of money for his "kids'" medical needs and research. However, this is in the short tem, at least as far as the kids are concerned. Sure, the money that's raised is helping to meet their needs now, but the money is raised by appealing to people's sense of pity for kids who Lewis assumes "can't do this" or "will never do that" (tear). The problem with this strategy is that giving people in the able-bodied world this perception of people with disabilities, it will severely hinder their chances of having a good quality of life later on. A person with a disability may have all the potential in the world to do whatever he or she wants to do. They could go to college, have a career, family, etc., but if all people remember is that kids with disabilities "can't do this" and "will never do that", the ADULT with a disability is going to have a much harder time achieving those goals. What I would really like to see is a telethon that celebrates all the things that people with disabilities and illnesses CAN do and talk about what more CAN be achieved with a little more time and money. In other words, I would like to see people give something of themselves because they want to see another human being succeed, not because they want to help a pitiable creature survive. So much of survival and success is dependent upon positive attitudes and perceptions, and though I appreciate the financial power of Jerry Lewis' MDA telethon, I just wish he showed more concern for the attitudinal barriers he contributes to.

Posted at 9:50PM on Sep 5th 2007 by Anonymous
I have always love and watched the jerry Lewis telathons until the last few years (to much to do) but I agree with what you are saying.Wheelchair racing. handicapped olimpics,Ect any one can do almost anything they set there mind to within reason of course.At 81 give the man a break even now days young kids use that word as a slang word only not meaning gay

2605 days ago


Jerry apologized as GLADD demanded. But Gladd is still not "HAPPY" and insists that Jerry 'meet' with them so they can scold him. I hope he doesn't ... up until this I never heard of Gladd and have been kind of indifferent as to being for or against their cause.

2605 days ago

Oh good one you are so tied-down and so miserable    

Everyone get's it at one time or another, these old timers stayed back in time--they mean no harm people.

Don't mess up our freedom of speech

2604 days ago

Oh good one you are so tied-down and so miserable    

Everything will be a crime sooner then later

2604 days ago
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