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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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46.

Frank Sinatra    

Jeeeeerrrrryyyy! Still got it baby! I'll tell Dean next time I see him...he'll LOVE it! These wussy, fey, over-sensitive girl-man/man-girl generations that have sprung up since THE DAY wouldn't know real comedy if it bit 'em on the nose. Keep kickin' em in the ass, baby!!!

2519 days ago
47.

observer    

It's strange that it's okay to be a sexual deviant but not okay to be referred to as one (when you are).

2519 days ago
48.

spy    

I am thirty years old and gay, and I could not care less what these celebrities say! I have enough self-esteem to not be bothered or offended. Life is too short to be offended by what other people think or say. Seriously, once you realize that, you will be a happier person.

And no, I did not care when Isaiah Washington said it, either... so don't try to throw that in my face!

2519 days ago
49.

Tangie    

#37Me---well said!

2519 days ago
50.

gjb    

Everybody says words they shouldn't at some time or another. Quit being so sensitive. There are lots of words that are being said on the news and for entertainment value that I don't like or am sensitive to but does anybody care. I don't think so.

Just get over it and stop whining!

2519 days ago
51.

Julie the Jarhead    


#34. When did that turn into the "f-bomb"?

I'm with you. I thought the "f-bomb" had four letters.

As for Mr. Lewis, chalk it up to a combination of age and fatigue. I'm not his biggest fan, but he does the MDA Telethon every year, and they raise tons of money for research that goes far beyond MD or ALS.

2519 days ago
52.

gingergirl    

If he would of used, "Heterosexual," should the Hetero's be offended? I don't think so, because that's what they are. What was offensive, was the word, "Ignorant." Even though a lot of us are ignorant. Lighten up, we are, what we are. Learn to accept it. Anyway, he was only trying to be funny.

2519 days ago
53.

bayouman    

Oh my God. Everybody panic. And 81 year old comedian made a derogatory remark. On TV.

The world has ended.

Get real. It's not even the worst thing that will happen within the ten minutes in most of our lives. End the witchhunt now before stupidity is turned into an art form.

2519 days ago
54.

Sinistar    

Whoa wait... There are TWO f-bombs now? When did that happen?

2519 days ago
55.

Monty    

This is not the first time Lewis' true colors have surfaced. One year he kicked out a group of people in wheelchairs (Front row) because they were there too long.

2519 days ago
56.

swift    

u.......go jerry call it like u see it ,if u are one should not care to be called one!
jerry fan for life

2519 days ago
57.

SuperStarSteve    

I agree with poster #42 who said that everybody's getting too sensitive. He's a crotchety old Jew I guess.

2519 days ago
58.

gingergirl    

Sorry, I used the wrong word which is, "Illiterate" not ignorant. Post#43

2519 days ago
59.

Nuts    

ha ha no outrage yet.if he was black or far right media would be all over him by now.ha ha what hypocrites.

2519 days ago
60.

TinkyWinky    

Next year's telethon should be moved from Las Vegas to the Minnesota Airport Mensroom, stall 3.

2519 days ago
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