A gay group that monitors the media has criticised Australia’s Channel Ten for broadcasting comedian Jerry Lewis’ comments about cricket.
During a news conference in Sydney last week the veteran comedian was asked for his opinion on cricket.
“Oh, cricket? It’s a fag game. What are you, nuts?” 82-year-old Lewis replied, while handling an imaginary cricket bat in a camp manner.
“Network Ten should never have given a platform for Mr. Lewis’ remarks,” said a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation spokesman.
“The network needs to apologise to its viewers and do a better job in holding public figures accountable for their use of anti-gay slurs.”
Last year, Lewis apologised after making a comment during a televised fund-raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“Oh, your family has come to see you. You remember Bart, your oldest son, Jesse, the illiterate fag..” Lewis said before stopping mid sentence, presumably realising that the joke may not be appropriate in a politically correct society.
Lewis later apologised “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,” he added.
“The success of the (telethon) 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.”
“Last year, Mr. Lewis apologised for using an anti-gay slur on live television, and expressed his desire to raise public awareness about the impact of this kind of defamation,” GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano said.
“Clearly he did not take the lessons of that unfortunate episode to heart because, in an effort to be humorous, he has once again managed to offend and defame the gay community.”
“For someone so well known for helping others, Mr. Lewis shows an incredible lack of dignity and respect when he makes comments that contribute to a climate of intolerance.”