Jerry Lewis Apologizes for Gay Slur
In telethon's 18th hour, comedian flung insult at camera
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Sep 5, 2007 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Comedian and advocate Jerry Lewis, 81, expressed regret at his unscripted use of the word "fag" in his Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. In the marathon's 18th hour, Lewis addressed a camera, pretending to introduce it to other members of its family:  "Oh, your family has come to see you," he said into the camera, beckoning to another. "You remember Bart, your older son," and, motioning toward a third, "Jesse, the illiterate fag."

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation demanded satisfaction immediately, and Lewis was swift to apologize, saying, "That something like this would distract from the true purposes of the telethon pains me deeply." He added, "There are no excuses. I am sorry." The telethon raised $63.8 million, a record.