Comedian Jerry Lewis on Tuesday apologized for using the word “fag” as he broadcast his annual Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy…
In the 18th hour of the telethon Monday, Lewis, with his bow-tie undone and his shirt collar open, stumbled around the set at the South Coast Hotel, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada, marveling at the cameraman’s ability to keep up with him. “Look how good he moves that camera, you son of a gun. Wherever I go, he goes,” said Lewis, 81. “Let’s see what you do with this over here,” said the comedian and actor, who became famous as Dean Martin’s slapstick partner on stage and in several films in the 1950s. Lewis then gestured toward two other cameras on the set. “Oh, your family has come to see you. You remember Bart, your oldest son,” he said, pointing to one camera. “Jessie, the illiterate fag,” Lewis said, pointing to the other.
And, the apology:
Lewis said in a written statement: “That something like this would distract from the true purpose of the telethon pains me deeply… The success of the show and all the good that will come of it shouldn’t be lost because of one unfortunate word. I accept responsibility for what I said. There are no excuses. I am sorry.”