Broadway Actress Alice Ripley Angers Fans with ‘Fag’ Slur

Ripley

UPDATED

Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Alice Ripley has enraged fans after reportedly posting a status update to Facebook late last week in which she off-handedly referred to a critic of her performance in Next to Normal with an anti-gay slur:

"QUOTE FROM A NUMB BUTT ON BROADWAY WORLD: "I'VE SEEN N2N 8 TIMES WITH ALICE RIPLEY, WHICH IS 7 TIMES TOO MANY." HA HA HA HA!!! THIS FRUSTRATED ACTOR (I WON'T SAY FAG) IS MY NEW BEST FRIEND! THANKS FOR LOOKING DOWN ON LOSERS LIKE US THAT WORK FOR A LIVING. YOU ARE THE OPPOSITE OF A WONDERFUL
AUDIENCE."

While some fans are defending Ripley, many readers of the Broadway World site are not amused, and some are planning a stage door protest at 10 pm on Thursday

Writes one commenter: "Bring your 'Alice Hates Fags' signs a la Fred Phelps to Shubert Alley Thursday night at 10. Homophobia will not be tolerated in the theater community. Spread the word. Queers unite against Crazy."

UPDATE — Ripley posted an apology on Facebook early this afternoon: "Hey guys-
I just want to say how sorry I am for my recent post. It was careless and thoughtless and I assure you it is not a reflection of the way I really feel. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always supported the gay community and will continue to do so. I’m embarrassed and I apologize."

Comments

  1. Sean says

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Actor’s should never be allowed to speak their own words. It’s too complicated for them.

    Oy Gevalt!

  2. Scott says

    How stupid do you have to be to spew stuff like that in the theater community? Is she that dense? Or just so incredibly self-centered she doesn’t realize what she’s actually saying?

  3. andrew says

    thats the problem… she wasnt thinking…

    serves as a reminder that everyone should take a deep breath before pressing the enter key. once its out there you cant EVER fully take it back.

  4. Rodolfo says

    It was a dumbass move on her part, but protesting Alice Ripley at the stage door is hardly the best use of anyone’s time and energy. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want us dead.

  5. TampaZeke says

    “I WAS TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT!” in 3, 2, 1…

    WHO is defending her? There really should be NO defense of such stupidity. And don’t try to tell me that using “fag” to insult, degrade and humiliate isn’t homophobic if 1) it’s used by certain people or 2) if the person being insulted isn’t really gay. It IS homophobic, it IS insulting and it IS offensive.

    Rather than say “I was taken out of context” or “I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way” I wish SOMEONE would have the balls to say, “yeah, it WAS homophobic, and for better or worse I use gay slurs against people when they piss me off and and want to use the most offensive insult I can think of and I can’t think of ANYTHING more insulting than to insinuate that someone is gay and to use the most vile gay slur to make my point”.

    Just have some balls and OWN your homophobia, even if it’s subconscious. Apologize for being a bitch/prick/asshole/dickhead and try to do better, but don’t insult us further by denying, or worse justifying, your douchebaggery.

  6. dm says

    Although she’s a terrific performer, she proved with her Tony acceptance speech that she’s her own biggest fan. That kind of comment to any critic demonstrates both her thin skin and a self-involved insensitivity. The right way to protest isn’t at the stage door — it’s by not being in a seat the next time she’s in a show.

  7. Bosie says

    these people protesting this …are idiots…why invest time on someone who WE all know is gay friendly, likes us…yet she made a mistake ONCE>

    NOW why are these same gays not protesting their goverment??? broadway? really? IDIOTS

  8. Kurt says

    The comment which spurred Ripley’s was actually posted on the Broadwayworld messageboard.

    Alice Ripley needs to get a clue – it’s one thing to read professional reviews, it’s quite another, and even more pointless, to read the reviews of bitchy theatre fans.

    And she shouldn’t have made that comment, nor dismissed it as referring to a “cigarette butt”.

  9. says

    Doug: Just because YOU’RE friends with her, therefore she’s immune from criticism? I would say you’re the one who needs to get over himself.

    Also, that “get over yourself” is ironic because you’re gay and you’re defending someone who, when thoroughly pissed off, reached for whatever word she thought was nastiest—and it was fag. Isn’t the whole problem with that use of that word that it tells gay people they’re not worth anything?

    If she were my friend, I’d be telling her to explain herself and apologize, not circling wagons and acting like it was totally fine because she’s a great hang.

    By the way…she was amazing in that amazing show. Probably why some are all the more offended—it’s unfun when someone you’d thought was simpatico isn’t.

  10. David says

    Doug says: “she’s a friend. I’m a fag. seriously…get over yourselves!”
    So, Doug, because (a) AR is YOUR friend and (b) YOU are a fag, then (c) she is automatically allowed to call anyone else a fag? And (d) WE are supposed to get over ourselves? Wow. What great logic. You, sir, are brilliant. Oh, one more thing: Following your logic, I’ll assume that AR refers to your mutual black, Asian, and Jewish friends by their respective slurs? Just wonderin’.

  11. Rodolfo says

    @TampaZeke: Different people use the word in different ways. My straight friends know better than to use it in front of me, but maybe her gay friends don’t care and they use the word as a joke. (If you work in theatre, especially on Broadway, you live in a world far, far removed from reality.) So she was posting on FB the way she talks. And using the word as a joke robs it of its power.

    @DM: She’s an actress in musical theatre. Of course she’s her own biggest fan.

    The real question here is why was she reading BroadwayWorld in the first place? And why did someone who hated her performance see it eight times?

    Anyway, I just read the entire protest threat Andy links to and I don’t think anyone is taking the “demonstration” seriously. Halfway through, the thread turns into a comparison of various M&Ms varieties.

  12. Matt says

    Doug and Bosie, you are dead wrong on this. Part of the reason kids continue to get bullied and taunted at school with the slur fag, is because people like Alice Ripley signal that it’s still ok to use it. She said it and she needs to be called out on it; it’s that simple.

  13. says

    In not in theater or any type of performing arts. However, isn’t it understood that your performance, album or whatever will take a certain amount of criticism, constructive or otherwise? Seems to me, the best course of action is to either not read reviews at all or let them blow over your head.

    I run a blog and have had my share of criticism. Come to think of it, maybe I should take my own advice.

  14. TampaZeke says

    RODOLFO, most gays who don’t mind their straight friends using the word with them don’t mind them using it WITH THEM as a term of endearment, the way some women don’t mind close gay male friends calling them a “bitch” in joking, endearing, very personal way.

    That is another thing entirely than using the word as a slur, out of that personal friendship, joking, endearing atmosphere. I doubt that she will claim that she is personal friends with the critic and meant it in a friendly, endearing way.

    Your argument is a red herring comparing apples and oranges.

  15. Not An Uncle Tom says

    To my mind, referring to a gay person as a fag or faggot is the same as using the N-word about a black person.

    We must remain vigilant and militant about this kind of denigration.

    The use of the word fag in public media like Facebook is a slur, and it is indefensible.

  16. Bill says

    Behind the facade of friendliness of any haterosexual is hate. Moments like this is when that hate is revealed.

    She clearly referred to gay men yet she tried to escape any critism by saying she meant cigarette butt. Get out. Anti-gay language is common among haterosexuals.

  17. MarkDC says

    ALICE RIPLEY:

    “Fag”? Really?

    Stop generalizing from personal experience.

    The truth is heterosexuals freely embrace the comforting predictability of homophobic stereotypes mistaking such “acceptance” as “progressive”. Unwittingly becoming stereotypes themselves. Whether all this is unconscious or self-conscious it is misguided. The soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Your limited knowledge and experience of your “Gays” is at best partial and, I emphasize, irrelevant to the individual and collective specificity of all homosexuals and homosexuality worldwide.

    The Gay “minstrel show” of “fags” you love is a lazy construction of your own uninterrogated delusions which you, consciously or unconsciously, continue to impose on The Gays…unironically.

    Your attitudes are pedantic. Not all Gays conform to those comforting stereotypes you so freely and uncritically swallow. The claustrophobic “Gay Box” comforts only you.

  18. MarkDC says

    There it is.

    Heterosexuals are all homophobic bigots just like most White people are just a little bit racist.

    If you wait long enough it comes out. As a man-who-has-sex-with-men who is not “perceived” by most straight people as a homo I know heterosexuals talk shit on The Gays when they think there are no Gays around. In fact I’ve NEVER met a heterosexual who “gets it”.

    Ripley must have a HUGE sense of hegemonic privilege to think she throw “fag” around in public, online.

  19. says

    She gave one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in Next to Normal . . . so sad she’s . . . well,I have no idea what the hell she’s trying to say here.

    She has often gone onto YouTube and responded to comments critical of her on there. She strikes me as a little bit off her rocker herself (probably why her performance as Diana in Next to Normal was spot on).

    I never quite loved her giant belt in the Side Show days (god that show makes me stabby), and Broadway is overrun with overly trained voices that just like to make a lot of sound. Her broken wobbly delivery in Next to Normal was so refreshing and real and honest and broke my heart for 2 hours.

    I just really hope she realizes she made a stupid move here and issues an apology (but I saw her ranting on FB recently over this, so perhaps not).

  20. says

    MickW, she’s leaving the show very soon, so boycotting it is not the answer. Not to mention there are other people in the show and they deserve to make a living.

    Not to mention it’s not a homophobic show. It’s actually a small little musical that beat the odds and won some Tonys and a Pulitzer and recouped its investment. Not bad for a musical about bipolar disorder.

  21. Matt says

    I thought it was stupid of Alice all right… to read reviews on Broadway message boards!!! Forget “FAGS”– these kids are NERDS!!! Christ! What the fuck was she thinking?! I’m more bothered by the fact that she actually acknowledged one of these nerds rather than the actual name she chose to call him!

  22. Henry Holland says

    On my outrage meter, 10 being Fred Phelps and 1 being the continued existence of Lady Gaga, I’ll give this a 3, nobody outside of the tiny, insular theater world will give a damn.

  23. Sandra Goldstein says

    Alice just posted a very sincere apology on facebook, and it’s quite obvious that she’s pretty embarrassed by this whole situation, as would be expected. This is what she said..

    “Hey guys-
    I just want to say how sorry I am for my recent post. It was careless and thoughtless and I assure you it is not a reflection of the way I really feel. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always supported the gay community and will continue to do so. I’m embarrassed and I apologize.”

  24. SpunkyBunks says

    That was pretty stupid considering she works in a gay-dominated industry! People, drinking and texting don’t mix! She’s learning the hard way. Other than being drunk, I don’t understand how else she could have done it in the first place, over emotional too much?

  25. RJ says

    A couple of things come to mind for me…

    First, that’s the go-to slur Alice Ripley had readied to use as an insult? What is she, 46 going on 13?

    Second, why is she replying to negative fan forum comments at all? Maybe she really IS 46 going on 13.

    @DOUG, if you’re really her friend, you need to sit her down and explain why it’s wrong to use the term “fag” as an insult. And get her to stop trolling through message forums and YouTube comment sections.

  26. Gian Pertusi says

    A few years ago my partner and I met Alice via a gay actor/mutual friend who was in a show with her and we hung out a few times subsequently. There is absolutely nothing anti-gay about Alice Ripley. Those who have any intention of boycotting or protesting should turn their attention to those very many who really are homophobes and leave friends to the community like Alice Ripley alone.

  27. dw says

    She said something hurtful and stupid.
    Then she apologized.
    She’s not the enemy. She’s a great, if sometimes thoughtless actress.
    Done.
    Let’s move on to something that makes a real difference.
    If you want to picket, go to a republican senator or congressman’s office.

  28. MammaBear says

    It was a very stupid thing to write.

    She apologized without any qualification, rationalization, or attempted justification.

    It’s not in the top 100 things anybody needs to worry about today. Most of those things haven’t been apologized for, or have even more serious consequences than a semi-unknown broadway performer posting calling somebody a fag on Facebook.

  29. Todd says

    So, Gian, because there is “absolutely nothing anti-gay about Alice,” it’s okay for her to refer to someone as a fag on Facebook? Really?

    The bitch used the term in a derogatory way.

    She may be mostly “gay-friendly,” but she needs to be taken to task.

    Holding someone responsible for their insensitivity and/or stupidity is the road to growth.
    I don’t think anyone is calling for her crucifixion.

    Oops! Did I use the term “bitch” in a derogatory way, or was I being accurate?
    I guess that’s a matter of opinion.

  30. jamal49 says

    Um, maybe the reviewer WAS a fag (doesn’t have to mean something against us; I don’t think she meant it as a slam on gay people; I think she was slamming the critic’s cowardice). I mean if butt-boy critic has something to say to Alice, why doesn’t butt-boy be a man and tell it to her face? It’s easier to criticize than actually get up there on stage, rehearse hours each day, work your ass off in front of a live audience. Butt-boy critic isn’t even a pro, just a wanna-be with nothing going for him but his fingers on keypad.

  31. says

    Here is the problem I have with this apology. It did not happen until the story appeared here. Ms. Ripley has had days to respond and has chosen to joke about it, saying she meant the British term for cigarette. I think if she were not actually a bigot, she would have apologized as soon as someone pointed it out. I would appreciate any of her friends finding out from her why– if she now finds it so embarrassing– she did not feel that way until the story was on Towleroad.

    Without an explanation of that, I think it’s safe to assume that Ms. Ripley was ordered by the producers of NEXT TO NORMAL to apologize, just as they ordered her to take down her most disturbingly insane YouTube videos (ripleytheband).

    I cannot imagine spending a dime to see her in the future, and I probably would have gone to see Next to Normal when it comes to San Francisco had this not happened. I can do something else with my money.

  32. ADL says

    No one is or was planning on going to a protest. Someone posted about a protest in a very tongue in cheek manner. No one confirmed actually going. It was stupid and thoughtless, but she has apologized now.

  33. says

    First of all, As a teacher to many accomplished Broadway performers, one thing I know is the profound level of vulnerability even the most accomplished artists must be in touch with. Many critics seem to disown their own vulnerability, such that their critiques are wounding to creative artists. In my classes, I know how to hold performers to the absolutely highest standards without wounding them by my commentary. It seems many people haven’t figured out how to do this yet. When more critics, teachers, and everyone in the entertainment world evolve to communicate with deep respect for the profound vulnerability involved in any creative process, the entertainment world will be a much better place…a person would not be vicious to an artist, etc.

    Yah, Alice Ripley is homophobic…puh-leeze, that’s absurd…anyone who doesn’t understand that ALL OF US have bigoted, tribal aspects of our psyche doesn’t get it.

    Everyone has it in them. Whether they know it or not. I know it. And I’m proud of knowing myself so deeply.

    As artists, we have to be in touch with, and access, a very wide range of our imaginations and ways of being in the world. It takes a profound level of Mastery, that no one can achieve all the time, to simultaneously have access to so much within ourselves, and manage it perfectly with everything we do and say. We all have nazi parts, tribal parts, messianic parts, ashamed parts, confused parts, vulnerable parts, magical parts, and on and on…I often say when I’m working with my performers, “As an artist and conscious human being, the only difference between me and a psycho killer is I don’t believe my psycho killer thoughts and act on them!” But, I sure have them…and every other kind of social, loving and anti-social thoughts and feelings I can! It’s part of my job as a performer!

    You can’t be a brilliant performer without all this access…period.

  34. David says

    My favorite part of this post? The first comment–Sean criticizing actors’ intelligence with poor grammar.

    Multiple actors does not have an apostrophe. They are not showing possession.

  35. JimmyD says

    And… In the spirit of FORGIVENESS and LOVE, that the so-called GAY COMMUNITY likes to preach…
    Alice has apologized… BUT! WE SHOULD STILL HATE HER AND PRAY FOR TERRIBLE THINGS TO HAPPEN TO HER because that’s what WE do as a COMMUNITY.
    Alice “made a mistake” and has “apologized”. This, of course means SHE IS THE DEVIL AND SHOULD BE STONED TO DEATH because, again, it’s what WE do.

    Based on some of the comments written by those who have never fucked up in their entire lives, who have never hit ENTER prematurely, those who are prefect beyond perfection, I truly believe some of you feel this way.

    I’ve heard far worse in gay bars that were not errors in judgment and were not followed up with an apology. Should I hope for those people to DIE SLOW AND TORMENTED DEATH?

    Just sayin’…

  36. KJ says

    Ok, I am a straight 24 year old woman and a huge supporter of gay rights and the f word would never ever ever come out of my mouth for any reason ever! If I was mad I would call someone every single curse word under the sun, but never never that. If she even said that word there must be some underlying homophobia there.

  37. John says

    Each of you need to write and lobby your elected representatives so they can arrest and put a muzzle on Alice Ripley because, after all, she’s the reason the world is going to hell in a Prada purse! Shit, you fags are tedious!

  38. MarkDC says

    HELEN THOMAS GOT FIRED…

    Don’t touch “The Jews” or “The Blacks” but shit all over “The Gays”.

    Gays are just gushing, prancing clowns who don’t deserve respect. They’re less than human.

  39. Gaymen says

    Ok, so she was maybe just a little hasty to retaliate to inappropriate hateful messages that were sent her way in the first place but Comments in these posts now seem equally as hateful back! Fighting hate with hate- when will we ever learn guys? Let’s not forget that the original offender of posted comments is also in the wrong and has been banned for anti-social behaviour!
    Gay, Proud, and full support of the Arts not the hate.

  40. Rin says

    I don’t like label words in general. They are inaccurate for one thing and just an absurd cop out as insults. Get personal!

    She called him a fag. Wooooo, how descriptive! I’m sure he was shaking in his boots over that one.

    How about some flare? You corn crusted babyshit green turd! Now, not only is it gross but highly visual.

    Labels are the cheap way to show a whole group that not only do you dislike one person who pissed you off, but them, too.

    Stoopid

  41. Ryan says

    I love the gays that are all “we are going to protest outside the stage door” and “she cant say fag.” Get over yourselves. Really? Doesnt that just scream we are desperate for any excuse to wave a flag and wave a banner that says “look at me I am oppressed”?

    Not everything is an excuse to pick a fight with somebody. Why not start with conversation. It didnt take her long to apologize once she realized her mistake.

  42. Holly says

    @Markdc
    “Heterosexuals are all homophobic bigots just like most White people are just a little bit racist.”

    that’s a pretty damn big generalisation to throw around, isn’t it? you’re (quite rightly, I must say) angered by Alice Ripley’s vocabulary, but then make such ridiculous accusations as that! you want to be treated as just another human, sexuality irrelevant. yet you’re completely ostracising yourself by stating that no one can really ever “get it” though. what is there to “get”? you sleep with men. the end. am I right in thinking then that it works the other way, and homosexuals will never “get” hetros? and that the entire homosexual community is just a little bit prejudice towards us?
    sorry, I just don’t appriciate being called a bigot, thanks.

  43. MarkDC says

    @ HOLLY

    “…am I right in thinking then that it works the other way, and homosexuals will never “get” hetros? and that the entire homosexual community is just a little bit prejudice towards us? sorry, I just don’t appriciate being called a bigot, thanks…” –HOLLY
    __________________________________

    Thank you for proving my point: heterosexuals don’t get it.

    Your heterosexist privilege is so thick and runs so deep that not only do you ignore and indulge it, the very thought of questioning it NEVER even occurs to you.

    Unlike heterosexuals, who FREELY persecute those who are “different” with the FULL hegemonic power of governmental apparatus and societal approval, The Gays have neither the means nor need to universally and carelessly oppress ANYONE who is not just like them…for NO reason…and never give it a second thought.

    Stop defending yourselves. We know some heterosexuals are cool. Stop reminding us.

    As if the sudden existence of a few “cool” heterosexuals redeems your contemptible history of terrorism. Understand the The Gays are attacked and killed every day all over the world because of you.

    COMPLACENCY AND IGNORANCE = COLLUSION

    NO ONE “blames” you.
    NO ONE expects you to fix it.

    We already know you can’t and you won’t do anything. The Gays understand and accept that. Do you?

    Again, thank you for proving my point. I bet you don’t take responsibility for anything. Instead of EVEN acknowledging the worldwide persecution of The Gays by heterosexuals for centuries, instead of accepting that you live in and ENTIRELY different world from The Gays, you instead:

    1) project hysteria
    2) dismiss criticism
    3) absolve yourself of any responsibility or concern

    Like a typical careless and prviliged heterosexual. I bet you don’t see “race” either, huh? It’s called collusion. Ignoring “it” is not an excuse.
    ____________________________________

    sorry, I just don’t appriciate being called a bigot, thanks…” –HOLLY

    Really?

    F U C K Y O U.

  44. MarkDC says

    “…you’re completely ostracising yourself by stating that no one can really ever “get it” though. what is there to “get”?”
    — HOLLY

    What is there to get? Really?

    OK Holly.

    You’re a “cunt”.

    Gee, what is it I don’t “get” about women?

    Sorry, “I just don’t appreciate” you thinking The Gays can oppress heteros with equal force, equating your precious privilege with the persecution of homosexuals worldwide for centuries. Thanks.

  45. Vince In WeHo says

    Alice Ripley is bat-shit crazy, as well as condescending. I don’t care about the fag comment. She was saying in her own high-and-mighty manner, “Well, I’ll give this critic the dignity of having some talent as a former actor, not just a talentless gay man who craves attention who couldn’t hack it on stage.” But, there are plenty on this comment board who are crying homophobia … tomatoe, tomato?

    What I care about is the f*cking high horse this bitch sits on. Did anyone listen to her Tony acceptance speech for N2N? Now, THERE is something to be offended by. I wish someone would take her down a couple rungs. Sure, she’s mega-talented, but she needs a reality check. The world doesn’t revolve around Broadway.

  46. Lisa Kasamoto says

    Update to: Broadway Actress Alice Ripley Angers Fans with ‘Fag’ Slur

    Alice Ripley Target of Sham Campaign and Protest

    June 11, 2010

    Not only did no one show up for the protest, but the reason it was being organized had nothing to do with defending the Gay & Lesbian community against a slur. Ms. Ripley just happened to be the actor caught up in the organizer’s calculating set up, in the name of research, religion, and recruiting. It could have been anyone.

    The BroadwayWorld.com poster, “isntitromantic”, wrote: “I am a PhD candidate in psychology doing my part of my doctoral thesis on the long term effects of anonymous internet use on posters who share a common interest, i.e., Broadway or a particular performer. I posted the initial post about the [protest] rally to:

    a. see whether such a thing would happen
    b. bring in the Christian thread with the avatar
    c. see how the fans/non-fans of a celebrity of Ms. Ripley’s stature would react and interact
    d. see what other issues would come up.

    I would like to interview some of you personally about your responses and feeling about things that were posted on this thread. Please message me if you would be willing to speak with me.”

    This person’s original call for a protest was already offensive for using a slur against the mental health community. Now, it’s even more so, given that it is entirely misleading to everyone on both sides: “stage door demo for Ripley’s FAG slur Thurs. at 10 pm. Homophobia will not be tolerated in the theater community. Spread the word. Queers unite against Crazy.”

    Too bad baiting and manipulation are tolerated, to the point that it caught someone of integrity, like Alice Ripley, in its mess.

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