Jason Alexander Apologizes For Gay Jokes

Last week, I made an appearance on the Craig Ferguson show – a wonderfully unstructured, truly spontaneous conversation show. No matter what anecdotes I think will be discussed, I have yet to find that Craig and I ever touch those subjects. Rather we head off onto one unplanned, loony topic after another. It’s great fun trying to keep up with him and I enjoy Craig immensely.

During the last appearance, we somehow wandered onto the topic of offbeat sports and he suddenly mentioned something about soccer and cricket. Now, I am not a stand-up comic. Stand up comics have volumes of time-tested material for every and all occasions. I, unfortunately, do not. However, I’ve done a far amount of public speaking and emceeing over the years so I do have a scattered bit, here and there. 

Years ago, I was hosting comics in a touring show in Australia and one of the bits I did was talking about their sports versus American sports. I joked about how their rugby football made our football pale by comparison because it is a brutal, no holds barred sport played virtually without any pads, helmets or protection. And then I followed that with a bit about how, by comparison, their other big sport of cricket seemed so delicate and I used the phrase, “ a bit gay”. Well, it was all a laugh in Australia where it was seen as a joke about how little I understood cricket, which in fact is a very, very athletic sport. The routine was received well but, seeing as their isn’t much talk of cricket here in America, it hasn’t come up in years. 

Until last week. When Craig mentioned cricket I thought, “oh, goody – I have a comic bit about cricket I can do. Won’t that be entertaining?”. And so I did a chunk of this old routine and again referred to cricket as kind of “gay” – talking about the all white uniforms that never seem to get soiled; the break they take for tea time with a formal tea cart rolled onto the field, etc. I also did an exaggerated demonstration of the rather unusual way they pitch the cricket ball which is very dance-like with a rather unusual and exaggerated arm gesture. Again, the routine seemed to play very well and I thought it had been a good appearance.

Shortly after that however, a few of my Twitter followers made me aware that they were both gay and offended by the joke. And truthfully, I could not understand why. I do know that humor always points to the peccadillos or absurdities or glaring generalities of some kind of group or another – short, fat, bald, blonde, ethnic, smart, dumb, rich, poor, etc. It is hard to tell any kind of joke that couldn’t be seen as offensive to someone. But I truly did not understand why a gay person would be particularly offended by this routine.

However, troubled by the reaction of some, I asked a few of my gay friends about it. And at first, even they couldn’t quite find the offense in the bit. But as we explored it, we began to realize what was implied under the humor. I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate , thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous. 

But what we really got down to is quite serious. It is not that we can’t laugh at and with each other. It is not a question of oversensitivity. The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal” are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a “real man” or a “real woman” are supposed to look like, act like and feel like. 

For these people, my building a joke upon the premise I did added to the pejorative stereotype that they are forced to deal with everyday. It is at the very heart of this whole ugly world of bullying that has been getting rightful and overdue attention in the media. And with my well-intentioned comedy bit, I played right into those hurtful assumptions and diminishments.

And the worst part is – I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the ‘70’s in a town that revered it’s school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence. 

So one might think that all these years later I might be able to intuit that my little cricket routine could make some person who has already been made to feel alien and outcast feel even worse or add to the conditions that create their alienation. But in this instance, I did not make the connection. I didn’t get it. 

So, I would like to say – I now get it. And to the extent that these jokes made anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt – please know that was not my intention, at all or ever. I hope we will someday live in a society where we are so accepting of each other that we can all laugh at jokes like these and know that there is no malice or diminishment intended.

But we are not there yet. 

So, I can only apologize and I do. In comedy, timing is everything. And when a group of people are still fighting so hard for understanding, acceptance, dignity and essential rights – the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come. I hope my realization brings some comfort. 

Thanks,
Jason

Comments

  1. Nathan says

    I do believe Jason Alexander is probably a nice guy and isn’t homophobic. With that said though, we are way too late in the game for comedians to be playing dumb. Anyone in show business, especially someone like him with decades of experience, should know better.

    Gay jokes are stupid and we’re tired of them. They’re not clever or witty, and they’re very rarely funny. There are plenty of ways to be funny without targeting gay people.

  2. Strepsi says

    You know what? After years of comedians and politicians’ non-apology apologies (i.e. saying “I’m sorry if you were offended by my brilliance, you didn’t get it, etc.”) I would say that THIS is a real apology.

    Well said Jason.

    And from this ‘mo, at least, apology accepted.

  3. Robert says

    I really love this apology. And as for him knowing better, I really think sometimes we make mistakes, or misjudge situations. Sometimes our mouths move faster than our brains. It happens, we are human. It would make him an ass if he didn’t think about what he said and apologize. But he did, and I for one accept his apology and forgive him.

  4. Alex Parrish says

    Finally — a REAL apology. Speaking for myself, I say, Mr Alexander, apology accepted; I’m still a fan. I hope others can examine this apology and make up their own mind. A sincere and well-thought-out apology must not be rejected out-of-hand.

  5. Dr. C says

    Well said Sir! I greatly appreciate this apology… Powerful, articulate, and sincere. (seeing him in The Rink with Chita and Liza years ago, the guy has class and comes from good show biz stock!)

  6. russ says

    I think that was a perfect apology. Remember, Jason is an actor, not a comic. It was clearly a stumble, and the apology feels very very sincere.

  7. New Man says

    “The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal”…”

    Fair enough as an apology.

    This too, however, should be understood: Sexuality is not just a behavior, or a ‘choice’ or an ‘attitude’. For the overwhelming majority of GLBTs, and particularly teens, it’s an innate part of their being–they don’t learn it, choose it, or adopt it. Many do, however, end up having to repress it.

    And FWIW, I have always been under the impression that Jason Alexander was homosexual. Have I been wrong? If so, and to the extent that such misperception might have caused any pain or distress or misunderstand for him and/or any alleged wife and/or alleged children he might claim, I apologize.

  8. Dback says

    I still love him. Phenomenal talent, lovely man. He messed up a bit, apologized profusely for it while explaining himself gracefully, I’m ready to move on.

  9. Gregv says

    I accept Jason’s apology. But I am perplexed as to why it should have taken him and his gay friends five seconds, let alone long discussions, to figure out where the offense was in the comments.

    Would it help to replace the word “gay” with some other minority group descriptor and listen to how ot sounds?
    If Jason had watched footage from the era of black civil rights struggles in which a comedian had said that Cricket seems like a sport made for black people (because of the way they run aimlessly back and forth with no apparent rhyme or reason, throw like they’re dancing and then laze around for snack breaks), would the offense have been more obvious? Are such jokes funny now that blacks have equal legal rights, as the gay jokes apparently will be “someday” when there are no longer gay teens in small towns who are forced to quit school for their own safety?

    Well, anyway, I’m glad he’s “got it” now, and I’ve regained some of my respect gor him.

  10. hashfag says

    @ Paul R. you KNOW that if it was any briefer that the politi-tard nellies on here would be whining that it “wasn’t good or sincere enough”.

  11. David in Houston says

    Wow… that’s quite an apology. In all honesty, I don’t think the joke merited an apology. But it was nice that he went the extra mile and made one anyway. Intent is everything; and their was no malice in that joke. I think we’re capable of laughing at a joke that uses ‘gay’ as a reference to femininity.

  12. Steve C.L. says

    I wish he could have “gotten it” before that garbage spewed forth, but it’s also true that that was a thoughtful, candid, well-crafted, and appropriate apology. (Much better than Dharun Ravi’s.) I was not put off by the length: It implies thought, and respect for the issue. A quick Twitter nonpology can be like, “I don’t actually care about the content of the complaint; let’s just settle out of court to get past this as fast as possible.”

    I do wonder some about the psychology behind his choice of that bit. It was truly surprising. He had seemed gay-friendly before. Is it the case that now that he presents himself with a full head of hair, he’s drawn to taking on the persona of an in-group a-hole?

    And I really hope there were no gay kids, or their straight peers, out there watching that bit.

  13. Frank says

    I was not offended by the joke, but then again I’ve a got a fairly thick skin. That said, I thought his apology was lovely (too “gay” a word??) and extremely well writen.

  14. Larry says

    Another example of where Jason stands on LGBT issues…this is pretty darn great. He ‘tweeted’ this just before the Amendment One Vote in North Carolina…he is on the right…ummmm, I mean, CORRECT…side of things.

    “This will be a very sensitive area… the vote against same-sex marriage in North Carolina today. I realize and respect the sensitivity.

    Many voting against are doing so out of religious conviction that same sex couples are an abomination. The fact that homosexuality runs throughout all of nature and certainly throughout all human history does not seem to dissuade them. Even though the Almighty must have some reason for such an abundant creation. However, I learned long ago that arguing faith is unproductive. The very essence of faith is that there is no other way to support it other than faith. And so, poking at it only serves to aggravate those who hold faith near and dear. And I do not wish to aggravate anyone.

    In recent history, I have perceived a move toward understanding and accepting homosexuals. My personal encounters around the country and world have allowed me to be constantly surprised by the evolving generosity toward the gay community. And I am so deeply pleased by that.

    Gay men and women have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. They have played important roles in my education and my career. They are leaders in my chosen field. And, here’s the cliche – some of my very dearest friends are gay men and women. While I understand the differences between them and myself and my other straight friends and family – the differences have never felt significant to me, even when I was a child. Homosexuals are not “other” to me. They are simply part of my world.

    As someone who has closely held bonds with many homosexuals, I can only wish them a full, joyous, successful life. I have wonderful relations with gay couples and gay families. I must tell you, they are some of the most loving and most successful couples and families I know. Maybe because they must work so much harder at times to survive.

    When the subject of marriage comes up for them, I cannot but understand, sympathize and fully support their wish and their right to marry. As I would for any mature, adult, loving, dedicated people.

    Marriage has two components – spiritual/religious and legal. It is my understanding and my belief that no religious institution can or should be forced by any government or law to condone or support anything that is antithetical to its core beliefs and practices. Hence, no church or temple or mosque or religious group with spiritual authority should ever be forced to perform a marriage they cannot support.

    But likewise, the legal contract of marriage is a binding document between two adults (usually) who have made a commitment to each other and are seeking both the rights and responsibilities of marriage. No marriage is legal without it. Few rights can be conferred without it. And it seems to me that constitutionally, this contract cannot and should not be withheld based on gender. Just as rights of employment, education, security, housing and others cannot be withheld due to gender or sexual preference. This part of marriage is a binding contract. There is no basis with which to withhold it from these couples.

    Even if I were to lay aside my personal relations with the gay community, I would still have to believe that by the founding laws of this nation and our constitution, we cannot withhold these rights.

    Now, I understand this is not a universally held view. I have already received some pretty nasty responses from my urging North Carolinians to not vote for regressive measures on this subject. But why do our differences always have to be met with nastiness and cruelty? You don’t have to agree with me and others who are like-minded, but why respond with profanity, character assassination, juvenile jibes, etc? It seems to me that these are the tools of the inarticulate, the petty and weak-minded. Surely we can disagree without resorting to that.

    Lastly, there are those who say “celebrities” should stick to entertaining and shut up about their opinions. That somehow being recognizable means also being uninvolved and muted. Telling someone else, anyone else to “shut up” is the essence of immaturity. It’s like putting your fingers in your ears and going, “Nyah, nyah, nyah”. I didn’t ask for celebrity nor do I flaunt it. I just go through my life, trying to do good and decent things, and making people laugh for a bit or at least occasionally distracting them from the less enjoyable aspects of daily life. But it doesn’t mean I surrendered my right to be a member of society or a complete human being at the door. If you disagree with me, fine. You have every right to do so and say so. You can enter the conversation with respect and decency and maybe we’ll learn from each other and affect each other. Or for those who cannot even tolerate the thought that someone might believe differently than they, they can ignore me. I’d say those are a pretty good range of choices.

    So, to end a long winded tweet — I fervently hope that North Carolina does not go down this path of discrimination. Not only are they trying to prevent a right that I think is deserved but they are seeking to undo settled law and break asunder committed, loving and decent people’s hearts and lives – people who have done them no harm and pose no threat. It is a hateful legislation. It is on the wrong side of nature and the wrong side of history – in my opinion. And regardless of the outcome, I want the gay community to know that those who would support such legislation, though vocal when challenged, are an ever-diminishing minority.

    I wish everyone reading this – regardless of sexual preference – love and joy and a full life with the person of their choice.
    Thanks, JA.”

  15. says

    It is a thoughtful, considered, and beautifully written response, and, as others have noted, as an apology an excellent example to practitioners of the “I’m sorry if I offended anybody” school. It’s what I would have expected of Jason Alexander.

    That said, somebody needs to school the poor man on the distinction between “gentile” and “genteel”…

  16. Kip says

    A nice apology, but it’s still astounding that a person as sophisticated as he should be would make a joke based on such an old, tired stereotype.

  17. NullNaught says

    I am not interested another “apology” from another loser homophobe who realized he just sh!t on his career. He can take his financially motivated self-preserving convenient apology, fold it until it is all sharp corners and shove it up his homophobic a$$hole. Only a truly filthy homophobe would ever think to say those things in the first place.
    We saw into your unedited heart, Mr. Alexander. We know how your tiny little closed-minded brain works. I am not fooled by your self-serving apology. Got get kidnapped by someone who tortures you to death slowly beggining by burning of your genitals with a blow-torch.

  18. NullNaught says

    @Andrew
    When I said he spoke for everybody, obiviously I meant about nobody cares what you think. clearly I am in opposition to him on the apology thing. Sorry about the confusion. :)

  19. wtf says

    Andrew: yes. STFU. We all get it, you’ve commented twice that everyone is just “too thin-skinned” and that you weren’t offended. Good for you. Now realize that not everyone is you. Apparently you should go back and read Jason Alexander’s apology again, because he actually addresses this. Get a clue. I realize it’s difficult: you’re an insensitive oaf, and it’s very hard to understand the concept that other people are more sensitive than you because your insensitivity blocks your understanding, apparently. Judging someone for being “too sensitive” is pretty effing rich, frankly. I’d much rather live in a world with overly sensitive people than with people who are just insensitive sociopaths, thanks very much. But we’re lucky: we get to live in a world where there’s a broad mix of sensitivities: those of us who are sensitive to other people, their feelings, the world around us, and who aren’t easily hurt; those of us who are very sensitive and are easily hurt; and insensitive clods who just think everyone should “get over it” all the time, and that people who struggle with abuse and kill themselves because of societal pressure are just “too sensitive”. As a member of the latter group (by all evidence) good luck in finding sympathy when bad sh!t happens to you and you actually shed some tears. But don’t worry: your insensitivity will protect you from actually feeling your feelings for too long, and you can go back to being a complete and total a$$hole. Ta-Ta!

  20. Alan says

    I could care less what Jason Alexander says. Standing next to me, he looks like a weeble wobble. So he apologized. Good for him. Let’s move on.

  21. says

    Never was a Seinfeld fan or watcher but always found Jason thoughtful and smart in interviews and on politics, so I was surprised about the gay comments. Agree with those who think this apology is how apologies should be done–the offender took time to think about his mistake, took time to craft an actual apology, and an articulate one at that, and seemed to have learned something of value in the process. Well done.

  22. Tim NC says

    DAVID IN HOUSTON…. I will start laughing at gay = feminine jokes told by straight people as soon as African Americans start laughing at black = shiftless, tap dancing, fried chicken eating jokes told by white people. Ain’t gonna happen…..

  23. NullNaught says

    @Andrew
    I am surprised that you don’t remember me. We tried to have a discussion on Moral Philosophy recently when I said I hoped that Russian daredevil would die doing something that stupid. You gave up on the conversation telling me that we shouldn’t talk about it because we would get no where. Are you re-opening the conversation?
    Lets make it brief. Am I as evil as that post makes me sound? I stand by my words passionately. I suppose by your standards, I would have to say yes, I am that evil and more. I was understating how I felt because I know I hate him so much he unballances me. I can’t be fully rational while talking about a straight man who has laughed at gay men because they are “effeminate.” He is as hateful and homphobic in his own way as Littlekiwi is.

  24. Laura says

    Prior to the gay rights movement, that joke would have framed cricket as a woman’s sport. Somewhere along the way, ‘gay’ became the go-to word for ‘not man enough’. Ultimately the joke is about cricket versus rugby, but should be reworked not to include marginalized groups that have nothing to do with either sport.

    The concept of masculinity is so intangible and fleeting folks ought to let go of it altogether and go with un/civilized and rough/gentle (which is what he meant to say I think, there are grammatical errors here and there in his statement). Anyone who thinks man/woman gay/straight has anything to do with ‘masculine’ behavior has never been to a Walmart on Black Friday to witness ALL people check their civility at the door. Aggressive behavior is encouraged in boys and discouraged in girls; mystery solved (yes testosterone does give men a boost). I am an aggressive female and I’ve gotten negative reinforcement all my life while boys do the same things and are rewarded. It confused me as a child, but now I just see the blatant double-standard.

  25. oakpope says

    The thing, for me, is that he thought to make a joke with gay. Had he made the joke about straight, that would not be funny at all, and nobody would understand what that was all about. When same sex orientations is accepted and viewed as normal in society, a joke about gayness should also just be not funny at all. So in fact there should not be a ‘gay’ joke. Pretending that in a more tolerant society he will be able to make a gay joke is therefore a contradiction.

  26. Michael says

    @Andrew…I wish that I could agree with your comment. I sometimes question the offense I take in, what might seem to some, minor blips on the screen. However, when comments like these are made spontaneously, almost unconsciously, I think that they are almost as dangerous as the hate spewed out of the mouths of the Evangelical loons. There is no doubt in my mind that Jason meant what he said and that he does support our community…I’ve witnessed said support up close and personal. That said, I’m glad that he took the time to think about his words. They were damaging to at least one person who heard them.

  27. Alan says

    So much nicer said with some thoughtfulness and not in 140 characters.

    Off topic, he was in “The Rink”? I have too look that up. I saw it just before Liza left and went into rehab, and it showed.

  28. Chad says

    The world has gone flacid. I’m gay, but reading these prissy. entitled, robotic, responses comes the realization that today’s gay’s are not worth defending. May you all be locked in JCPenney’s. You can survive on the cheap merchandise. Sad when your people are such assh–es. It’s generational, believe me. But so pervasive it’s too late.

    Pounce bitches.

  29. regarding the person just above says

    (better than pounce: ignore

    doesn’t make sense anyway)

    Jason Alexander did the wrong thing, then did the right thing.

    To err is human; and to acknowledge and own when one has done wrong is awesome.

  30. g says

    While I think that Jason is probably a nice guy, sympathetic to the gay man’s plight; I find it hard to believe that he had to poll his gay friends who “couldn’t quite find the offense in the bit”. Any gay man immediately recognizes the offense of being called effeminate, by word or pantomime. He might as well have dangled his wrist and swished mincingly about the stage. Maybe it takes such exaggerated mocking to illustrate that we (gay men) CAN pick up on subtle insults as well as overt.

  31. says

    PersonJustAbove: Who crowned you the wise man? I have to laugh the way you dish out knowledge. Sorry you didn’t understand my comments. You are my comments. And what can you deem, right or wrong in his response? On one hand he acknowledged being offensive (Wrong) and then made an apology (right) That was awesome? Who cares? You’re gay. Accept the fact that gays will always be the most despised minority. Our sex acts do not engender dignity and respect in world cultures..

  32. NullNaught says

    @Michael
    I am emotional and do myself more damage than good. Thank you for saying so eloquently what I feel so deeply and am unable myself to express rationally. I only disagree with the sentiment that it was nice that he thought about his words.
    I wish, since he believes what he said and does not support our community, that he would stand by his words. I think offering an insincere apology to save is own a$$ financialy/socially is more insulting than doubling down; but I love you just the same because your compasion makes you a better person than myself.
    Thank you again.

  33. mikeflower says

    Accepting an “apology” from J.A. is like advocating for clemency in the Clementi-Ravi case. How different is this from Brett Ratner’s “Rehersal Is For Fags” comment? Jason Alexander is no small-town rube just out of community college. Stop enabling him.

  34. Bob says

    Bob got burned. He hooked the yard sprinkler up to a fire hose. Is Everyone going to watch he family money bought? I think the kids came down like on “Star Trek” They are so cute, but they can’t leave until they are old enough to run away from home — which in Hollywood could be 10.

  35. Lance says

    Somehow, it looks like my comment is not going through.

    ———————–

    “So, I can only apologize and I do. In comedy, timing is everything. And when a group of people are still fighting so hard for understanding, acceptance, dignity and essential rights – the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come. I hope my realization brings some comfort.”

    Why did he have to say this? It invalidates everything else.

  36. says

    No apology was necessary. If someone has to apologize for everytime they tell a joke with ‘gay’ inter-twined, it show a low tolerance for comedy in the gay community. His joke was not hurtful nor demeaning. I watch Craig Ferguson every night after work, he tells gay jokes about his robot Geoff, has lesbian row, etc., I am surprised no one has hollered about that. While I will agree, gays being the punchline of a joke can sometime hurt, this was not the case with Jason Alexander. If everytime a joke containing ‘gay’ becomes an attack that requires an apology, then WE DO become the stereotypical ‘fey’ and ‘whiners’.

  37. Chad says

    The experiment has begun. Watch how it’s going with Oprah tonight. The only drawback is that the twins accidentally saw the parental units showering, and they think the parents are twins.
    These kids may write a “Daddy Dearest” someday. It will be in two volumes of course. One of them asked what “nursing” was, but these issues will be worked out.

  38. Joseph Singer says

    “I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate , thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous.”

    Hrmmm, ya don’t suppose he really meant gentle or is because Jason Scott Greenspan aka Jason Alexander is Jewish?

  39. CJS says

    Jason Alexander has been a longtime ally of LGBT causes. His apology – which really, all he had to do was point at his past, and his role choices in times when it was not as acceptable to play gay, as evidence he’s not homophobic – was eloquent and moving. It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t “accept” this apology is just looking to be offended.

    Worse, for the poster accusing him of being closeted after saying his message was only “fair enough” is juvenile at best and despicable at worse, and it is certainly an embarrassment to everyone who participates on this board. I think that poster is trying to be ironic – or at least I hope so – but “jokes” like that are completely self-defeating.

    There are real fights out there that we need to focus on. When one of our closest friends slips up, and then writes a tremendous apology for it, we need to say “thanks for correcting that” and move on to the real issues marriage equality and bullying, and international gay acceptance and rights.

    This is a done deal. Thanks, Mr. Alexander.

  40. Cliff says

    Sadly, the Germans exterminated many Jews and Gays in WWII. From the sound and tone of a lot of these “no mercy” comments, many gays echo an unforgiving tone. Maybe it’s the years of oppression. This is an apology, not a confession. No punishment required.

  41. BOB says

    @CHAD/CLIFF/MARK/and the next name you come up with: Actually, who crowned you the wiseman? You spout off with no actual knowledge about anything. I don’t give a rats patooty about Jason Alexander. He made a bad joke, apologized, we can all move on. I was over it before it began. I’m now over you. Why did I get pulled into your garbage again?

  42. barryearle says

    While long and full of self-examination, this still isn’t a complete apology. He should have said in his last paragraph that he was sorry for adding to the suffering members of our community must endure and will never do it again. And then he could ask for suggestions on how he could rectify what he had done. Instead, he used the old “if I offended anyone” approach, putting the reponsibility on us and not on his behavior. Good try, but a simplier, more direct statement would have sufficed.

  43. Cliff says

    See a doctor. There are a multitude of medications available to ease your discomfort. If you flip out over comments in a comment section, you may need to examine other aspects of your life It will be okay Bob. No need to talk back to nothing.

  44. WHATEVER says

    @barryearle…Really it wasn’t good enough for you? Not enough? You had to find something to else to fault? You needed more?

    He apologized. Case closed. He made a stupid joke, he didn’t burn down an orphanage! Let it go.

  45. Solomon says

    Abolutely! He hit the nail on the head. THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what a well thought out, apology less for the sake of apologizing, looks like.

  46. jason says

    Jason’s apology looks as if it was written by his agent. He’s a typical liberal who mocks gays when it gets a laugh for him. These liberals are into getting cheap laughs at our expense. Remember that other idiotic liberal comic who said he’d stab his son if he were gay?

    Ha, ha, ha…oh, how delirious…ha, ha, ha (makes sour expression of face as if one has swallowed vinegar).

  47. Steve says

    NOTE TO ALL, and to Brandon: Andy Towle didn’t post this original story. Andrew Bellonsky did. There’s a very big difference, since Andy Towle generally writes without a Fox-Esque judgmental bite. Andrew is a sensationalist. I think Andy’s original post on this would have had a different slant.

    That being said, I don’t feel an apology was necessary, and I do think the reaction was way too oversensitive.

    Having sat next to Jason on a plane for 6 hours, I can tell you there isn’t a more humble, approachable, non-judgmental person in Hollywood. He’s a friend to us.

  48. patrick lehman says

    Comedy has traded in stereotypes forever as a kind of verbal shorthand to be subverted or reinforced: the dumb and countrified southerner, the cheap Jew, the molesting priest, the Irish drunk. But these groups aren’t being killed or committing suicide over this. Lesbians and gay men are.

    I’d like to see a time when we could all lighten up a bit over this, but that time isn’t here. I always liked Jason Alexander, both on Seinfeld and on various talk shows over the years. He has proven why; when people are performing they can fail to walk the delicate lines of propriety, and he walked it back with humility and honesty. I like him even more now.

  49. Rob says

    Very well crafted and sincere apology. Comedy is a tough biz, and you can’t put a foot in any direction without stepping on someone. To be non-controversial is to be hopelessly bland.

    Dirk is right- we are old ladies on steroids. Except old ladies hang together very well. We bicker and back stab each other, almost reflexively. I remember coming out and assuming I would be welcomed into a vast brotherhood of gay men. Instead every gay bar interaction became a series of put downs for my clothes, my choice of dates, my political opinions, my diet, where I lived. I felt so much more stigmatized among gays than among straights.

    Clearly Jason knows how to diffuse conflict. Do we?

  50. Rayyblon44 says

    Jason Alexander is one of the smartest and most talented comic actors we have, and he’s just proven it again with this extremely thoughtful, detailed apology–the polar opposite of the slapdash, blatantly insincere and even jeering “apology” politicians and Christian ministers are in the habit of making. Mr. Alexander, on Bill Maher’s show and others, has frequently and eloquently supported the gay community, and the more friends we have like him, the less power Focus on the Family, Bryan Fischer, the Rev. Worley, et al. will have again us.

  51. says

    I follow Jason Alexander on Twitter, and he’s been very supportive of gay rights. I don’t believe he intended any insult with his joke and I think that was an excellent apology. I continue to have a great deal of respect for him.

  52. Francis says

    Good on Jason. I don’t think he said what he did with any offensive intent, it was using stereotypes as a means to make humor. The problem is that these stereotypes are harmful and are used to discriminate and dehumanize. This is why there was an issue with what Jason said. The man himself, Mr. Alexander, has long been supportive of our rights and I am glad he examined what he said and understands the offense and hopefully everyone is able to put this misstep behind him and not hold it over his head.

  53. Francis says

    Good on Jason. I don’t think he said what he did with any offensive intent, it was using stereotypes as a means to make humor. The problem is that these stereotypes are harmful and are used to discriminate and dehumanize. This is why there was an issue with what Jason said. The man himself, Mr. Alexander, has long been supportive of our rights and I am glad he examined what he said and understands the offense and hopefully everyone is able to put this misstep behind him and not hold it over his head.

  54. JeffB says

    Once again…an apology after the damage is done…with the asssumption that all is forgiven! While I do feel that his apology is sincere, isn’t it about time that we consider what we are going to say before we say it? I am not implying that everything should be “laundered” for uber-politcal-correctness; however, common sense should have prevailed on this one! “He couldn’t understand” why it was offensive?” PLEASE!!!! I gave him a bit more credit than that!

  55. Rick says

    Just laughing at all of this. He meant what he implied about the effeminacy of so many gay men and it being a reason to ridicule them. That is what he REALLY thinks and feels, as does the vast majority of the population (including liberals like himself)–and rightly so.

    But instead of being honest and saying in his “apology” that gay men will continue to be the object of disrespect as long as a very high percentage of them behave effeminately and in a cowardly fashion–which they will……he gives us the predictable–totally insincere–essay in political correctness, knowing that it will be well-received by the target audience.

    Just as insincere as the gay men who tout “gender-non-conformity” and condone effeminacy and then act offended when straight people ridicule them for that effeminacy as somehow “stereotyping” them.

    I mean if your view is “not that there’s anything wrong with that”, then why would you be offended in the first place and why would he have anything to apologize for?

    Why? Because you all know, just as he does, that effeminacy in men is simply not respectable or admirable and never will be (which is, of course, why you worship masculinity, yourselves).

    It is the only explanation.

    This could be a great opportunity to discuss how to eradicate such effeminate behavior and the disrespect it causes, but instead it just becomes another exercise in dishonesty on all sides.

  56. NullNaught says

    @Rick
    You know that I defended you so assume I am talking to you in good faith. Think about this and give me a sincere answer. If you believed you could not eradicate such behaviour or even reduce it by any significant degree, what would be wrong then about acomodating it in the community and trying to lesten the negative impact outside the community by promoting tolerance for gender-non-conformity? Or do you have a principled position such that it precludes you considering this possibility?

  57. Derrick from Philly says

    “DAVID IN HOUSTON…. I will start laughing at gay = feminine jokes told by straight people as soon as African Americans start laughing at black = shiftless, tap dancing, fried chicken eating jokes told by white people. Ain’t gonna happen…..”

    Already has happened, Tim. Rent a copy of Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”. Black audiences laughed at the slurs directed at Blacks as well as those directed at Italians and Asians.

  58. Rik Newby says

    Even if you didn’t know that Jason is a strong ally of the gay community, and even if you hadn’t seen his tour-de-force performance in Love!Valour!Compassion!, you would have to realize that this particular actor is a class act. The apology above should be the standard bearer going forward for anyone who finds themselves saying something that gets interpreted incorrectly.

  59. andrew says

    No apology was necessary and none will be accepted by the humorless nitpickers. How can you tell a straight man from a gay man? A gay man throws a ball like a girl. I think that is funny. Not 100% accurate, but funny.

  60. Rrhain says

    @NEW MAN, are you sure you aren’t confusing Jason Alexander with Nathan Lane? I have been known to make that mistake a couple times. Lane is gay, Alexander isn’t.

  61. Richard says

    Jason Alexander is a big fat stupid ass who has spent his entire career with gay artists and should have know better! And, after shitting himself publicly, he should not have had to ponder and commiserate with his gay advisors before arriving at the conclusion that he’s a jerk who said something cruel just to get a laugh.

  62. FunMe says

    Even some of our straight friends and allies might not get it completely, but they are on our side. This apology goes to prove how even with our friends and allies need to be educated a little bit more.

    Love what he writes “the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come.”

    Apology definitely accepted.

  63. OK says

    @Richard: you say “he’s a jerk who said something cruel just to get a laugh”.

    Do you not see the irony in your post? Please re-read what you wrote.

  64. Lorne Berkovitz says

    Thanks Jason for your apology. But honestly, as a gay man, I don’t think you need to. Your joke was funny. And if a gay man said it, no one would have a problem with it. If gay men are offended, I believe they are being hyper-sensitive.

  65. HUH says

    So you guys are not ok with him making a joke about gay stereotypes but you praise and applaud his over-the-top performance of a campy, effeminate stereotypical gay man in Love! Valour! Compassion!…o-k?!

  66. OK says

    @Richard: since you’ve been quiet I will point out the irony. As a chubby man I take severe offence to you calling him a “big fat stupid ass”. You should know better! Please commiserate with your “fat” advisors and apologize. But no matter how sincere and long your apology is I will not let it go. I will never forgive you because it is unforgiveable and you should be shunned for the rest of your life!

    See guys, it’s a two-way street. We are just as guilty of making stupid remarks against other groups (as Richard did). Jason apologized. Let it go. Move on.

  67. Jeff says

    Pfft Jason Alexander isn’t homophobic. I accept your apology and I got your cricket joke too. It was funny and now I also see it promotes a bad stereotype. We all learn.

  68. samuel says

    I’m a huge Seinfeld fan… HUGE… and sadly I realize that George… err… Jason is a one note hack that hasn’t been able to find any other fitting in a respectable television show in a while, or… in ever. He is in person what his character always was… a dimwit full of soft logic, sideways understanding and half hearted realizations that will never amount to anything worth a decent apology for a stupid “routine”… routine? Kenny Bania… write him a decent “joke” when he makes an appearance on television… lord knows this clueless loser needs all the help he can get.

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