Actor Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) has issued an apology after joking that the game of cricket was a “gay sport” as opposed to a “manly” one.
Alexander made the comments after repeatedly joking with host Craig Ferguson during a segment on the May 25 episode of “The Late Late Show on CBS.”
“You know how I know it’s really kind of a gay game? It’s the pitch,” Alexander said during the broadcast. “It’s the weirdest… It’s not like a manly baseball pitch; it’s a queer British gay pitch.”
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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.
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.
Alexander’s complete statement is here.