Celebrity gaffe, Part I: At the urging of the Muscular Dystrophy
Association (MDA), Jerry Lewis has issued an apology after an appearance
on the CBS Morning Show in which he called disabled people cripples and
told them to stay at home if they do not want to be pitied.
The extraordinary outburst was all the more surprising because Lewis is
pitchman for the MDA and was voted "the most familiar celebrity
promoting a charity or cause" in a recent poll (PRWeek, May 21).
Lewis, a 50-year leader of MDA telethons and the organization's national
chairman said his "cripple" statement was made in error and said of his
original comments: "It is certainly not how I feel. I admire people with
This was not the first time Lewis has lost control of his funny
At the Aspen US Comedy Festival last year, he suggested that female
comics should make children, not jokes.