Jennifer Aniston opened her mouth and inserted her foot yesterday on Live With Regis and Kelly -- and now she's paying the price.
The Switch star has been making the talk show rounds promoting her movie. When Regis asked her about her recent Barbra Streisand-themed photo shoot for Harper's Bazaar, Aniston responded with this offhand remark:
"I play dress-up. I do it for a living -- like a retard."
*Cringe.* Apparently, Aniston thought she was still on Chelsea Lately .... Cue groans heard around the world.
One group (among many) who is decidedly not happy with Aniston's flippant use of the R-word is Arc, a non-profit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its CEO told US Magazine:
"It was extraordinarily offensive and inappropriate ... Frankly, someone in her position ought to know better. She is using language that is offensive to a large segment of the population in this country. We estimate that there are probably in excess of five million people in the country with intellectual disabilities, and when you think about all of them, their family members and friends, you're talking about tens of millions of people who find the use of that term to be really offensive."
He's definitely got a point there. People -- particularly those like Aniston who are constantly in the public eye -- should ban that word from their vocabulary in the interest of not propagating negative stereotypes and subsequently offending others.
Still, I'm sure Aniston regretted saying that word the second it was out of her mouth. She was likely nervous and under pressure to be funny -- far from trying to be malicious, it probably just slipped out. In fact, it reminds us of Obama's inappropriate Special Olympics comment last year ...
If anything, Aniston's gaffe provides us with an opportunity to understand how harmful such language can be. I think she deserves a slap on the wrist, but then hopefully everyone can move on from there.
What do you think of Aniston's gaffe? Innocent mistake or offensive remark?
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