Comedienne Joan Rivers isn't exactly known for her politically correct sense of humor, but she's under fire for cracking a seriously rude joke about the women held hostage in a Cleveland home and abused for a decade. Apparently Rivers was on the Today show this week and, in complaining about her living arrangements, said, "Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space."
Attorneys for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus instantly spoke out on behalf of their clients, calling Rivers' comment hurtful and shocking. I'm not particularly surprised by the joke itself, but Rivers' public response to the backlash was pretty jaw-dropping … even for her.
The statement from Berry and DeJesus' lawyers reads,
Our clients are strong, private women who have endured unwanted and often painful media attention for quite some time. They now have to endure this, which is a new low, and we believe a sincere apology is warranted.
It doesn't sound like an apology is coming, however, sincere or otherwise. Here's what Rivers told TMZ:
They got to live rent free for more than a decade.
She added that the women should lighten up, because they're clearly not suffering any long-term damage:
One of them has a book deal. Neither are in a psych ward. They're okay. I bet you within three years one of them will be on Dancing With the Stars.
Oh man. That's ... wow. That's harsh even by Joan Rivers standards. Her follow-up comments are far more cringeworthy than the original joke was, which makes me think those attorneys should have just let Rivers' comment go unaddressed instead of calling more attention to it -- which just resulted in Rivers doubling down on the victims.
The thing is, there's is NOTHING that's off limits for Joan Rivers. I mean, consider just a few of the jokes she's made at others' expenses in recent years:
On Lena Dunham:
How could she wear a dress above the knee? You are sending a message out to people saying, 'It's okay. Stay fat. Get diabetes. Everybody die, lose your fingers.'
On Heidi Klum:
The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.
That baby is ugly ... I've never seen a 6-month-old so desperately in need of a waxing.
What is her song? Rolling in the deep? She should add fried chicken!
I hope she kept it. What? I was born with a coat hanger in my ear.
I'm not saying her comments about those kidnapped women are acceptable, but it's kind of hard to summon a bunch of outrage over this particular joke when there have been so many that were way over the line. Honestly, I used to have a lot of respect for Joan Rivers, but these days I feel like she's just clinging to fame through increasingly outrageous soundbites. Still, what's the point of asking her to apologize? It would never be sincere. Better to just dismiss it as yet another below-the-belt barb that Rivers is dishing out in hopes of grabbing a headline.
What do you think, was this joke more offensive than Rivers' past comments?
Image via Twitter