Regardless of the fact that Jennifer Aniston’s remark “like a retard” was rather spontaneous and poking fun of herself, the ramifications are far-reaching.
Aniston has come under fire for her comment during an interview on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” with Regis Philbin and Kristin Cruz (co-hosting that day) regarding her Harper Bazaar Barbara Streisand photo shoot. On August 19 when speaking with Philbin, Aniston responded to his comment “You’re playing dress up!”
Aniston replied, “Yes, I play dress up! I do it for a living, like a retard!”
Not only have groves of people taken to the web to state their reaction and feelings regarding Aniston’s remark, chief executive of The Arc, Peter Berns, has stated his opinion. Berns told Us Magazine, “Frankly, someone in her position ought to know better.”
The Arc is the “world’s largest community based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” according to their website.
In remark to Aniston’s comment, Berns said, “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 5 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.”
Aniston, 41, was on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” to promote her new movie, “The Switch”.
In addition to The Arc’s statement from its chief executive, the Special Olympics Movement has released a statement saying, “Special Olympics is always disappointed when the R-word is used, especially by someone who is influential to society.”
“The pervasive use of the R-word, even in an off the cuff self-deprecating manner, dehumanizes people with intellectual disabilities and perpetuates painful stereotypes that are a great source of suffering and negative stigma.”
At this time, Jennifer Aniston’s rep has not commented.
Sources: http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/19/backlash-brewing-over-aniston-using-r-word/?hpt=T2 http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=1386 http://www.usmagazine.com/celebritynews/news/jennifer-aniston-blasted-for-using-the-word-retard-2010198