The N-word and the R-word: Have Celebrities Lost All Sense of Right and Wrong?

Filed in Gather Celeb News Channel by on August 20, 2010 0 Comments

Earlier this week, radio personality and infamously conservative woman, Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced on “Larry King Live” that she’d decided to quit her job after she received a great deal of criticism for repeatedly using the N-word during a segment on her show.

When an African-American listener called into the show on August 10 to ask Dr. Laura’s advice on how to handle racist comments she was receiving from her white husband’s friends and family members, Schlessinger took the opportunity to use the N-word 11 times in 5 minutes.

The 63-year-old talk show host told Larry King on Tuesday that the public outcry in response to her comments are what led her quit, reports Although she did apologize for having used the negative term so many times, by quitting she wants “regain my First Amendment rights.” Um, okay.

Meanwhile, Schlessinger isnt the only celeb who’s had to put her foot in her mouth this week. The media is buzzing today after “The Switch” star Jennifer Aniston used the dreaded R-word (retarded) during an interview on “Live! With Regis and Kelly.”

When asked how she got in the mood to embody Barbara Streisand for a recent photo shoot for “Harper’s Bazar” in which Aniston poses as Streisand, the former “Friends” star responded. “I play dress-up. I do it for a living, like a retard,” reports

Reactions to Aniston’s off-handed comment have not been favorable, with groups the Special Olympics even weighing in. “Special Olympics is always disappointed when the R-word is used, especially by someone who is influential to society,” their statement said, according to CNN. Aniston’s camp has yet to comment.

We live in a day and age when every phrase uttered by a person in the public spotlight has the potential to be scrutinized, with sometimes damaging results. So why do stars keep getting themselves into trouble?

Granted, Dr. Laura’s trespass might be a little more intense due to its repetition (11 times in 5 minutes) than Aniston’s, but people seem to be having a similar reaction to both situations: outrage. As much as it would be nice to never hear negative words like the N-word or the R-word every again in a public forum, these instances will not be the last time a celebrity makes the wrong decision or has a slip of the tongue. Expecting these people to never say anything that will offend anyone is totally unrealistic.

On the flipside, part of being famous is enduring ridicule from the public and the media when you make a mistake. Hopefully these ladies understand that it goes with the territory.

More than these instances speak to moral bankruptcy on the part of the stars, they speak to the intense amount of coverage and scrutiny that exists in the media today.

Nevertheless, get it together, Schlessinger and Aniston. Please.


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I'm a comedian, writer and blogger living with my boyfriend and our two cats in Brooklyn. I'm a member of the NYC-based sketch comedy group Harvard Sailing Team, and the improv team The Baldwins. I love yoga, running, reading, baking, goo

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