Celebrity Joan Rivers crossed the line into crassness with a joke comparing her living in her daughter’s guest bedroom to those experienced by the three women kidnapped and held captive fora decade. Rivers and her daughter were discussing their reality show Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show when she complained about her living arrangements, saying, “Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space.” Read more HERE.
The three kidnapped and captive women did not seek their fate, did not ask for the media attention that ensued and certainly should expect that people not exploit their horror for the sake of a joke.
Comments on this entry are closed.
I agree with your assessment of her comment. It is not the first time, and I’m sure it will not be the last time she displays her utter lack of class, decorum, or good judgment. In my opinion, she is a vile woman who’s celebrity has faded, and in a desperate attempt to cling to her slot on the “C” list will shock people into talking about her. Having said that, I disagree with the call for her to apologize. Truly, what would it be worth. I would find a disingenuous apology almost as offensive as the initial action which called for it. Absent remorse, or the understanding of the true need for the apology it is meaningless words in this case coming form a meaningless woman, who in this case would love the extended media coverage she would get by “apologizing”.
She makes mean, cruel bullying remarks regularly, but yes, this is way over the line. Apologise, Joan, indeed!
Yes, it was crass. However you must consider the source, and that you were listening to her willingly. She was not a guest in your house or a person on the street you were compelled to listen to. Ms. Rivers is in fact famed for the precise crass humor you are objecting to. If you do not like crass humor, do not place yourself in the position to hear it. Crass or not, she may not see any reason to apologize for humor that is practically her trademark.
I agree on this, she is known for her off color jokes. I still think if you want to save face as a celebrity, you watch what you say. This particular joke is far lower than most, but I sure she knows as well as any other celebrity that bad publicity is still publicity.
Completely agree, but don’t hold your breath. Joan has zero perspective and has shown that in many ways over the years.
Joan Rivers makes her living out of insulting people for no reason. She isn’t on the red carpet anymore because a lot of celebs won’t talk to her. She may say “Halle Berry’s dress makes less sense than Kim Kardashian trying to tell someone to stop being such an attention whore”. And then her whole panel just laughs like it’s the most brilliant comment they’ve ever heard…
When I was younger and more obnoxious, I enjoyed Joan’s tasteless humor.
Now, I can’t stand her. Her jokes are so obscene that I can’t really take offense at her making THIS joke as I would at a more dignified comedian making the same joke.
She just acts like an all-around pig.
Joan Rivers has made some terrible comments lately, such as making fun of Elsa Pataky for being “huge” when she was 7 months pregnant with twins but this one takes the cake. There is no way for her to spin that as humor. She definitely needs to apologize.
She should…but she won’t.
Joan rivers entire career is based on crass jokes. In today’s society we full compelled to “strongly” encourage to have celebrities apologize for their words. I do not understand this, an apology that is forced or done solely to protect one’s career shows no growth, no empathy and is meaningless.
As a society we should stop allowing such crassness to entertain us.
AMEN!!!!! That woman is a horrible and rude person. I can’t believe that anyone allows her to continue the way she does. I can’t stand listening to her or watching her.
tasteless . but it is joan rivers and she is not known for her class.
I’ve never really thought she was funny or clever, and some of her comments on “Fashion Police” are so offensive that, although I do like the show, I change channels frequently because of her. This is just beyond the pale. No wonder Johnny Carson didn’t like her!
But Johnny Carson DID like her. He liked her so much that he wanted her to substitute for him when he was on vacation. He only stopped liking her when she got her own job as a nighttime TV talk show host.
Joan didn’t tell Johnny about her show but rather went behind his back. After all he had done for her he felt betrayed. He never spoke to her again.
Who would expect Joan Rivers to be anything but crass? I would be more upset that the Today show aired such garbage. They, too, owe those women an apology. If the show wants to be taken seriously then it should take care to not host those who have a propensity to be rude and/or to cut an offensive interview completely out of the show with an explanation to the viewers that the content was unacceptable. That would set a good standard. But this is cheap, all the way around.
100% Agree. It seems Joan enjoys trying to be “outrageous” and “in your face” but she regularly crosses the line into inappropriate and just plain not funny.
Back in the day, she used to be funny. This was out of line.
Apologize, Joan. It was tasteless.
An edgy comedian generally toes the line between funny and offensive. This is too soon for Cleveland kidnapping jokes. Maybe in a few years.
This is nothing new for Joan Rivers, or a lot of comedians for that matter. She is funny, but her humor is hurtful. I used to watch one of her shows and stopped because, even though she’s funny, I felt disgusted by so many of the things she said. She has no class at all. I don’t think that asking for an apology will accomplish much.
She lives in a world where there really aren’t any decent standards. They really don’t care about how they might be hurting people. They’ll make jokes about rape, 10 year kidnapping and sexual assault, thousands of people dying on 9/11, abortion, child molestation, you name it. They are tolerated, and even rewarded for it. Once in a while, one of them will make an apology, but the filth continues afterward. They’re only apologizing because they’re being forced to by public opinion, not because they are truly sorry. I’m on a tear about this because, after it was announced that Colbert is taking over for Letterman, someone on another forum repeated a joke that Colbert had made after 9/11.
Will I demand that these people be fired for their nastiness? No. We have freedom of speech and they are entitled to be creeps. I simply won’t watch their shows. If other people watch the shows, then that is the real problem. Not the comedians. The fact that so many of us have lost a sense of common decency.
I’m so dissapointed to see this. I have been a Joan Rivers fan for years, and always enjoyed her ability to push the envelope and get a few “shock laughs.” I think this was an attempt to do just that. I do think she crossed a line here, and I think it would be great for her to apologize. But she won’t.
Ugh. She is so vile.
Joan Rivers is a classless, tasteless boor. Her career has been built on her humor which derives from attacking and denigrating and abusing others in a laugh-inducing manner. I am sickened but not terribly surprised by this. I am sorry, Admin, but your expected apology is unlikely to be met. Or if it is it will only because the public outcry is sufficient, and even then it is going to be of the “I’m sorry you feel that way” variety. Some people should just be ignored since, unhappily, they cannot be banned from living.
I have no doubt she has used that joke several times with her friends, who, I’m sure, all thought it was a scream. What a tacky, tasteless, coarse woman. It’s incredible that this much time has passed and she still hasn’t said something.
Does anyone REALLY expect an apology from this “comedian?”
This has been a real godsend of publicity for her. How many (like me) had no knowledge of this trash/show until this story? Not that I intend to watch it.
I…wow. I knew Joan Rivers had no class, but that’s just downright evil.
I never found her funny. I think her Fashion Police show is utterly cruel and I refuse to watch it to the point of leaving the room if it’s on when I’m with someone else who won’t turn it off.
While I agree that comment crossed a line, Joan Rivers and “crass” have been partners for as long as I can remember. 😛 Ugh.
I couldn’t agree more!
Being rich and famous does not equal having class, common sense or good manners. Someone once commented, “If you want to know what God thinks about money, look at some of the people who have it.”
I’m not sure I agree. Joan makes a living from saying VERY tasteless and crude jokes. If she apologized for every nasty thing she said then she might as well stay home. I think this is more the thing where we should vote with our feet. Don’t watch her shows, don’t buy tickets to her tours if you don’t like her. You can contact the Today show or whoever and let them know you don’t support shows who support her. Contact advertisers. But I don’t agree that we should be telling her to apologize.
I felt the same way about the Duck Dynasty guy. What he said was awful to me. I realize he has the right to say it but I have the right to not watch his show. AMC has the right to fire him or not. It was never a free speech issue like people claimed.
Same with Joan. Entertainers try to make a living. If what they say or do is hated, they can’t make a living. If enough people like them, they can make a living. Joan has had more ups and downs in her career than most of can remember.
Exactly – stop watching her. I can’t believe anyone does anymore.
And then she made it even worse when contacted for an apology by saying, “Those women lived rent-free for 10 years.” Horrible woman!
You’re kidding me…please tell me this is a joke…
I’ve never found her funny enough to pay attention to anything she says. I actively turn off the commercials for her show because they are trite and offensive.
It sickens me to think she made the comments she did, but it is also,sadly, totally expected. She makes her living off of being the type of person you wouldn’t invite to your house.
No apology is warranted. She’s an entertainer, a comedian who makes a living saying shocking things. She didn’t disparage these victims directly and thus no apology is warranted. She probably told the same joke 20 years ago and compared her living space to Ann Frank’s hiding spot. It’s what she does. You can like it or hate it but she shouldn’t need to apologize for it. If she made the joke and compared her room size to some prisoner in Guantanamo no one would be asking her to apologize to the prisoners. If she makes a joke about being fat I don’t expect her to apologize to me.
I suggest a letter or email to the car company she’s donig advertising for on tv….(yes, I too switch the channel immediately, all the surgery makes her frightening to look at)….
It’s worked with other ‘spokespersons’ and I’m sure it would work for her (and whatever car company it is). I have a film running in my head where the advertising manager is asking some employee “and what made you think SHE would be good publicity for our client?”….
Joan has always been rather crass.
I think the decades of being crass has seared her conscience and she is not in touch with boundaries civil people should never cross.
Since when do we expect comedians to be “civil” or have “boundaries”? Should all art have boundaries, and should any artist who offends somebody have to apologize?
So, you believe comedians should be exempt from taking responsibility for their actions that specifically harmed a person and they are informed that their actions are hurtful? Neither entertainers or artists have a right to exploit other people, in this case, unwitting victims who suffered greatly, for amusement and financial gain…because that is what the end result of such entertainment/art is.
It would be nice if she did apologize–but she will not. What she said was purely for shock value and I think the fact that people are talking about it still a week a later, that’s what she clearly was trying to accomplish. Let’s all stop talking about it and give it attention that it doesn’t deserve.
Seriously, why is anyone surprised? This woman has always been a horror, but I guess it was “okay” because her victims were celebrities.
I just don’t listen to or watch her. Our society is so crass that a lot of people think stuff like that is funny. Same thing when the disgusting Kathy Griffin said “Jesus suck it” when she won some award. Same thing when that politician made the comment a few years back that “legitimate victims of rape can’t get pregnant”. They issued passive aggressive apologies through their PR reps, but they didn’t care.
Ignore them, and they will go away.
If you don’t like her you don’t have to watch her. Change the channel. You can you know. No one is being forced to watch something that they don’t like. This is a ‘vote with your feet’ moment. For feet,
substitute the remote control
I fully believe in the “vote with your feet” approach. But I also believe in taking a stand against behavior that degrades us as a society.
Isn’t she well past her ‘sell-by date’?
Yeah, not funny. But then again, she never was.
With all the pain she has gone through with her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, committing suicide, you would think she would have a little more compassion. I guess not. However, it’s how she makes her living, as awful as some of her comments are. And, since we are all discussing her, mission accomplished. I saw a playback of the Today show where she made those tasteless comments, I thought Al Roker was going to have a stroke! I have seen her fashion police show, she really lets loose with some downright nasty and crude comments.
I wonder how funny she would find it if someone made a joke about her husband’s suicide to her.
Exactly!!! I don’t think she would find that amusing at all.
She makes jokes about his suicide all the time.
She refuses to apologize – see link on MSN’s Wonderwall:
I have never found her funny, TBH –
You know, Paula Deen said something offensive 20 years ago, and was expected not only to apologize but lost her job as well. Joan Rivers said something thoughtless and offensive on or around April 23rd about women who are still trying to deal with the fallout of living in captivity and being raped; but refuses to apologize. Besides this site I am really not hearing the call for her to apologize like was heard when Paula Deen’s 20 year old comments came to light. This double standard has got to stop. The women Castro held captive deserve an apology from Rivers. However, you know that will never happen.
Excellent point. Why was that one considered so deplorable but this one isn’t?
The point of some humor is to take something awful and turn it on its head to make it bizarre, to show the facets of ridiculousness in tragedy. We have a woman who has a fairly cushy life comparing something awful to her own living experience. Knowing Joan’s self-deprecating humor, and how much of her act is putting on the show of a thoughtless harpy (and it IS an act, from what people around her report, much as Don Rickles is said to be a sweetie in real life), I can’t imagine she wasn’t self-aware enough to know that comparing her room to a place of horrible house-arrest was all about prodding herself and her privileges and her own feelings of discomfort, and her discomfort at feeling uncomfortable in such a comfortable space.
Now, if she had made a joke at the EXPENSE of the trapped women, JOKING about their conditions or MAKING FUN of them or CHIDING them with humor, that would be something for which I’d also demand an apology. But simply juxtaposing their living conditions to hers? That’s not a joke at their expense. That’s more a joke at Joan’s dispense (i.e., can you believe I’m complaining right now about how I’m living when there are people in much worse states?)
*Joan’s Expense. Jeesh, my stupid fingers.
Anyway, I understand that some may disagree. But a joke that’s crass isn’t always a joke that’s offensive. And I feel simply making a joke involving horrible things is not the same as making a joke at the expense of someone who experienced horrible things.
Well, her follow-up, in defense of her earlier comments, was to say that the women lived rent free for a decade. That’s a joke at their expense.
What’s that old saw about comedy is tragedy + time? Yeah, not enough time.
I agree with you Amber.
What Joan Rivers indulges in, is at it’s core, “gallows humor”. It’s a coping mechanism/comedic device in which instead of crying, we choose instead to laugh at the horrific, tragic and macabre. It’s a specific, maybe even cynical type of humor that (for lack of a better term) not everyone “gets”. Furthermore, and I can see how infuriating this would be, but it’s the shock factor that makes it even funnier to those of us who do see the humor in it. In other words, the more people who are outraged and offended by it, the funnier it seems.
The main thing to remember is that the point of an act like Joan’s is the idea that horrible things are going to happen no matter what we do. We can choose to cry forever or we can choose at some point to laugh again. Gallow’s humor is just some people’s way of choosing laughter.
Is it rude and sick? Yes. But that’s the point–so I wouldn’t expect her to apologize for it.
I’m a big fan of gallows humor, and the point of such humor is to toe the line between funny and horrible. But I think this one crossed the line.
It’s funny if it finds that sweet spot between humor and horrible, but the point of it is to shock. And I agree–this really wasn’t funny.
Ms. Rivers is a crass woman whose entire career is based on tasteless humour. I can’t control what comes out of her mouth, but I CAN control what comes into my ears. I don’t watch her, don’t listen to her, and don’t even purchase magazines when she is featured. The best way to deal with her is to deny her an audience.
I wouldn’t expect her to apologize, any more than I’d expect a pig to tap dance, but if some good could come of this, it would be for enough voices of outrage to be heard that the Today show reconsiders giving her a platform. We have the First Amendment in this country; she can say whatever damn fool thing she wants. But words have consequences, and if one of those is that she is no longer welcome on TV, that might not be a bad thing. XKCD nailed the topic of free speech a few days ago: