Friday, August 20, 2010

Jennifer Aniston Still Has Not Apologized For Using The Word Retard


Since I had already written a post about Jennifer Aniston yesterday, I did not want to spend more time and space to talk about what she did on Regis & Kelly yesterday (the picture above is from an earlier appearance on the show). Specifically she used the word retard. Everyone has been giving her a hard time and she to my knowledge has not apologized yet for saying the word.

I'm not even sure why she said the word. It did not seem to fit into the context of what she was saying. "You're playing dress up!" Regis told her. She replied, "Yes, I play dress up! I do it for a living, like a retard!" How does that even fit? Do the mentally and physically challenged earn their money by playing dress up? How does one get that career? It does not really sound like a bad gig. Plus, I am not sure how much Jennifer Aniston really plays dress up. Have you suffered through any of her movies? To me she always wear the exact same clothes she has worn since the first season of Friends.

You don't really see Jennifer Aniston going for the period pieces. No one is going to see her in Wuthering Heights or a remake of Pride & Prejudice.

All that being said when you get the CEO of Arc coming out and trashing Jen for what she said you would think she would have apologized the same day and got it over with. No doubt right now she is probably trying to figure out a way to be seen with a bunch of challenged people, preferably a mixed range of age, sex and race and showing how she really cares.

Ever since I read she said the word, I keep thinking of Something About Mary. So, is retard or retarded a word we should never say like the N word?

54 comments:

Melody the First said...

I think Jen was angry because Dr Laura was getting all the attention.

Christine said...

I want to like her. I really do. But she is an idiot. I think the whole thing is a publicity stunt. And she plays the same roles the same way in every movie. The thought of her in a period piece made me spit out my Sprite. HA!

nunaurbiz said...

I do not defend the use of the word "retard," but I also don't think it's such a huge blunder. She should apologize, though, because the longer she waits, the bigger deal it becomes.

HautieTx said...

I am stunned that this is getting so much attention.

I am so tired of all the policing of ones vocabulary.

She meant no harm. She did not use it with malicious intent.

And because this is such a stupid issue, I hope she uses the word at least once a day, till the bitter end.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I don't think it's a huge deal if you say it in private to a close friend. On t.v? Sort of a bad move, even though I'm sure she wasn't talking about actual delayed people.

Patty said...

No, retard should not be banned. As a verb, it means to slow or delay. Example: The treatment will retard the growth of the tumor. Lack of sunlight retards plant growth.

Now, using retard in reference to a human is simply ignorant and that slip probably says more about Jennifer than a hundred interviews will. I find her to be rather self-centered and shallow, and now I can add ignorant to the list.

__-__=__ said...

Carlos Mencia is in soooooo much trouble!! He needs to be Jen's new BFF!

kathrynnova said...
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kathrynnova said...
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Melody the First said...

I think it depends upon how the word is used. She's using it as a noun in a clearly pejorative sense. I don't think she should be flogged for it, but we're certainly as much within our rights to say it wasn't right as she was to say it in the first place. That free speech thing goes both ways.

Cheryl said...
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MISCH said...

Shes an actress not a Rhodes Scholar ...who ever said she was smart...

von said...

kathrynnova, I think it can and should still be used as Patty explained. As a verb in most cases.

The derogatory term "retard" does need to go away. It's offensive and has no place in modern vocabulary. Jennifer Aniston should have known better but she wasn't thinking and it slipped out. I don't think she needs to be tarred and feathered for it, she just needs to issue an apology. I don't think it was malicious. I think to people of a certain age, it's one of those words that used to get a lot of play. Unfortunately.

delilah said...

she is a babosa ...end of topic-next!

jax said...

what Patty said

HannahPalindrome said...

I think she should apologize.

I think the use of the "N" word is dangerous.
People complain that the "N" word is used by the black community, but when a black person uses the word, it's not used to be disrespectful.
I know weird.
However, when a non-black person uses the "N" word, it's used with the intent to be disrespectful.

That's why Dr. Laura's comparison was dead wrong.

I think it's the same with the word retard. You have every right to use that word if you are mentally challenged. However, if you're not, you don't have the right to use that word.

If you roll your eyes at the policing of words in society, if you think people are too sensitive, then you live in a world where you believe that racism, sexism, etc do not exist.
It still exists in this country.

Look no further than the controversy over the building of a mosque a few blocks away from where I live.
People who still believe that the President is Muslim.
Why are there people who still associate extremists with Muslims.

I don't want to live in a country that only accepts Christianity as the right religion.
This is why I have distanced myself from organized religion.
It causes too much hate.
People who call themselves Americans or Christians, but are too uncomfortable with anyone or anything that is different from themselves or their own views.

Just venting...

Mrs.M5 said...

i am guilty of calling myself a retard all the time and even my friends at times! but never would i call someone mentally disabled that word. i don't use swear words or racial slurs, i just want people to let me have this one word...i like it, i think it describes me quite well :)

not on my dollar said...
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anarchi said...

"Retard" may become the new "gay", if it's not stricken.

Act stupid, make a language mistake, use poor judgment, or not be well informed: R-word.

For men, dress stylishly, be appropriately sensitive, follow cultural arts, actually like to be with women: G-word.

Neither has anything to do with "being mentally challenged" or men "being sexually attracted to men".

Ms. Aniston is being lazy by using a word incorrectly. And hurtfully. She doesn't need to apologize, just "get a life".

not on my dollar said...

The word "retard" is no longer associated with someone who has special needs. Now people are more educated and instead are more descriptive in communicating a learning disorder.

When I hear someone use the word "retard" in association with a person it's as outdated as saying "psycho maniac".

It is a valid word that is used to describe a delayed reaction, response etc.

On the other hand it should never be used as a slang when referring to an individual.

Sadie said...

I don't particularly care for Jennifer myself...I never rush out to see her latest movie. But I can say I'm not in the least offended by what she said. She didn't use in in a context that was meant to harm or hurt anyone.

For some reason the media has a hard on for Jennifer and while I really couldn't care, it must be hard to be her. Shes just trying to earn a living, just like the rest of us.

Is it just me or has anyone noticed that on slow media days, the media just goes for broke to make a story.

Sadie said...

Oh...one last thing...back in the dark ages those with special needs, were referred to as retards, no matter what their condition was. That is no longer the case, so using the word "retard" no longer has the same meaning. It's almost like an old slang word anymore.

Jasmine said...

what HannahPalindrome said

Patty said...

When I was little girl in the 70's (yes the dark ages), people with Downs Syndrom were referred to as mongoloids. Now, you never hear that descriptor anymore. That word was meant to describe how they looked in the face and did not describe their condition. I can't recall the last time I heard that reference. Now, if I talk to my mother and we see an image of someone with Downs, I bet $100 she will call them a mongoloid. No malice, that is just the terminology of her day. Right? Wrong?

Jasmine said...

although I will say personally that I wasnt offended by this, I just thought it was a dumb move.
I myself try to do a little policing of my own actions. I remember being a kid and saying 'i dont chink so' all the time, cause I thought it was funny. My mom heard me and calmly explained what that meant and how offensive that word was and I stopped saying it. I used to say retard and 'thats gay!' while I was a teenager and after seeing reactions from some people who heard me say that and the looks on their face I realized this was also offensive and have since stopped saying those words. Though they do slip out from time to time.
I think people of all ages, yes even kids, can and should take responisbility for how they talk. I mean, who wants to intentionally hurt someone, unless your a mean or bad person?

Carb said...

This person Jennifer Aniston has jumped the shark. She is not relevant at all to society. I do not care what she says or thinks.

chopchop said...

On one hand, the word "retard" does highly offend some people, often those with direct ties to someone with a disability and therefore should be verboten. (See also: "that's so gay")

On the other hand, it's a slippery slope as then we should also ban the words "idiot" and "moron" because the origins of those words were referring to people who were mentally disabled as well. It's a double-edged sword.

Jennifer Aniston should not have said it and definitely should apologize. Hell, Obama made a similar statement and he manned up and apologized too. I think this was a classic case of someone who is highly controlled, with a thick veil up so her perfect girl-next-door image can stay intact accidentally got too comfortable and slipped into her own regular vernacular.

not on my dollar said...

I can see how the comment could offend someone considering she said "like a retard" which is referencing a type of person. That's equivalent to calling someone retarded so yes she needs to humbly apologize.

sunnyside1213 said...

I agree with Carb, while I was reading this, I was thinking she is on her way out.

Harriet Hellfire said...

I don't have a problem with teh word "retard". I used it all the time, to describe really stupid people. I have never used it to describe a physically or mentally handicapped person and I really don't think anyone does these days. This really is not a big deal to anyone but people who still refer to handicapped people as "retarded". And they can suck it as far as I'm concerned.

__-__=__ said...

Carlos, on freedom of speach:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD1JJcrNDjg&feature=related

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Ho-lee-cow. I just clicked that Carlos link above, and wow. What a funny ass bastard. My sides hurt from laughing so much. Thanks!

bits of moxy said...

Volunteering with special needs daily, my group could care less...they always so sweetly tell me they have better things to do. These small discussions arise when we are out and about and there is some fool who was raised without manners and makes a remark in their earshot.

Manners...I miss those.

Word policing is needed, albeit, at times it does get out of hand. I have to agree with Kathrynnova on this one. (well said)

jagerlilly said...

I say it a lot - I drive on LA Freeways. I would never use it loudly, in public, cuz you never know, but I've used it with friends and family in a joking/funny fashion. She should have used a different word and yes, she should apologize before this gets blown WAY out of proportion. Oh wait...too late.

Mooshki said...

"I think it's the same with the word retard. You have every right to use that word if you are mentally challenged. However, if you're not, you don't have the right to use that word."

So, in other words, what she did was not wrong. ;)

MCH said...

Le SIGH.

I watched the video of it. Dumb move, YES, but like other posters have said, I highly doubt she meant it offensively & she was probably kicking herself in the ass as soon as it escaped her mouth. She should probably apologize though.

I don't condone the use of that word...I will admit to having used it in the past but I know its offensive to some.

The word can still be heard in movies/TV all the time. I'm NOT saying its right, but if this is the worst thing to lash out at Aniston, then she's doing pretty good in my book. :)

Everyone has those moments....
Apologize, Miss Aniston & move on.

sandman said...

more importantly, is there an upskirt involved?

Becki said...

HautieTx, I totally agree with you.
I am so tired of this PC Bullshit.

Vanessa said...

why should she apologize.

If she is not sorry about it...then she shouldn't be forced to apologize to make a bunch of people feel sorry.

Honestly.
Retard is not the same as NIGGER.

One has always been used as a way to demean and insult a whole race of people.

The other is just word that can be used to clinical describe a condition. If we can't say retarted....than we should get read of dumb, crazy, schizo, psychotic, blind b/c they will offend someone.

Makeing a big deal out of a moe hill.

Dr. Laura situation is not the same thing as Jennifer Aniston.
Saying n-word 11 times in space of 5 mins, saying someone shouldn't be in an interracial relationship if they are going to be hypersensitive about racist jokes....is not in the same league as saying...sometimes I don't know how to dress my self up.

No the same thing.

Lauren said...

Enough of this politically correct bullsh*t. I will say what I want. If you are offended, close your ears.

kimmypie1 said...

Why did no one freak out when Zack Galifinakas (sp?)on the Hangover said it? Because it was funny? (which it was, sorry).

As long as she is not using it to describe someone with a disability then I see no malicious intent.

Fish said...

I agree it was an innocent mistake, but it still remains an offensive term. Over time, it will fade away as Patty mentioned noted with other previously used offensive terms. As many others pointed out, Ms. Aniston used to denigrate herself rather than others.

I've got a great story regarding this word. My husband is a psychiatric nurse. He was taking part in a Monday morning meeting THIS YEAR with an unruly patient who had acted out all weekend (security was needed several times to subdue and restrain the patient). The patient asked if he could have a day pass to get some fresh air (read: drugs/alcohol). Straight faced, without any awareness of the inappropriateness of his words, the attending psychiatrist responded "are you retarded?"

So, I guess my point is we all make mistakes. Hopefully we can learn from them.

What I also like about that story is that my husband is so careful about using PC terms. I am the one who occasionally slips up, not him and he will correct me at home. He was so stunned when the doctor said this, he didn't know what to do. Luckily, he stopped his knee jerk correction that time!

Sheyna said...

I hope she doesn't apologize. Yeah it's a questionable word and made no sense in context but come on, the connotation of the word in the english lexicon is kind of divorced from where it came from if you ask me. Its different from mentally and physically handicapped people.

We can all handle that the N-word is off limits, but i don't see more than that word getting on the list. Every special interest group getting their panties twisted over slang is useless and divisive.

Krab said...

Kind of ironic that the person complaining was from Arc, which of course stands for Association for Retarded Children.

B626 said...

Jen your latest movie doesn't need this goof up to bomb it will anyway and yes if you would have put the emphasis on the 'tard' it would be so Hangoverish and all would be forgiven.

Tenley said...

She doesn't know how to respond when she's not the victim. She's probably thinking if she waits long enough someone (like Rush Limbaugh?) will come out making even ruder statements than Bill O'Reilly and demanding she apologize and only THEN can she turn this whole thing into her being the victim again.

Tenley said...

Man, I can't believe the number of people in this thread saying she shouldn't apologize. Jesus. If only for P.R. purposes she should have already.

Tenley said...

(and look, by golly! Jen Aniston is indeed the victim again! oh rally behind her this poor poor put-upon creature)

0 said...

But it was totally acceptable when Robert Downy Jr. said it multiple times in Tropic Thunder. Or the various times Will Ferrel has used it in movies. Or Sascha Baron Cohen's use of it in Borat.

I'm no Aniston fan, but it's bullshit that she's been singled out for using a word that people don't think twice about when used in a "comedic" context. Do I think she should apologize? I really don't care, because no one was up in arms over any of the aforementioned men using the exact same phrase and no one demanded an apology then. When it comes to hurtful epithets, whether they be "retard" or "nigger" or "leper" or whatever it should be all or nothing. Either you rant and rave against EVERY USE of said words or you suck it up and get over it.

Sweetiebird said...

there's a difference between a character saying it in a movie and a person saying it in real life. As the mother of a severely autistic little boy, I'd like to tell that horse-faced no talent piece of sh*t to f*ck off.

cricket said...

People are way too thin skinned. I'm so sick of people being expected to say sorry and kiss ass every time they say someting. We still have freedom of speech at least for a little longer. The way things are going I don't see us keeping that freedom. She doesn't owe anyone anything and I hope she never ever mentions it again. It's no big deal and never should have been turned into one. This PC crap is out of control.

Geebz said...

Just an opinion so don't slay me. When someone says "retard" to describe someone to you, what do you think of?

Do you think of someone with Down's, with a physical disability or some sort of "abnormal" deformity? OR....
Do you think of someone that did something stupid like switch from lane 1 to lane 4 within 2 seconds on the interstate, someone that slapped their kid on an airplane or Paris Hilton.

I believe the meaning of the word has changed. The former "retard" is now refered to as "physically/mentally challenged", disabled, special needs and so forth. It doesn't mean the same thing at all anymore.

I can't stand Jennifer and think she's made a career of being divorced from Brad Pitt but I don't think it was malicious like those up in arms are making it out to be.

If she had said, "I can't dress myself because, you know...I'm special needs!", I'd think she had a problem but not so much with this one.

Geebz said...

I will say though that folks saying that people are TOO PC are sometimes right and sometimes off. Saying NIGGER, as Vanessa enjoyed typing, is highly offensive because of the history behind it. The meaning of the word has NOT changed over time. It's still as insulting as the "k" word for Jews, the "c" word for Asians, the "s" word for Latinos/S Americans...those words are malicious, meant to demean and demoralize and to hurt. There is nothing wrong with telling people that ain't cool. But to make them apologize...???...That's disingenuine.
Dr. Laura should say she messed up and she shouldn't have done it on her show. That's it. She's not sorry because that's how she feels. I'd respect that more than any fake apology done for PR purposes. How have you won if you made her say it and she isn't truly sorry. You just taught her to be more slick and personal, nothing more.
Jennifer can address that she's in the wrong for using it in a public forum and that she messed up but is she sorry? Probably not. Did she mean it like THAT? Probably not...again, it's just my opinion and you know what they say about those!

Dorea said...

The reason it is so offensive is that it is lightheartedly comparing a silly mistake, decision or action with PEOPLE who have intellectual functioning that is compromised. Actual people.

Imagine if you were someone with compromised intellectual functioning walking around in our society today? You get teased at school by merciless classmates who use the R word directed at you, then you go out into public and you hear all these people just throwing the word around as an insult at each other. Someone who has an intellectual disability still has feelings, thoughts, dreams, emotions and the ability to use logic to make associations between things.

The r-word is OFFENSIVE. Even if you don't think so personally you should be smart enough to know that not everyone is so "enlightened" as you and maybe you should watch your mouth in public or on a hugely popular TV show.

It's not being politically correct.... it's being sensitive to a group of people who already have a more difficult time navigating in our society so how about not denigrating them offhandedly on top of everything else. The word is forever tied to people who have intellectual disabilities. To say that it isn't, or that you can MEAN how you use it in a different sort of way is like assuming that you live in a void and your words and actions have no impact on someone else. Can you mean the n-word in a different way than it is taken? I suppose so but the only thing that matters is how someone perceives it and the perception from many of us is that it is offensive. The r-word offends a lot of people and therefore it is an offensive word.