“I’m not sorry. I don’t think the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television. Do we really believe that the people who fought and defended our freedom against Nazis and the Axis powers will find a joke about Spaghetti O’s too much to bear? Sorry, I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat.”
— Comic Natasha Leggero in a written response to those who were angered over a joke she made about Pearl Harbor veterans on NBC’s New Year’s Eve special
For those who might have missed this one because it was swallowed into the overall cacophony of social media outrage about this thing and that thing and this other thing (and, oh yeah, that) within just the past week, here’s what happened: On Tuesday night during NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly,” the subject of Spaghetti-Os’ amusingly ham-handed and tone-deaf tweet on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor came up among the show’s hosts and guests. When asked what she thought of the offense some took to the tweet, Jane Lynch responded, “I’m offended because they were referring to Spaghetti-Os as pasta,” to which Natasha Leggero added, “It sucks that the survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.” The joke killed. Anthony Anderson could barely keep himself together.
Now Leggero is responding to the “controversy,” and that response is absolutely awesome. What she’s posted on her personal blog today is possibly the very best way for a comic to react to what’s already becoming another year of ridiculous social media outrage, cranked to 11, over one petty grievance or another. Bottom line: she’s not apologizing. She’s having none of the bullshit backlash. More importantly, she’s pointing out the obvious, which is that it’s easy and lazy to take offense at something as dumb as a comic’s rude joke rather than addressing real problems. In this case, the real problems facing veterans.
On the one hand you have me, making a joke about how old people can’t chew tough foods very well.
On the other hand you have Veterans who receive inadequate care upon their return from active duty, rampant sexual assault against female soldiers, staggering rates of suicide, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse and depression among soldiers and political gridlock that prevents these problems from getting solved quickly.
Where do you think your outrage and action would be better served, calling me a cunt or doing something about the above problems?