We love comedian Natasha Leggero, and not because she’s a native New Yorker. She held her own at the boy’s club that was James Franco’s roast last year, and her whole drawling socialite shtick enhances, rather than encumbers, her vitriolic material.
So let us just say, for the record, that the whole outrage over Ms. Leggero’s comments on NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly broadcast felt kind of like a forced controversy First of all, Ms. Leggero and Jane Lynch, were asked about their thoughts regarding the latest Internet high-horsy scandal about something written on the SpaghettiOs Twitter account (oh, please bear with us), when the canned pasta company had tweeted “a picture of its SpaghettiOs mascot holding an American flag and asking people to ‘take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us.‘”
Those who claimed to be offended by the tasteless tweet were pretty much scraping the bottom of the outrage barrel already, but they still managed to freak the hell out when Ms. Leggaro responded with “It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.”
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CUE THE WRATH OF THE INTERNET.
Today, Ms. Leggero addressed the issue on her blog:
On New Years Eve I made what I thought was a harmless joke http://dailym.ai/1crNs71
Here is my response:
Well hello America!
It’s been a busy few days but rest assured, I have received all of your messages and have been busy sifting through the different creatively misspelled death threats, rape fantasies and most of all repeated use of the the C word. In the past few days I have been called a cunt so much I felt like I was in a British pub rooting for the wrong soccer team. Click here to see some of my faves!
I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest.
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.
That’s not to say I don’t think comedians are a problem in this country, they are a financial drain on the people who date them and talk far too much about themselves. I’m thrilled to see how passionate (death threats against a five foot tall woman are always the height of passion!) people are about our country and our Veterans. I am too. My own father lost his hearing in the Vietnam War so the issue is pretty close to me too. So rather than apologize, let me offer another perspective.
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?
For those of you that are currently doing both: Kudos!
To our vets: I love you. I truly hope you know that.
To Spaghetti O’s: Let’s do lunch.
To the Elderly: Chew!
To @nealrscott: It’s spelled Human Excrement not Increatment.
To those looking for an active way to address the above problems, do what I’ve decided to do instead of apologize: Make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans foundation. (link http://www.dav.org)
This sentiment was also put forward earlier this year by Lena Dunham, who got in trouble for tweeting, “Happy Memorial Day! I’ve already peed in two different Starbucks bathrooms!“
She followed that up with a similar response to Leggero’s:
Just an FYI to conservative dudes tweeting hate at me: “I hope you get breast cancer” is way more offensive than anything I’ve ever written.
Let’s hope for less terrifying rape and cancer threats to vaguely unfunny jokes with themes about war veterans!