A few days ago, Jason Alexander raised a little stink by going on Craig Ferguson’s show and calling cricket “gay” while going through every page of the gay = weak stereotype playbook, a move that – not shockingly – pissed off more than a few people.
Typically when a celebrity of any level manages to upset a lot of people, they hunker down, issue a press release, and hope everyone forgets.
Jason Alexander did not do that. He sent out a honest-to-God apology that is detailed, heartfelt, and avoids using “I’m sorry if I offended anyone”, the watermark of the fake apology:
I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the ‘70’s in a town that revered it’s school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence.
So one might think that all these years later I might be able to intuit that my little cricket routine could make some person who has already been made to feel alien and outcast feel even worse or add to the conditions that create their alienation. But in this instance, I did not make the connection. I didn’t get it.
So, I would like to say – I now get it. And to the extent that these jokes made anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt – please know that was not my intention, at all or ever. I hope we will someday live in a society where we are so accepting of each other that we can all laugh at jokes like these and know that there is no malice or diminishment intended.