When asked earlier today at a Cannes Film Festival press conference who is favorite female comedians were, Jerry Lewis answered like the miserable, sexist curmudgeon he is: “I don’t have any.” According to AP‘s recap of the discussion, he was just generally awful.
Asked who his favorite female comics were Thursday at a Cannes Film Festival press conference, Jerry Lewis listed Cary Grant and Burt Reynolds. He then added: “I don’t have any.”
In 1998, Lewis famously said that watching women do comedy “sets me back a bit” and that he has trouble with the notion of would-be mothers as comedians.
Asked Thursday if he had changed his mind at all because of performers like Melissa McCarthy and Sarah Silverman, the 87-year-old Lewis said of women performing broad comedy: “I can’t see women doing that. It bothers me.”
“I cannot sit and watch a lady diminish her qualities to the lowest common denominator,” he said. “I just can’t do that.”
Hear that, ladies? You’re diminishing your qualities! He’s just too gentle and sweet and caring to watch you ruin your wittle high-heeled life like dat. Now run along and make yourself a cosmo; you’ve had a long day trying to think you’re people!
One of the more annoying excuses people often give for older folks like Jerry Lewis is that they’re “from a different generation” and “just don’t get it.” Okay, but that’s like claiming racist assholes who convicted innocent people of crimes purely out of bigotry and ignorance were somehow not racist assholes because they were “from a different generation.” Being a sexist, racist, homophobic or any other kind of asshole is irrelevant to your birth year. Considering how far we’ve obviously come toward not accepting this type of behavior anymore, you’d hope that our favorite public figures, comedians included, would have joined for the ride but alas, no — this one’s stuck so far in the past, we can’t see him in the rearview mirror.
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