Comedian Jerry Lewis chided over ‘gay slur’


SYDNEY — Veteran U.S. comedian Jerry Lewis has been criticised for a remark he made on Australian television which has been seen as a slur on gay people, the national AAP news agency reported Saturday. Asked his opinion of Australia’s national sport of cricket, the agency said Lewis, 82, replied: “Oh, cricket? It’s a fag game. What are you, nuts?”

Network Ten broadcast the comments on its Friday evening news bulletin, along with footage of Lewis handling an imaginary cricket bat with a supposedly effeminate gesture, AAP said. “Lewis is a world-renowned comedian but clearly this wasn’t funny,” said a spokesman for the Australian Coalition for Equality, Corey Irlam. The comedian apologised in September last year for using a similar term during his annual telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis is due to perform at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday at the start of a tour featuring comic sketches, film footage and song, backed by a 24-piece orchestra.