Wayne Brady Criticized for Insensitive Down Syndrome Joke

Yahoo Contributor Network
Wayne Brady Criticized for Insensitive Down Syndrome Joke

View photo

Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady might have a reputation as the King of Nice, but he's not so innocent after all. The "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" comedian earned boos during the Comedy Central roast of Roseanne Barr for a joke he made about Down's syndrome.

"Now the thing is, Jeff, these are all jokes, and I really like you. I really, really like you," he said, referring to comedian Jeffrey Ross. "But a lot of people hate you, especially Sarah Palin because you remind her of what Trig is going to look like when he's 40."

Trig, the youngest Palin child, has Down syndrome.

Naturally, the joke didn't sit right with parents of children with the genetic condition. Dad Rick Smith, a father of a child with Down syndrome, wrote an open letter to the comedian on his blog. Specifically, Smith asked how he can make the joke and then appear on shows like "Sesame Street."

"Were you aware that 'Sesame Street' features children with Down syndrome on their show from time to time? I'm curious if you have ever met any children with Down syndrome while on their set?" he asked. "…if I see you on an episode of 'Sesame Street' after these comments, I would turn the channel. I would not want to watch you on that show pretending to be a person who loves and cares for all children."

Sure, lots of offensive jokes are told during roasts, but shouldn't children be off limits? Yes, judging from parental outcry at these celebrity "jokes" directed toward kids.

50 Cent

Rapper 50 Cent angered thousands of parents - including actress Holly Robinson Peete - when he called one of his followers "Autistic looking" in July. The careless tweet inspired Robinson Peete - herself the mother of an Autistic son - to write an open letter to the rapper.

"Do you even know what autism is?" Robinson Peete asked in the post. "And what exactly does 'autistic' look like? Do you know how wildly prevalent autism is? 1 in 88 have it. That's 1 in 54 boys. Families suffer a social stigma you will never know."

The "In Da Club" rapper was also on the receiving end of thousands of angry tweets from other parents. He never really responded directly, but eventually took down the posts.

Margaret Cho

Comedian Margaret Cho is an outspoken supporter of the gay community and would never use the word "f****t" while referring to a gay man. However, she apparently isn't above using the word retard.

"My period comes like twice a month. My eggs are jumping ship," she joked in May while appearing on Andy Cohen's Bravo show "Watch What Happens Live." "Seriously, they're like, 'the last one out's a retard."

"I get worried about that, as an older woman, I don't necessarily want to have a retard," she said. People were just a wee bit upset about it, leading her to apologize.

I also did a stellar job in disappointing countless others with my callous, witless tongue," she wrote on her website. "I was thinking about myself solely, no one else, which I hate. I was way out of line."

At least she can admit when she's wrong.

Do you think Wayne Brady should apologize for his joke?

More from this contributor

Matt Bomer Too Gay to Play Christian Grey? Not According to These Characters

Tori Spelling Defends Bikini Baby Bump & Other Celebrities Who Rocked the Look

Celeb Trend Report: Mariah Carey the Latest Celebrity to Launch a Nail Polish Line

Note:This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network here to start publishing your own articles.

View Comments