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Jennifer Aniston Criticized for Using the Word 'Retard' on TV Interview

August 20, 2010, 3:09 am GMT

After saying the offensive word during her appearance on 'Live with Regis and Kelly', Jennifer came under fire from nonprofit organizations for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.



Jennifer Aniston has again sparked controversy with her statement. After blasted by Bill O'Reilly over her artificial insemination comments, the "Friends" star has caused another uproar for using the word "retard" during an interview on "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Thursday, August 19.

Jennifer used "retard" when the show host, Regis Philbin, showed the audiences some of her photos impersonating Barbra Streisand for the September issue of Harper's Bazaar. While Regis gave a closer look of the shots to the audience and said, "You're playing dress up!", Jennifer explained, "Yes, I play dress up! I do it for a living, like a retard!"

And Jennifer has since been blasted by several parties for using the offensive word. "(It was) extraordinarily offensive and inappropriate. Frankly, someone in her position ought to know better," Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, a nonprofit advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, told Us Magazine.

"She is using language that is offensive to a large segment of the population in this country." Peter added. "We estimate that there are probably in excess of 5 million people in the country with intellectual disabilities, and when you think about all of them, their family members and friends, you're talking about tens of millions of people who find the use of that term to be really offensive."

"Every time folks hear that word, it kind of reminds them of all the discrimination and oppression they've experienced in their lives. Even if it wasn't intended to insult them, that is the effect of it," Peter concluded.

Beside The Arc, Special Olympics, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society, also released a statement. "Special Olympics is always disappointed when the R-word is used, especially by someone who is influential to society," the statement read.

"The pervasive use of the R-word, even in an off-the-cuff self-deprecating manner, dehumanizes people with intellectual disabilities and perpetuates painful stereotypes that are a great source of suffering and negative stigma," the organization further said.

Jennifer Aniston Using the Word "Retard" on "Live with Regis and Kelly":


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