Jason Alexander, known for his role on the television show Seinfeld, has apologized for a joke he recently made on the CBS show The Late Late Show.
Last week he and the show's host, Craig Ferguson, were debating the merits of cricket. Alexander called the sport 'gay' and 'queer.'
'You know how I know it's really kind of a gay game? It's the pitch. It looks like nothing — if you slow it slow motion, it's kind of a..., 'Alexander said as reported by the site Towleroad. 'It's the weirdest… It's not like a manly baseball pitch; it's a queer British gay pitch.'
Yesterday, 2 May, the comic actor offered a lengthy explanation, and apology, on the website of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Alexander confessed he didn't know much about the sport, but noted he mocked it in a comedy bit, years ago, when working in Australia.
'I joked about how their rugby football made our football pale by comparison because it is a brutal, no holds barred sport played virtually without any pads, helmets or protection,' Alexander wrote. 'And then I followed that with a bit about how, by comparison, their other big sport of cricket seemed so delicate and I used the phrase, “ a bit gay”. Well, it was all a laugh in Australia where it was seen as a joke about how little I understood cricket, which in fact is a very, very athletic sport. The routine was received well but, seeing as their isn’t much talk of cricket here in America, it hasn’t come up in years.'
He pointed to a number of Twitter followers who expressed concerns about the joke. Initially, he didn't understand 'why a gay person would be particularly offended by this routine.' However, after some thought and conversation with friends, he came to realize what made the humor a problem for some.
'It is not a question of oversensitivity. The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal” are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a “real man” or a “real woman” are supposed to look like, act like and feel like.'
When he was a younger man, the actor faced some of those same taunts because of all the time listening to 'musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all [his] free time on the stage.'
Despite this personal history, the cricket joke was a moment when he 'did not make the connection. [He] didn’t get it.'