Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kathy Griffin Offends Jesus and His Followers. "Hurtful" Remarks to be Censored out of Awards Show.

Kathy Griffin made what some construe as offensive remarks towards Jesus as part of her acceptance speech for winning an award for her reality cable series. Yahoo News Reuters excerpt:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comic Kathy Griffin's "offensive" remarks about Jesus at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be cut from a pre-taped telecast of the show, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said on Tuesday.

Griffin made the provocative comment on Saturday night as she took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium to collect her Emmy for best reality program for her Bravo channel show "My Life on the D-List."

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus," an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."
Asked about her speech backstage a short time later, an unrepentant Griffin added, "I hope I offended some people. I didn't want to win the Emmy for nothing."

The speech drew fire from a leading Roman Catholic group, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which condemned Griffin's remarks as "obscene and blasphemous."

"It is a sure bet that if Griffin had said, 'Suck it, Muhammad,' there would have been a very different reaction," Catholic league president Bill Donohue said in a statement posted on the group's Web site. He called on TV academy president Dick Askin to denounce Griffin's "hate speech" and on Griffin to apologize.

Griffin's reaction to the imbroglio, according to a statement issued by her publicist: "Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?"

Good question. Especially in light of Mr. Donahue's remark that makes it apparent that he'd have found no problem with her having attacked Muhammad in her speech instead of Jeshua ben Yosef.

As someone who was raised as a Roman Catholic (Extremely lapsed. I left the Church way back in high school), I am apparently supposed to be as offended as Mr. Donahue is at what Ms. Griffin said. I'm not. Not in the least. And not because I am a fan of Ms. Griffin or her work. In fact, I find her routine shallow and pedantic, and her persona to be shrill and abrasive. However, she is perfectly within her First Amendment rights to point out the phony piety of performers who thank Jesus for their good fortune when receiving awards, but seem to forget Christ's message the other 364 days of the year (drug busts, physical abuse, etc.). At least that is how I read her words.

It's sort of like what Jim Bouton wrote in "Ball Four" when he expressed a similar discomfort with the way his fellow baseball players and other athletes praised Jesus for their victories, while he secretly harbored a desire to say (paraphrasing) "It was my muscles, not Jesus" as the reason for his success.

It's all simple semantics, so can't everyone just chill and stop waiting to be offended by meaningless things like this?

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