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JAN
3
7 MOS

Natasha Leggero 'Not Sorry' for Joke About Pearl Harbor Veterans

The comedienne highlighted the irony of the outrage over the joke in an open letter, redirecting the offended to take action and aid veterans.

Natasha Leggero NYE with Carson Daly - H 2013
NBC
Carson Daly and Natasha Leggero

After collecting criticism for an offensive joke she made on New Year's Eve, Natasha Leggero has written an open letter with her bold response: "I'm not sorry."

The controversy began during NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly, when Daly was chatting with Leggero, Jane Lynch and Anthony Anderson about a tweet that SpaghettiOs sent on Pearl Harbor day. Along with a picture of the food's mascot holding an American flag, the company tweeted, "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us."

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"It offended a lot of people -- corporations glomming on to, you know, sentimental American historic traditions, seemingly looking for people in business," said Daly. "It wasn't good."

"I'm offended because they were referring to SpaghettiOs as pasta," said Lynch, with Leggero adding, "I mean, it sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew."

Leggero then caught flack for offending veterans. She wrote, "In the past few days I have been called a c--- so much I felt like I was in a British pub rooting for the wrong soccer team." But she asserts that she doesn't take back what she said on air. "I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest. I'm not sorry."

Leggero pointed out her own joke's irrelevance ("I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat"), highlighted her personal admiration for their sacrifice ("My own father lost his hearing in the Vietnam War so the issue is pretty close to me too") and redirected the offended to take tangible action and help those that the comedienne reportedly insulted, complete with links to do so directly.

"You have Veterans who receive inadequate care upon their return from active duty, rampant sexual assault against female soldiers, staggering rates of suicide, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse and depression among soldiers and political gridlock that prevents these problems from getting solved quickly.

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"Where do you think your outrage and action would be better served, calling me a c--- or doing something about the above problems?"

Read Leggero's full response below:

On New Years Eve I made what I thought was a harmless joke http://dailym.ai/1crNs71

Here is my response:

Well hello America!

It's been a busy few days but rest assured, I have received all of your messages and have been busy sifting through the different creatively misspelled death threats, rape fantasies and most of all repeated use of the the C word. In the past few days I have been called a cunt so much I felt like I was in a British pub rooting for the wrong soccer team. Click here to see some of my faves!

I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest.

I'm not sorry. I don't think the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television. Do we really believe that the people who fought and defended our freedom against Nazis and the Axis powers will find a joke about SpaghettiO's too much to bear? Sorry, I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat.

That's not to say I don't think comedians are a problem in this country, they are a financial drain on the people who date them and talk far too much about themselves. I'm thrilled to see how passionate (death threats against a five foot tall woman are always the height of passion!) people are about our country and our Veterans. I am too. My own father lost his hearing in the Vietnam War so the issue is pretty close to me too. So rather than apologize, let me offer another perspective.

On the one hand you have me, making a joke about how old people can't chew tough foods very well.

On the other hand you have Veterans who receive inadequate care upon their return from active duty, rampant sexual assault against female soldiers, staggering rates of suicide, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse and depression among soldiers and political gridlock that prevents these problems from getting solved quickly.

Where do you think your outrage and action would be better served, calling me a c--- or doing something about the above problems?

For those of you that are currently doing both: Kudos!

To our vets: I love you. I truly hope you know that.

To SpaghettiO's: Let's do lunch.

To the Elderly: Chew!

To @nealrscott: It's spelled Human Excrement not Increatment.

To those looking for an active way to address the above problems, do what I've decided to do instead of apologize: Make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans foundation. (link http://www.dav.org)

Ever Yours,
Natasha Leggero