Natasha Leggero is Sorry She’s Not Sorry About Her Pearl Harbor Joke
5:10 pm, January 3rd | by Kady Ruth Ashcraft
On Carson Daly’s NBC New Year’s Eve special, comedian Natasha Leggero made a joke that ruffled more than a few Internet feathers. After being prompted by Daly to comment on Spaghetti-O’s commemorative Pearl Harbor tweet turned tasteless marketing ploy, Leggero deadpanned, “it sucks that survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.” Within moments, Leggero was the target of infuriated tweets, “misspelled death threats, rape fantasies and most of all repeated use of the the C word,” from offended viewers.
The comedian addressed the hullabaloo on her website today, issuing the best non-apology apology that we have ever heard. In an oddly refreshing statement, Leggero confesses that she doesn’t regret making the joke. She writes:
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?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 Spaghetti O’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.
While ideally gathering in a packed tourist landmark to watch a Waterford Crystal ball drop to it’s imminent retirement would be a sacred moment, I do think that a ton of people’s anger at Leggero was misplaced. Her joke was only pointing out that survivors of Pearl Harbor are old — and they are. The attack took place over 70 years ago. As Leggero observes, people’s outrage would be more worthwhile and justified if it was directed at real issues affecting service members like inadequate care for veterans, PTSD, and sexual assault. Throwing stones at Leggero for making an ageist joke does nothing to alleviate the trauma and violence service members encounter every day. It is only a cheap way to feel self-important and assuage our own guilt.
To read Leggero’s full post (and you should), click here. And to those looking for a way to address the aforementioned problems, do what Leggero did instead of apologizing: make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans foundation.