A few days ago I wrote an Open Letter to Wayne Brady about his recent comments at Comedy Central’s roast of Roseanne Barr. You can read the letter if you’d like, but in short, Wayne Brady made a joke that used Trig Palin (and his Down syndrome diagnosis) as the punchline. The joke was met with boo’s from the crowd, as well as numerous posts on Wayne Brady’s Facebook page by parents posting pictures of their children born with Down syndrome (and expressing their disappointment in Mr. Brady.)
After the roast, Wayne Brady thanked his fans via twitter for watching the roast and that he was glad it “opened some eyes.” (Although I’m not sure what that means.) A few days later he retweeted a message from a fan that said he was glad Wayne wasn’t apologizing for the comments; which was taken by many to suggest that Wayne Brady wasn’t going to apologize for the comments directed at Sarah Palin’s son, Trigg.
On Friday, Wayne Brady issued an apology via his Facebook page. Here is the apology in its entirety:
This letter has taken me a few days to compose because of the conflicting emotions that I’ve experienced since the day of the Roast and it’s subsequent airing. The environment of the Roast is a comedic (hopefully), tasteless (mostly always), affair that encourages everyone to out-filth each other. Not normally what I’m known for, right? But, when I was invited, I jumped at the chance to play outside of my perceived “norm” and have fun. The Jeff joke was written for me and at the end of the day I take full responsibility for saying it. It wasn’t meant as a slam to Trig and at the time I didn’t see it that way.
I could defend it as a performer, but I would rather apologize from the bottom of my heart as a father. I understand how a parent, who loves their child, who tries to nurture and shield them when they cannot defend themselves, would take offense.. I have many times experienced this feeling. I’ve had awful things said about my daughter.. Violent and most times racial stabs. Being in the spotlight I have built a thick skin to these sorts of things. My daughter ( who’s now old enough to understand ) is another story. That being said I write this letter with sensitivity and a strong stance of responsibility for my actions.
I thank everyone who’s expressed their opinion for reminding me that my voice is heard… It’s easy to forget sometimes in front of cameras and lights.
To the Palins, please know that no malice or harm was meant. To the other families who were touched negatively, I hope you’ll be able to accept this apology as well.
I’ve always said that people in the public eye should be held responsible for what you say and I’m no hypocrite. Thanks for reading and letting me express my side.
Take care all,
I will say I found it interesting that Mr. Brady didn’t mention the word “Down syndrome” once in his apology letter. However, I am glad that Mr. Brady at least acknowledged that his remarks were hurtful and crossed a line. I do hope Wayne Brady takes me up on my offer to attend a National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk, or get involved in his local Down Syndrome organization so that he may have the opportunity to get to know someone with Down syndrome personally.
Mr. Brady if you are reading this, I accept your apology, and really do hope to see you at a Buddy Walk sometime.
What do you think about Wayne Brady’s apology?
LifeNews Note: Rick Smith is Noah’s Dad and he’s creating an online story about his son who was born with Down syndrome on his blog. In addition he manages Noah’s Dad’s Facebook community, and Noah’s Dad Twitter stream; and enjoys using social media to show the world that children born with Down syndrome are worthy of life.