E! Apologizes For Calling Michael J Fox's Parkinson's Diagnosis A Fun Fact
I’m not an apology guy. Well, let me rephrase. I think an overwhelming majority of apologies issued in Hollywood for bad jokes and personal life mistakes are completely unnecessary. I guess I just have thicker skin than most, but every now and again, someone in the entertainment business makes a mistake that even I think warrants a swift “my bad”—like say referring to a life-altering disease diagnosis as a “fun fact”.
That’s exactly what E! did this evening during the network’s Red Carpet coverage. Once upon a time, a mistake like that could have come and gone without many people noticing, but in the age of screenshots and Twitter, it only took a matter of minutes before the blunder was everywhere. You can check out the mishap below…
I get where the E! writers were coming from with this. Clearly, they were instructed to put together a list of interesting things about the celebrities to flash on the screen. Someone later made the decision to call these little asides “fun facts” and the realization that some of those points of interest aren’t fun never really clicked. That being said, the fuck-up happened, whether it was intentional or not, and it’s better for everyone involved to just get the apology out there quick.
The powers that be at E! know that as well as anyone else; so, they decided to act quickly. Here’s what the network told The Hollywood Reporter…
"We regret the insensitive classification of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's diagnosis during our Eonline live stream. We understand the serious nature of the disease and sincerely apologize."
Fox is a pretty easygoing guy. One would imagine he’ll gladly accept the apology and laugh off the situation. There’s no reason anyone needs to get fired for a lapse in judgment without any evil intent, but at the same time, there’s no reason to try and take the moral high ground here and not apologize. In fact, there’s no better time to issue a retraction than when those involved didn't realize what their words were actually conveying.
Here’s to hoping this is the last we hear of this mishap.