Why Natasha Leggero doesn’t need to apologize

During NBC’s New Year’s Eve telecast, the comedian made an unscripted joke about SpaghettiOs and World War II veterans that upset many viewers. It’s all about context.

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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? 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?

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