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Jay Leno Apologizes For 'Gayest Look' Remark

Jay Leno is used to making fun of the headlines, not being a part of them. But after days of outrage from the gay community, the 'Tonight Show' host has apologized for a remark on last week's show.

Leno issued a statement today saying he was sorry for making gay jokes with guest Ryan Phillippe last week.

"In talking about Ryan's first role, I realize that what I said came out wrong. I certainly didn't mean any malice. I agree it was a dumb thing to say and I apologize," Leno said.

Gay rights groups were outraged after last Thursday's show, when Leno made fun of Phillippe's first role on television as a gay teenager on soap 'One Life to Live'.

"Say that camera is your gay lover," Leno told Phillippe. "Can you give me your gayest look? Say that camera is Billy Bob. Billy Bob has just ridden in shirtless from Wyoming."

Ryan wisely stayed out of it and said, "Wow. That is so something I don't want to do. Are you just going to embarrass me tonight?" "No," replied Leno. "I got more stuff. This is the least of it."

The next day the 'Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation' called the remarks childish and said it was "a misguided use of adolescent humor."

GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano said: "Under the guise of comedy, the talk show host is demonstrating a lack of respect for the gay community and insensitivity to both his coworkers and the audience, to whom he owes an apology."

Jeff Whitty, a Tony-winning playwright, had a much harsher response for Leno, asking, "would you ask a guest to make their 'blackest face?' Their 'Jewiest face?'."

You can see a clip of the segment below. Phillippe was appearing to promote his latest film, Stop-Loss.

April 2, 2008 |

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