Radio host Dr. Laura apologizes for N-word use
This Feb. 17, 1998 file photo shows Dr. Laura Schlessinger posing during her morning talk show in her Los Angeles studio. Schlessinger is apologizing for blurting a racial slur several times during her talk show, Aug. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Susan Sterner, File)
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Friday, August 13, 2010 12:38PM EDT
A lot of people are talking about Dr. Laura Schlessinger following a recent radio broadcast, but for all the wrong reasons.
Schlessinger, the host of a syndicated U.S. radio program, made use of the N-word several times in a recent conversation with a caller.
The caller who identified herself as "Jade" got into a conversation with Schlessinger that involved discussion about whether the N-word was offensive.
Schlessinger said that "black guys say it all the time" and went on to repeat the epithet several times.
While the radio show host did not direct the term at the caller, she claimed she used it in an attempt to illustrate how often it is used.
When the caller objected to the repeated use of the N-word, Schlessinger said: "Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians."
Schlessinger also chided the caller for being "hypersensitive" to racism and told her that she shouldn't have entered into an interracial marriage if she did not have a sense of humour about race -- a comment that drew later scorn from Rev. Al Sharpton who later told CNN's Anderson Cooper that it was "absolutely despicable" remark.
A day after the broadcast in question, Schlessinger apologized on her website for having "articulated the N-word all the way out -- more than one time."
"And that was wrong. I'll say it again -- that was wrong."
Her apology also made reference to the fact that she stopped her Tuesday broadcast early, after realizing what she had done.
"I, myself, realized I had made a horrible mistake, and was so upset I could not finish the show," Schlessinger said in her apology.
"I pulled myself off the air at the end of the hour. I had to finish the hour, because 20 minutes of dead air doesn't work. I am very sorry. And it just won't happen again."
Sharpton questioned the timing of Schlessinger's apology.
"My feeling in hearing the tape today is that if she was really understanding and apologetic to whom she may have hurt, she could have responded to that when the caller brought it up," Sharpton said when appearing CNN's AC360 program on Thursday.
With files from The Associated Press