Target: Comedian Lisa Lampanelli
Goal: Apologize for using the n-word in a recent tweet
While comedy might serve as fertile ground for exploring and breaking down taboos, some boundaries simply should not be crossed. Famous insult comic Lisa Lampanelli recently entertained one untouchable taboo when she blithely tweeted out a racial slur in reference to actress and producer Lena Dunham. The tweet featured a photo of Lampanelli and Dunham together along with the text “Me with my n***a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!” As a white comedian, Lampanelli should know better than to adopt this charged slur for her own casual use. Urge her to issue an apology immediately.
While there is always much debate about who can and should use the n-word, it should be clear that a celebrity with white privilege cannot simply decide that the word is acceptable for her own use. Adopting the term isn’t an edgy or subversive act–especially when it is used with regard to a producer who is notorious for white-washing New York City in her HBO series Girls.
Lisa Lampanelli’s use of the n-word was both insulting and dismissive of the racial history surrounding the word. She has yet to express remorse for her tweet. Urge Lampanelli to acknowledge her error and apologize immediately.
Dear Lisa Lampanelli,
Your recent tweet, in which you refer to Lena Dunham as “my n***a,” has stirred up controversy for good reason. While you might be notorious for pushing boundaries and breaking taboos as a comedian, there are some lines that simply should not be crossed. By ignoring the past few hundred years of racial politics in the United States, you have crossed one such line.
Racial slurs simply cannot be appropriated by people who have never had to hear them as an insult. Your privilege as a white woman ensures that you will never have to endure the pain and humiliation of being on the receiving end of a racist joke or slur. It is not your place to decide that you can adopt any word you like simply because you think it will get a laugh out of your followers.
I hope you understand the implications of what you’ve done. Even Lena Dunham, who you mentioned in the offending tweet, has stated that she would never use the n-word and that she does not condone your use of it. Please acknowledge your mistake and issue an apology immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Shankbone via Wikipedia