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Jerry Lewis Drops Anti-Gay Slur During Telethon

NEW YORK — Jerry Lewis dropped an anti-gay slur _ the same one that got Isaiah Washington of “Grey’s Anatomy” in trouble _ during the 18th hour of his annual Labor Day Telethon.

The 81-year-old showman _ prowling about the stage during the live telecast Monday in Las Vegas _ was goofing around and dodging his cameraman, then went into a ramble about imaginary family members.

“Oh, your family has come to see you,” he said, speaking to the camera and gesturing toward thin air.

“You remember Bart, your older son,” he said, and motioning toward another unseen character, “Jesse, the illiterate f—–.

“No,” Lewis said, quickly stopping himself before continuing.

Monday’s monologue prompted a critical statement Tuesday from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Neil Giuliano, GLAAD president, called Lewis’ use of the term “simply unacceptable.”

“It also feeds a climate of hatred and intolerance that contributes to putting our community in harm’s way,” Giuliano said.

A spokeswoman for Lewis referred calls to the Lewis’ office at Jerry Lewis Films, based in Las Vegas. A publicist at the office did not immediately respond Tuesday to a phone message by The Associated Press.

Lewis’ telethon, in its 42nd year, set a new record by raising $63.7 million to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, topping last year’s event by $3 million.

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