Washington, DC – On “Live with Regis and Kelly” this morning, actress Jennifer Aniston used offensive and inappropriate language when speaking about a recent photo shoot. “You’re playing dress up!” Regis told her. She replied, “Yes, I play dress up! I do it for a living, like a retard!”
On behalf of the millions of Americans impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc is calling on Aniston to apologize for her inadvertent remark.
“Aniston employed language that is offensive to a large segment of the population in this country and when someone with her visibility uses language like this, it only reinforces stereotypes and perpetuates negative perceptions,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.
“We estimate that there are probably in excess of 5 million people in the country with intellectual disabilities, and when you think about all of them, their family members and friends, you’re talking about tens of millions of people who find the use of that term to be really offensive,” Berns said.
“Every time folks hear that word, it reminds them of all the discrimination and oppression they’ve experienced in their lives. Even if it wasn’t intended to insult them, that is the effect of it,” Berns said.