Sandra Bernhard: Disappointed after being cut from Boston benefit
Comedian Sandra Bernhard said that the decision by a women's shelter to cut her role from its annual benefit was based on a misleading news report of what she said about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Last month during her one-woman show in Washington, the 53 year old Sandra Bernhard criticized Sarah Palin for opposing abortion rights and questioned whether she would keep the baby if she became pregnant after being violated by a group of black men in New York. She made this comments before Palin visited New York to campaign.
Rosie's Place, a Boston shelter, announced on Wednesday that Sandra Bernhard would not be allowed to take part in its Oct. 16 luncheon, "Funny Women ... Serious Business".
Public relations director Leemarie Mosca said, "In light of our mission, we don't think violence against women is a laughing matter".
The shelter cut the comedian because Sandra Bernhard said that Palin would be "gang-raped by my big black brothers". Bernard originally defended her routine, saying it was part of a larger piece from her one-woman show about "women, racism, freedom and the extreme views of Gov. Sarah Palin".
Sandra Bernhard said on Wednesday, "In no way am I making any sort of joke about crimes against women — quite the contrary. I'm speaking out about someone who doesn't do enough to protect women. I think if you look at the real issues I'm addressing, my intent becomes clear. I am a die-hard advocate for women's rights, and fully support the work of Rosie's Place".
In a statement, Bernhard claimed on Thursday that she never used the term "rape" or "gang rape", although she couldn't recall the exact words she had spoken, explaining it was an improvisational act.