Comedian Joan Rivers managed to enrage QVC customers, Jews and singer Adele’s fans last week with her comments regarding the Oscars, remarks that were even over the top for her.
Here’s how it went. During Rivers’ “Fashion Police” Oscar special on E! Entertainment Television Monday night, she made a comment about fellow QVC vendor, and German born, Heidi Klum, that referenced the Holocaust. Talking about Klum’s Oscar dress, Rivers quipped, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”
A real knee-slapper, right? We saw part of that “Fashion Police,” but not the part with that “joke.” Needless to say, the remark sparked a firestorm, with many offended.
The Anti-Defamation League put out a press release skewering Rivers, calling her joke “vulgar and hideous.”
“Aside from doubling over with laughter, neither Ms. Rivers nor any of the co-hosts responded to the remark, and no apology was offered,” the ADL said. “The segment first aired on Feb. 25 and has since been shown at least four times on the network, and it appeared briefly on YouTube.”
And here is what Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, had to say:
Of all people, Joan Rivers should know better. This remark is so vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors, and indeed to all Americans, that we cannot believe it made it to the airwaves. Making it worse, not one of her co-hosts made any effort to respond or to condemn this hideous statement, leaving it hanging out there and giving it added legitimacy through their silence. Almost as bad as her original comment is the fact that she sat there doubled over with laughter after saying it.
There are certain things about the Holocaust that should be taboo. This is especially true for Jews, for whom the Holocaust is still a deeply painful memory. It is vulgar and offensive for anybody to use the death of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to make a joke, but this is especially true for someone who is Jewish and who proudly and publicly wears her Jewishness on her sleeve.”
QVC customers were almost equally appalled at Rivers on the shopping network’s online boards.
Here are some of those posts:
“She also made a ‘joke’ about Heidi Klum and referenced the Holocaust on Monday night’s episode of Fashion Police. Despicable!”
“Yeah…because the Holocaust is always funny!”
“Picking at celebs is different. They put themselves in the spotlight so thick skin is part of the deal but this ‘joke’? Well, I just have no words…that can be spoken here.”
“I think she is senile. I’m not Jewish, but, I’ve read plenty of history books from that era. She is Jewish and I don’t understand how she can poke fun at her own people like that. My only conclusion is she thinks any publicity is good publicity even if it’s at the expense of suffering and the deaths of millions of people whose only crime was their religion.”
But that’s not all. Rivers was on “Late Night with David Letterman” last week, and apparently made some nasty comments on Adele’s weight, in the wake of the awesome singer’s performance on the Oscar telecast. Those also infuriated QVC customers.
Here’s what they had to say about that on QVC’s online forum:
“For the most part I love Joan Rivers’ jewelry. She has some really pretty items, however, her attitude toward Plus Size women is horrible. I remember many years ago on Johnny Carson she made the statement that ‘fat women should all be locked in a closet.’
I, being a Plus Size woman, was highly offended. Now she comes out from the Oscars ridiculing Adele and her weight. I wonder how many Plus Size women order from Joan Rivers on QVC. I, for one, will never buy another product of hers from QVC or any other place. I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to voice my concern about this, but here it is (if it gets posted).
Not everyone has the money nor the genes that Ms. Rivers has to keep herself looking the way she does. Because I am a Plus Size woman doesn’t make me any less of a human being with feelings. Wake up, Joan! You may lose a lot of clients because of these nasty comments.”
“You know the old saying ‘it is what it is’? Well, Joan will be Joan. Half of what she says is all part of her act. Sometimes she can get carried away, but I feel and its just my opinion she does have a good heart. She is the female, Don Rickles.. You either love her or hate her.”
“I just read this thread after I sent a complaint into QVC directly and asked for a response. Joan was insensitive at least on several occasions recently concerning Adele. Joan does not mind making money off of plus size clothing, her hypocrisy is astounding. I will no longer watch Joan, nor purchase her products. By continuing to carry Joan’s line I think QVC is giving tacit approval to Joan’s comments.
“I hope that Joan will publicly apologize to Adele and all of the plus size QVC customers who have purchased her products in the past. A good comedienne walks a fine line between being funny or witty without offending. Joan has crossed the line. I doubt that a young Don Rickles would find success today with his penchant for offending; he would be called to task for his insensitivity. Times have changed and mean behavior is recognized for what it is and an excuse of trying to be funny, telling a joke, or putting on a show simply is not acceptable.”
“I was watching Letterman when Rivers made those comments about Adele..They were way out of line and so personal…and she just kept it up…The audience really groaned and I think Letterman was shocked when she kept trashing Adele…I know she is a comedienne, but being so hateful about a very talented and popular star like Adele, is not going to get more fans for Rivers….”
“I wonder what would happen if Joan insulted a Q host about her hips, pants, weight or whatever? Or how about a plus size model?”
“She was VERY insulting to Adele last night on Letterman. Making comments on her weight. Not one single bit funny.”
“Adele, is not phony and if she wants to eat that’s between her and her Dr.”