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June 5th, 2012

A Letter to Jason Alexander

Recently, Jason Alexander made an appearance on Craig Ferguson’s late night show and proceeded to call out all the Gays playing Cricket. I don’t know exactly how many that entails, but he made a point of injecting as many Gay slurs as humanly possible.

Above is the original clip, where he not only calls Cricket “Gay” but “a Queer London sport” as well, (starts at about 9:15) and he then proceeds to do his impersonation of a slow motion pitch where he extends his Gesture far past his left ear, limping his wrist and turning what’s left of his ass to the camera. This was Alexander’s attempt at a joke that he says in this, the latest in a string of Heterosexual apologies in Hollywood, worked in Australia when he tried it out a year before.

“…it went over great there.”

I have no doubt.

I’ve decided to send Jason my own letter, which I e mailed yesterday to his representatives. Here’s a copy of it:

Mr. Alexander,

I’d like to thank you for your apology. Truly. Our community can go years and years without ever having heard the words “I’m sorry” especially when it comes to homophobic remarks or actions. Most of us have spent our lives hiding, running or trying to escape, so when someone comes out and actually says they’re sorry, and means it, it’s truly refreshing, and at least begins a healing between the bulk of society…and us.

I’d like however, to draw your attention to one of your own pieces of text that I find really interesting and very telling, and without meaning to sound like a complete know-it-all, a piece of text you might want to take a look at. You mention, twice in fact, the word: “Intention”. You say very clearly, that it wasn’t your Intention to be cruel, or to hurt. You say that twice.

I don’t know you. I don’t really know your work. To be perfectly honest, I was one of the six people in America who didn’t watch Seinfeld. I know you’re funny, because I’ve seen you on various talk shows, but we’ve never gone shopping, never grabbed a bite to eat, and never shared a cab. So…I don’t know you. This is going to sound like I do, so I want to apologize right from the start…

Here goes…

If hurting us wasn’t your intention, if it wasn’t what you Wanted to do, why was this the second time you did it?

I think this might be something you want to look at eventually. I don’t mean to tell you what to do, but I just urge you to look at this particular behavior and compare it with the word you used in your recent apology. If you do something once, I can see the confusion and the accidental hurt one might inflict. I can see the horror of political incorrectness, and the shame of blurting it out and using it to get a laugh. I get that. I really do.

I’ve done it.

But, when it happens again, and you say in your letter that the joke went over great in Australia, and purposely set yourself up for the punch line using the slow motion Fey Cam: I’m thinking your intention was most likely, To Be Funny. To illicit laughs from a far too politically correct society. But for me, and I think if you look deep enough, and long enough, and honestly enough; This time, it actually Was your intention to hurt. In your heart, past the jokes and past the history and past the bits, this wasn’t an accident. This was purposeful. And it hurt. This wasn’t something you considered. Am I right? So, I only ask that as you compose your next apology (which is certainly only moments away), that you dive head first into your own sense of homophobia, and also take into account that the Gay Friends you surround yourself with are most likely part of the community still dealing with their own self-loathing, and self-hatred, and that you finally look deep into who you are, what you believe to be true, and what other people truly mean to you. Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Kathy Griffin, they do this stuff. Their hearts are pure. Their intentions are clear. They are who they are and they use their text to underline the stupidity, prejudice and bullying still prevalent in our world. And they’ve studied, defined and re-defined their use of the word:


And please, make no mistake, I really am glad you apologized. I really am glad you’ve had time to think about your career and what it would mean to it if you Didn’t’ apologize (just Google Isaiah Washington). But your intention was clear. At least to me. And whether your gay friends are telling you or not:

They Were Offended.

Trust me.

…and just so we’re clear: I’m fully aware of my own intention.

Alexandra Billings