De Niro’s ‘White First Lady’ Joke Starts a Stink

Actor Robert De Niro apologized yesterday for a joke he told at a Democratic fundraiser earlier this week. “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now, do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” De Niro asked.

Michelle Obama attended the fundraiser. Afterward, a spokeswoman for Obama called the joke “inappropriate” and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called it “inexcusable.”

After De Niro’s joke, but before his apology, conservative author and flame thrower commentator Ann Coulter tweeted in his defense, “Can we please stop the fake ‘offended’ routine? Pls explain what was allegedly offensive about DeNiro’s joke.” Then today liberal comedian Bill Maher penned an op-ed for the New York Times on the issue in which he said, “When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like?”

What do you think? Was the joke a boom or bust?

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Publish date: March 22, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT