The Mighty Logo

Gary Owen Removes Offensive R-Word Part of His Showtime Comedy Special

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Late this past April, Special Olympics Chairman of the Board Tim Shriver released a statement asking Showtime to remove a section of comedian Gary Owen’s comedy special, “Gary Owen: I Agree With Myself.”

The special, which originally premiered in January, featured jokes about Owen’s cousin, who has an intellectual disability. In one segment he calls her the R-word and pokes fun at her sex life.

Owen is now addressing the controversy and has released a statement confirming he has removed the offensive segment of the special:

Anyone who has watched any of my shows knows that my family is at the core of my comedy – they are extremely important people to me. I love sharing our stories and making people laugh. The inclusion of my cousin in my routine was never meant to hurt anyone. Out of sensitivity to and respect for the community that was upset, I removed the related segment of my Showtime special.

Earlier this month, Owen met with a group of disability advocates to discuss his comedy special. Owen, at that point, had already committed to taking down the offending section, but met to listen to the perspectives of the disability community.

Gary Owen

According to a statement from advocates Julie Petty, Loretta Claiborne, Ricardo Thornton and Frank Stephens, the meeting was productive and the coalition has agreed to end their advocacy efforts against Owen.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Brad Williams

Originally published: June 9, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home