Multi-talented actor and comedian Wayne Brady has apologized for a joke he told at the Comedy Central Roast Of Roseanne Barr, reports TMZ. The joke, a crack about the appearance of fellow roaster Jeffrey Ross, sparked outrage amongst some parents and conservative groups after the show aired on August 12.
During his set, Brady said to Ross, "...a lot of people hate you, especially Sarah Palin because you remind her of what Trig is going to look like when he’s 40."
Reports of Brady being booed for the joke were somewhat exaggerated, however, as a combination of groans, laughter and applause are not an uncommon reaction during the notoriously over-the-top shows. As the roast aired, Ross himself tweeted praise after Brady's set:
During the hour and a half broadcast, Brady was the butt of many racially-themed jokes, all of which he took in stride, as "going too far" was the order of the night. In the days that followed the taping, Ross made headlines of his own for a joke that was not broadcast by Comedy Central, wherein he commented that Seth Green looked like James Holmes, the Aurora shooter.
Brady issued an apology on Friday via his Facebook page, and explained that while he did not write the joke himself, he owned performing it and felt it was important to apologize as a father. Here's the full text of Brady's apology:
This letter has taken me a few days to compose because of the conflicting emotions that I've experienced since the day of the Roast and it's subsequent airing. The environment of the Roast is a comedic (hopefully), tasteless (mostly always), affair that encourages everyone to out-filth each other. Not normally what I'm known for, right? But, when I was invited, I jumped at the chance to play outside of my perceived "norm" and have fun. The Jeff joke was written for me and at the end of the day I take full responsibility for saying it. It wasn't meant as a slam to Trig and at the time I didn't see it that way.
I could defend it as a performer, but I would rather apologize from the bottom of my heart as a father. I understand how a parent, who loves their child, who tries to nurture and shield them when they cannot defend themselves, would take offense.. I have many times experienced this feeling. I've had awful things said about my daughter.. Violent and most times racial stabs. Being in the spotlight I have built a thick skin to these sorts of things. My daughter ( who's now old enough to understand ) is another story. That being said I write this letter with sensitivity and a strong stance of responsibility for my actions.
I thank everyone who's expressed their opinion for reminding me that my voice is heard... It's easy to forget sometimes in front of cameras and lights.
To the Palins, please know that no malice or harm was meant. To the other families who were touched negatively, I hope you'll be able to accept this apology as well.
I've always said that people in the public eye should be held responsible for what you say and I'm no hypocrite. Thanks for reading and letting me express my side.
Take care all,
Let us know what you think about Brady's joke and subsequent apology by voting in our poll and commenting. And for more of HuffPost Comedy's coverage of comedy controversies, check out our Crossing The Line page, as well as our essay in Huffington magazine, When It Comes To Comedians, Where Is The Line?