Brad Garrett offends Muslims, yells ‘wear the turban’ at photographer


At first, I thought some overly-sensitive people were making a mountain out of a molehill. But then I heard the whole story, and it actually is a story, but I’m not sure how bad it is. Here we go: yesterday, Brad Garrett was being followed on foot by paparazzi in Los Angeles. Garrett and the photographers got into some kind of verbal, then physical altercation. One of the photographers said something in a language other than English, and Brad responded “In English!” Then Brad kept yelling, “Wear the turban, wear the turban!” TMZ has the video of the incident.

Now a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is speaking out about the incident. Nawar Shora says, “We’d be happy to reach out to Mr. Garrett and his crew to help educate him about the Arab/Muslim/Sikh communities. Sinking down to racial and ethnic slurs is very disappointing and highlights the need for a greater understanding.” Is it a slur to tell someone to “wear the turban”? Yes, it’s crass and ignorant. Is this an “Oh my God, he’s such a racist” incident?

After an argument between a paparazzo and Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett ended in racial slurs yesterday, the head of an Arab Anti-Discrimination group is speaking out to

“We’d be happy to reach out to Mr. Garrett and his crew to help educate him about the Arab/Muslim/Sikh communities. Sinking down to racial and ethnic slurs is very disappointing and highlights the need for a greater understanding,” says Nawar W. Shora, director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

“There’s so many stereotypes there and we’re at a time and place now where we should be past that.”

The stereotypes Shora refers to were captured on video in Los Angeles where Garrett is seen fighting with a photographer in the middle of the street.

When the actor was unable to discern the language the photographer was speaking in he demanded to be addressed, “In English!” Then, worst of all, he instructs his adversary to “Wear the turban! Wear the turban!”

Garrett has a history of making offensive comments. In August 2007, he targeted the African American community when he told one photographer, “I didn’t know there were black people in Malibu.” The next evening, he kept going, asking another man, “When did they let you out [of jail]?”

Reps for Garrett did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[From Radar Online]

Taken with Brad Garrett’s previous statements (or “jokes” if you think of them that way), Brad probably did mean “wear the turban” in a way designed to offend. I have another question: why are multiple photographers following Brad Garrett around? Pictures of the actor can’t go for that much money. So it might be an incident where the photographers were purposefully trying to provoke a man with a history of saying offensive things.

Here’s Brad Garrett on March 21st in Malibu. Images thanks to Fame Pictures .

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52 Responses to “Brad Garrett offends Muslims, yells ‘wear the turban’ at photographer”

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  1. zees says:

    Yes–this is offensive and SUPERBLY ignorant

  2. LondonParis says:

    it’s just not even funny. i don’t get it.
    that’s the thing about racial slurs- humor has evolved, if people’s mentalities haven’t.

  3. Annie says:

    Hands down. Without a doubt. 100% offensive, rude, ignorant and meant to be as such.

    Also I hate when people go “Speak English! Speak English!” As if it’s the only valid language. We’re so uppity and self-righteous about our language being the only legitimate language. In other countries, it’s quite normal for school children to know several languages, but us? English is the only one that matters so why bother with other languages.

  4. TKaz says:

    Well it is rude to talk in a foreign language in the presence of other people who do not understand the language, especially if it is about them. (Akin to whispering about someone in their presence).

    Plus, if you live in a country with English/Spanish as the official languages, you should know how to speak the official languages.

    That being said, I hate racial slurs. If it is the only “comeback” you can come up with, you clearly need to re-examine why you are angry at the person.

  5. Prissa says:

    Why is this guy seemingly so miserable and angry?

  6. Sara says:

    Men, they sure know how to add fuel to the fire. You don’t go around chasing and harassing a celebrity like that unless you know they have a history of loud and politically incorrect behaviour.

    Sure, that was uncalled for, but it’s Brad! What were you expecting? Him to buy the paps some coffee?

  7. bite me says:

    the united states does not have an official language, merci beaucoup

  8. barneslr says:

    “Also I hate when people go “Speak English! Speak English!” As if it’s the only valid language”

    True, but if you are (a) in the US, which is a predominately English speaking country and (b) being addressed in English by someone who then changes to a different language (that they have no reason to assume you know), then it is perfectly valid to insist they address you in English.

    That being said, I agree he was a jerk.

  9. Samantha says:

    @ bite me:

    Indeed! :-) Was just thinking the same thing.Although I also agree with not speaking another language (if you can speak English) in the presence of someone who does not speak your language because it is rude.

    He is a racist prick, this isn’t his first time and I am SURE the paps were baiting him. But when is going to wise up and realize he can’t just blow his teapot top whenever someone turns the heat up? All it will take is a few times of him not doing anything to bore the paps and then he will get ZERO attention.

  10. OXA says:

    I never understood how he became successful as he is such a nasty untalented organ. I hope he is remembered for this and his nasty bullying behaviour.

  11. Celebitchy says:

    For everyone who says “speak English,” have you ever stayed in a foreign country for more than a week? Do you speak another language fluently? If you live overseas and you get pissed off, as much as you try to speak the language of that country, you often revert back to swearing in your own language when it comes down to that. It’s actually probably nicer for you to swear and curse someone out in your own language if they don’t understand it. I am speaking from experience. Until you try and live in a foreign country for several years, give up this bullshit “speak English” thing. It’s not as simple as knowing it or not. Sometimes you don’t know how to quickly say what you want in the other language.

  12. Wif says:

    Yeah, I’m with CB on this one. Before I spoke a second language, I really felt that it was rude to not speak English in front of others. Then when I learned a second language and started using it a lot with it’s native speakers, I got the feeling that what I’m saying to my friends is no one else’s business and that we should all be choosing the language that we’re most comfortable in. My father always assumes that if people aren’t speaking English in front of him, it means that they’re speaking about him. I just think that’s a narcissitic view point.

  13. Kim says:

    How is asking a black paparatzi “when did you get out of jail” racist? Going to jail has nothing to do with being black, but is does have something to do with following people around and taking photos of them, or racing them in cars and running them off the road.

    Same thing for the turban. I thought it was more of a religious and/or climate thing to wear turbans, and not something shameful. So how is it demeaning to the photographer’s race to criticize his headwear? It’s kind of a gross generalization, but I don’t see how it is insulting. I mean, is it racist if you yell at white people to “wear the khaki’s! Wear the GAP khakis!”

  14. Mairead says:

    Oh CB – you know as well as I do, they’d only start getting offended and muttering “They can speak English but just won’t – it’s not fair on us when they come to our country they have to speak it!” :roll:

    (Yes that is a direct quote from moany ould bags I’ve had the misfortune to travel with/ be in the vicinity of in the past)

  15. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Kim – it’s nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with religion.

    I’m not entirely sure how the writer of this story got to ‘offended muslims’? This man isn’t offending muslims as it’s sikhs who wear turbans.

    There is nothing even slightly shameful about wearing a turban – the offense, if there is any to be taken, is in the assumption that because the guy in question is of a certain appearance he should be wearing a turban,

    The most offensive thing is that he has shreiked ‘wear the turban’ at someone. Is it OK to shout ‘wear a skullcap’ at everyone who might be jewish? He is an ignorant prick.

  16. Annie says:


    As someone who is bilingual (I also dabble a bit in Spanish and French, but I don’t count them because I’m not even close to fluent), I always find it utterly offensive when I hear about things of this nature. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was born here and to be completely frank, I have no doubt in my mind that I have a stronger command of the english language than most monolinguals in this nation.

    But I’ve always loathed and despised this ever-present sentiment in America that English is the only valid language. We even try to force it on other countries and we just expect the French to know English and God forbid someone use a language they’re more comfortable in.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to people complain about another person speaking Spanish in California (Btw, for those of you who didn’t know, CA was a part of Mexico for quite some time. As was TX, AZ, NV, NM I believe.)

    Why can’t they? My BF’s mother only speaks Spanish and instead of thinking “She’s been here XX amount of years, why doesn’t she speak english yet?!” I thought “Man, I really need to be fluent in Spanish.”

    And back to the point, why can’t I speak in the language I’m most comfortable in if it’s with a family member or a friend? YOU find it rude? Well I find it rude that English is deemed as the superior language over all others.

    Oh and Zoe, the writer got that from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee spokesperson that said “Arab/Muslim/Sikh communities”.

  17. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Annie – nice point about the bilingual side of the discussion.

    I still don’t see where it says that muslims were offended or why they would be?

  18. Leandra says:

    Yeah well the Polish jokes are still going around and they’re offensive. Nobody seems to give that very much significance. Relax.

  19. KateNonymous says:

    I hear people speaking languages other than English all the time. One of my co-workers speaks Serbian when she’s on the phone with a family member. So what? Why would she–or anyone else–be talking about me? I don’t think I’m doing things that are that interesting to other people. Conversations in other languages are just other conversations I’m not listening to.

    Brad Garrett was just being ugly. If someone addresses you in a language you don’t speak, you say that you don’t speak that language. You don’t yell at them about it and indulge in stereotypes.

  20. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    And with the greatest respect it’s kinda abhorrent to live in a country for 20 years and not make any effort to learn the most widely spoken language of that nation. Smacks of disrespect and a failure to assimilate with the culture you have opted to live within. This isn’t something to be applauded in my opinion.

  21. rose says:

    Really Annie? I’ve lived in Spain for five years and France for two and I’ve alway had to learn the language to get by. What’s wrong with that? I don’t expect my host country to adapt to my linguistic needs.

  22. Orangejulius says:

    Hannah, that was uncalled for regardless of the context.

  23. myself says:

    ya ya ya we got it!!!but the guy i mean the paparazzo(and god knows how much i despise the way they act!))just say a thing in another language that WE DONT KNOW ABOUT,so what??????and how does he knows that this guy should wear a turban maybe he is just jew or mormon,dont tell me that this actor is bilingual !!!it was just a kind of insult or so i think!!!!!god this is getting scarry ,i mean the way its going….he is a racist so what???god help him,tired of theses people!!!

  24. Ned says:

    Just like in the case of Britney’s stalkers, I would like to know if these people are working here legally.

    How is that o.k. to stalk someone and hurl insults (at best), and them profit from the person who was provoked.

  25. Miss C says:

    I agree that I don’t mind if someone is speaking the language that they feel most comfortable with their family or friends. No big deal in my mind..

    But to come to America (which is predominately English) and not make an effort to learn the language is rude. If you want to live here then you should expect to adopt the ways of communicating with the general public.

  26. Shay says:

    The joke was dumb. Not surprised I’ve never found him to be funny. I don’t understand why the paps were following him anyway.

    Side bar:

    It doesn’t bother me when people around me are talking in another language I don’t understand. It’s none of my business if they’re speaking English or another language. I grew up in a bilingual house speaking both English and Arabic. What does bother me is when I’m at work and people come to me for things and get an attitude because I don’t speak their language. I actually had a lady who told me in broken English, “why don’t you learn Spanish?” I could have understood this if I lived in California, Texas, Florida, or any place that has a large Spanish speaking population.

  27. jennifer says:

    shay & rose – 100% agree.

    April 16th, 2009 at 9:32 pm
    I mean, is it racist if you yell at white people to “wear the khaki’s! Wear the GAP khakis!”

    OK I know this is a serious topic but that’s just plain funny – bit of levity, if you will (for me, at least LOL) :)

  28. michellle says:

    To be fair there were more than one photogs so it is possible they were addressing eachother, not BG when speaking the other language. Had they truly been trying to provoke the guy it stands to reason they would have done so in a tongue he could actually understand. Even if they were addressing him, so what? Since when can people control what others think or say? I’m sure the paps have been called worse. The difference is by being famous this jackass has to deal w/ public scrutiny.

    Zoe, I agree w/ your comments but in regard to it being a slur toward Islam, I think it was. Many uninformed people wrongly assume the turban seen on men in the US are Islamic dress when in fact they’re Sikh. For example, the first vendetta type attack post 911 in the US was on a Sikh man. Namely because the idiots who jumpd him were too stupid to know he was neither Arab nor Muslim. My point, despite being off the mark such a statement is indeed commonly directed toward Muslims. Regardless, like you said he is a prick, and your point is a good one. Had someone said, “Wear a yamuka!”, many would cry foul even though wearing one is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Ned, whether your a Lou Dobbs type or not is your business. However, celebrities choose their profession & as a result all the perks & downfalls that come with it. I’m not suggesting it’s ok to harrass people but by becoming a celebrity one puts themself into the public domain. It’s the same reason why the law distinguishes between private & famous persons in cases of slander & defamation. A small price to pay for the millions this talentless hack has or will make by having been on a long running sitcom that made it to sindication.

  29. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    @michelle – wow I had no idea about that story! Those are levels of ignorance and bigotry that really shock me. It does show where this hateful moron was trying to go with his ill-conceived attempt at ethnic profiling – and serves to highlight his ignorance further.

    Not only is he unaware that sikhs wear turbans proudly but he also thinks Arabs wear turbans (they don’t) and the story goes one step further and headlines as ‘offended muslims’ as if all Arabs are muslim!! Genius.

  30. Because I Say So says:

    To all of those “English is the predominate language in the US types”:
    One question. How many of YOU would be wiling to learn the native language of any country that you were living in? How many of YOU wouldn’t be thinking,”Well, they should know English anyway so I don’t need to bother?”
    I find that this sort of thinking has a very obvious double standard. Or, maybe not, as these sorts never travel very far from their comfort zones….

  31. Legend says:

    Looks like I’m one of the few that thinks political correctness is getting WAY out of hand. Papparazzi are scum; they invade celebrities space and do things to deliberately provoke them so they can get a photo out of it. Like many people, celebrities say stupid things when they get mad. Things designed to piss off the person pissing you off. Woody Harrelson beat a Papparazzi up recently — without making any reference to race/gender/sexual preference. Does that make him a better person than Brad Garrett? Sticks and stones, sticks and stones.

  32. justme says:

    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee……..WOW. We’ve got a committee for everything nowadays don’t we? How long do you think a “Straight white Christian male” committee would last before Sharpton would get involved?

  33. barneslr says:

    Of course, everyone does seem to be forgetting one point: this would not have happened, that is-there would be no story whatsoever here-if that paparazzo weren’t harrassing him to begin with.

  34. Jazz says:

    I remember years ago at school there were two Vietnamese brothers in my maths class who would talk in their native language. The teacher would always say “Speak English when your in my class!” Then they’d say something to each other in Vietnamese and laugh and you just knew it was about her. I’d always laugh my ass off!
    But then I’ve sort of been on the receiving end as well. These two twits from the then Yugoslavia would look at me and whisper in their own language, then laugh. Idiots!

  35. Miss C says:

    Because I say so:

    Yes, I would be willing to learn their language if I was going to move to their country. It’s part of the whole assimilating into a country thing that most people seem to have forgotten is the proper protocol to do.

    We talk about America being predominately English (which it is) and that if you want to live here you should learn the language. It seems obvious that we would hold ourselves to the same standard if we lived in another country. Countries do not change their whole way of doing things just because someone is lazy and doesn’t want to take the time to learn the language. If you want to survive in a country it seems the obvious thing to do to learn the language that is spoken there the most in order to survive. So please, next time that you want to discuss something – don’t come at people attacking them and assuming things about them as it just makes you look like a ranting idiot.

  36. Sevarious says:

    i think this is freaking hiliarious! all he said was wear the turban! dear god, its not like he punched the guy! all of you PC pansies need to get a freaking life! ffs, when will people realize they are just words. dont get your panties in a twist!

  37. Ned says:

    My comment has disappeared. Just lovely.

    michellle, I will try to respond to what you said, although my comment is no longer here.
    I happen to like Lou Dobbs. It has nothing to do with this story, though.
    I don’t think that him chosing acting as a profession, gives anyone the right to follow and insult him.

    Trying to provoke a guy, becuase maybe you will sell it to TMZ, is not a part of a legitimate business or the acting profession.

    The least you can do when you approach a person, even if it is to harass him is to allow him to understand what you are saying about him, especially if your tone and body language is of such nature.

  38. the original kate says:

    i agree with CB about speaking english when you go abroad. my boyfriend and i go to mexico twice a year and hope to retire there, so we have started spanish classes so we can speak more spanish when we visit. right now pretty much all we can say is “where is the bathroom?” and “two beers, please.” LOL.

  39. Annie says:

    Good for you Rose! (And I mean that in the least condescending way possible as I know that the internet can jumble things up, I truly do mean it)

    I think it’s great that there are people out there who don’t adhere to that notion in other countries. But you make up a serious minority. But I hope soon that many Americans will start to see that when in Rome…:D

    As for the story about the two Vietnamese boys, think of it like this: regardless of their language/origin what-have-you. They’re boys. They’re kids, and kids love to say snide things about their teachers, that’s a given the world around. LOL.

    Saying something about someone period is rude. No matter the language, but to be so narcissistic as to assume it was about you just because they looked at you is silly.

    Example: People say that nail shops are all gossipy little ladies. I’ve had friends take me with them (I do not look like I can speak anything but English) to see if they were talking smack about her. Do you know what they’re talking about 95% of the time? They’re teasing each other! And they’re joking around because shit, 8 hours of cleaning someone’s nails? What else are you gonna do?

    That is not to say of course, that they never talk smack. They do. We all do, no matter the language. It’s the assumption that they’re utilizing their native tongue for malicious purposes as many perceive that offends me.

    And they always look at me in shock when I can’t help but laugh at some of the things they’re teasing each other about and they look at me all wide-eyed and say something about thinking that I was Hawaiian or something.

    Zoe, I saw your question answered and yea, I’ll just second it. You’re totally right that it’s Sikh’s but that this all comes from a serious misunderstanding of several cultures/religions/customs.

  40. Bina says:

    Both Muslims and Sikhs wear turbans. So he’s an equal opportunity offender. This isn’t really enough to get upset over, but if I saw him I’d tell him what to do with “the turban” in three different languages.

  41. michellle says:

    Hi Ned, The comment regarding Dobbs was about his “America for Americans” sentiment, which your initial post reminded of. Again, to each his own. I only brought it up because I prefer notion of the melting pot.

    As for following & insulting people, I too find both the profession & behavior shabby to say the least. The glamour of celebrity press from days past like Marcelleo Mastrianni (s/p) in La Dolca Vita is exactly that, days past… if it ever was. Regardless, TMZ & the like have become part & parcel of the industry & contrary to your claim, they are legitimate. Albeit vulgur the practice is in fact legal. Moreover, our blogging about it further legitimizes it as doing so only furthers demand thereby increasing the market. As for the celebs, this is apparently, at least in part the price of fame. Perhaps it’s not fair but then again who said it was fair that the untalented can make unseemly amounts of money playing pretend? As for BG, I have no sympathy for him. He’s been around long enough to know how it works & has already established himself as a horse’s ass w/ racist leanings.

    As for politely harrassing a person, I think you’re being unrealistic as the verb negates the adverb. Sure the paps are swine but that’s a given. All BG did was prove he’s a bigger sod than them.

    Sorry to hear about your difficulty posting, but glad you got to respond. I do afterall enjoy the diversity you bring to threads, especially the effect you clearly have on the loons.

  42. SiliconDoc says:

    Most of you people here are so pathetic I hope he does it 100 times more on film just so you idiots can remove all remnants doubt.
    What sad sacks of crap you mindless drones have become.

  43. Ava says:

    You know what?This is just sickening. Muslims need to stop complaining about EVERYTHING for God’s sake! Do we scream discrimination and offer to sit down to explain to them that calling anyone who ISN’T a Muslim is an infidel who needs to get their heads cut off is a bad, offensive, and discriminatory thing?Why do we have to cow down to that group anyway? If they get so mad at us AMERCICANS, why don’t they go back to Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Africa, Morroco and other assorted countries where most of them come from and then they don’t have to get offended? Instead, they want to spread out all over to Western countries and spew their hatred and discrimination and cause all sorts of dissention. Read, people, read about how in certain countries in Europe, they cause uproars over piffel. And the more governments cave to them the more demanding they are going to get and pretty soon no one will be able to go to operas, movies, art galleries, plays,musicals or read books, magazines or what newspapers are left all because there is some small offense to their relgion. People just need to get grip and a life. This isn’t important.Again, making a mountain out of a molehill. Get some thicker skin people!!1

  44. Shay says:

    What’s funny is often times the groups that are supposedly offended never said anything to begin with. I didn’t hear about the incident until I came on Celebitchy. The journalist probably called a Muslim/Arab group and asked for their feelings on it. Even after reading it I wasn’t really offended I just thought it was a childish unfunny joke by a hack comedian.

  45. heh-heh says:

    Anyone who does a Google Image Search for Muslims protesting will find plenty of pictures of Arab men carrying signs that say Behead those who insult Islam or similar sentiments.

    Brad Garrett’s crime was to tell someone to “speak English.”

    Are you sure we’re not losing perspective here? Garrett’s comments are nothing.

  46. Bina says:

    To Ava and Heh-Heh:

    What about when Christians say that if you haven’t been saved, you’re going to hell? As a Muslim, I find that pretty offensive. As you know, there are extremists and lunatics in every religion, and outside of religion. If you think Christians were free of that, just think about the Inquisition.

  47. Toomy says:

    where’s the cameras? how do we know it’s a paparazzi and not just some goy looking to pick up a good looking jew, who is not into that kind of thing?

  48. Travis Nasser says:

    And he wonders why Mom and Dad favor Raymond over him all the time?

  49. Travis Nasser says:

    As stupid as his remarks were,I feel we
    should be more outraged at the fact that
    he displays no grattitude for people keeping him in the spotlight, what projects has he done that were on the
    A-list since the demise of Everybody
    Loves Raymond, where he was the second
    banana to his on-screen YOUNGER brother.
    Needless to say, that was his greatest
    claim to fame, and if I were him, I would embrace any media attention possible.

  50. none of your business says:

    what do u expect from a closeted homosexual who pays a poor girl half his age to be his beard. Attack before youre attacked…duh!