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 RadarOnline.com.
“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 .