Robin Williams Emmys Tribute Called Racist

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Robin Williams Emmys tribute helmed by Billy Crystal is under fire for including what is being dubbed by some on social media as ‘racist.’

The brouhaha is over a stand up joke about Muslim woman where Williams uses a scarf as a prop.

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It included a short snippet of a stand-up performance during which Williams borrows a pink scarf and puts it on his head like a Hijab.

“He could be funny anywhere. We were such close friends,” Billy Crystal said in his speech for Robin Williams in a tribute to the comedian.

“He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him – on television, movies, nightclubs, arenas, hospitals, homeless shelters for our troops overseas. And even in a dying girl’s living room for her last wish, he made us laugh. Big time. “I spent many happy hours with Robin on stage,” he continued. “The brilliance was astounding. The relentless energy was kind of thrilling. I used to think if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on him for eight seconds I was going to do OK!”


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And for the most part, the audience at home and in the Nokia Theatre crowd appeared visibly moved by the segment.

That is until the honour ended in a series of clips of the comedian in action, cracking jokes during televised interviews and in stand-up.

In particular, it included a short snippet of a stand-up performance during which Williams borrows a pink scarf from an audience member in the front row and wraps its round his head to simulate a Hijab, or Islamic headscarf.

“I would like to welcome you to Iran… Help me!” he cries.

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  • barthomew

    The word “racist” is not the correct word to describe what people justifiably or unjustifiably complain about regarding Crystal and Williams. Nor is the word “sexist” the correct word. If people are justified in seeing it as an insult to the Muslim religion and culture, then it is an insult to Islam. If one agrees that women are mistreated by the rule for women that was mocked, then it is not an insult to Islam either; it is then not Islamist. The woman who connected menopause and the like with her objections to a particular form of Islamist and jihadist culture was not arguably guilty of inappropriate discrimination either.