Comedian Natasha Leggero says she isn’t sorry for a joke she made about Pearl Harbor veterans during NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly.”
“I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest,” Leggero said on her Tumblr Friday. “I’m not sorry. I don’t think the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television.”
NBC declined to comment Friday.
Leggero, Jane Lynch and Anthony Anderson were joking about a recent tweet by SpaghettiOs that many saw as an attempt to cash in on Pearl Harbor Day: “Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us,” the canned food tweeted.
Quipped Lynch: “I’m offended because they were referring to SpaghettiOs as pasta.”
Added Leggero: “It sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew.”
Some viewers expressed their offense on Twitter. Others contacted Leggero with threats. She wrote Friday that she was subjected to “creatively misspelled death threats, rape fantasies, and most of all repeated use of the the C word.”
“In the past few days I have been called a cunt so much I felt like I was in a British pub rooting for the wrong soccer team,” she wrote.
But she added that she didn’t see any point in apologizing.
“Do we really believe that the people who fought and defended our freedom against Nazis and the Axis powers will find a joke about SpaghettiOs too much to bear? Sorry, I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat,” she said, describing her New Year’s outfit.
“On the one hand you have me, making a joke about how old people can’t chew tough foods very well,” she said. “On the other hand you have Veterans who receive inadequate care upon their return from active duty, rampant sexual assault against female soldiers, staggering rates of suicide, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse and depression among soldiers and political gridlock that prevents these problems from getting solved quickly.”
“Where do you think your outrage and action would be better served, calling me a cunt or doing something about the above problems?”
Leggero concluded with a message to vets: “I love you. I truly hope you know that.”
And she had a message for SpaghettiOs: “Let’s do lunch.”
Watch the New Year’s Eve video: