No joke — the National Eating Disorders Association isn’t happy with Howie Mandel.
“America’s Got Talent” judge Mandel came under fire from the NEDA on Wednesday, after cracking on Tuesday’s episode that one of the contestants made bulimia “entertaining.”
“Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia are no laughing matter … Any more than you would make fun of cancer, diabetes or any other life-threatening illness,” Claire Mysko, the COO of NEDA, told TheWrap in a statement Wednesday. “We hope this is a platform to raise awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders, which are bio-psycho-social illnesses that can lead to chronic physical ailments, even death.
“The normalizing of disordered eating in our ‘can-never-be-too-thin’ society only exacerbates the problem,” she added.
During Tuesday’s live episode, Mandel told “professional regurgitator” Stevie Starr, who swallows objects and brings them back up, “You, sir, make bulimia entertaining,” E! Online reports.
To be fair, prior to making the comment Mandel acknowledged that it would “probably come out wrong.” And it did.
Mandel apologized for the comment later in the episode.
“I just wanna take a second just to apologize. I made a comment earlier, it’s live television, I wasn’t thinking,” Mandel began his mea culpa. “I made light of bulimia, which is a very serious eating disorder and mental health issue. I deal with mental health all the time, and I did something stupid. I should never make light of it. I apologize to anybody that was offended. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes.”
I am NOT perfect. I make mistakes. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was offended.
— Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) August 26, 2015
He continued his apology on Twitter, writing, “I am NOT perfect. I make mistakes. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was offended.”