Do words carry more weight when a celeb says them?
August 21st, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Do words carry more weight when a celeb says them?

We’re sure you’ve heard the news by now: Jennifer Aniston recently uttered a word during a televised interview that has sparked a national dialogue on its definition and proper use.

While it seems one's opinion on whether or not the "r-word" - as we'll refer to it out of sensitivity for those who are indeed offended by it - can be used is perhaps a personal choice, the kerfuffle with Aniston does beg the question: Is there a difference between a celebrity saying a word some folks find offensive and the average Joe or Jill letting it slip during conversation?

While some Marquee readers think that Aniston’s celebrity status means that she should be all the more mindful when she speaks, others believe that the public should give her a break - just because she's a celebrity doesn't mean she's not human, as commenter Bertie pointed out.

Filed under: Celebrities • Jennifer Aniston

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Lugasamom

    In law school, I learned the impact of words, both written and spoken. One of my law professors taught me the detrimental effect of certain words, in particular, the "R-Word."

    I object to the characterization of it being "just a word" because, as it it used on most occasions, it is not so. Its meaning and implication are clearly derogatory. Anyone not offended needs to look at the way they use words in their every day life and wonder how much harm they are inflicting upon other through their own personal ignorance of human understanding.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tamera

    Banning the r-word or the n-word, my gosh, isn't this America where we have freedom of speech? If we ban every word that offends someone, there is no freedom.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. D

    and Anniston has no reason to apologize because she didn't do anything wrong

    August 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. D

    grow up ppl its not the word itself it's the context in which it is used. Nothing about what Aniston said was offensive she wasn't referring to the mentally challenged, and im sure the mentally challenged wouldn't be offended.
    Now Stephanie-your a retard.

    August 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      Im with Stephanie
      and D, you're probably the only mentally challenged person who wasn't offended

      August 23, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Lugasamom

      Clearly, this whole argument and discussion is lost on you and that is unfortunate. Your lack of humanity and humilty is very apparent. Grow up and get a clue.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chuckie

    if a word is not used for its sole purpose, like the retard word for the mentally challenged. what's the purpose of it being invented in the first place? and the r-word was just used as a figure of speech. why would someone figuratively describe a person as "special", when that person is actually a moron?
    tsktsktsk!... some people just don't make sense anymore...

    August 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      Words often change meanings over time.

      Cool does not always refer to the temperature of something.
      Gay used to just mean happy.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shar

    I would like it if everyone in the public eye, whose every word and action is severely scrutinized by the media, would issue a blanket apology statement on January 1st of each new year. They could apologize (in advance) for anything they may say or do during the upcoming year that might offend anyone.

    Ms. Anniston was using the word "retard" the same way any one of us would use the word "moron" to describe someone who did something we think is stupid. Personally, I think anyone who was offended by her use of the word "retard" is a moron (or a retard, take your pick.)

    The media needs to stop blowing these things all out of proportion. After all, the media is completely responsible for the filthy language permitted to be broadcast on cable television, which has in turn degraded the quality of network television programming, and the perception of acceptable language by the youth of the past 20 years.

    August 22, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Shaniqua


      Thanks for not blowing it out of proportion.

      August 22, 2010 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      There is a difference between the word 'moron' and the word 'retard'. The r-word is a hurtful word, but maybe you're too stuck up to realize the hurtful effects of it. How would you feel if your son or daughter had a mental condition and was being teased about it at school, constantly being called 'retard' by their peers? When the r-word effects you on a personal level, it's different. Just because a celebrity can say a word doesn't make it ok. The r-word hurts just as much as the n-word.

      August 22, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • s

      i completely agree with stephanie. if you, shar, are saying im a "moron" because my brother is diagnosed with mental retardation, then let me be a moron. you do not have to agree with people who say that "R" word is offensive, but just be aware that there are so many people who think that and will not be happy with you if you say it around them. i know many people who have the same opinion and i even know someone who considers it a curse word. watch this link and maybe i can change you opinion and if not, oh well.

      August 23, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cathy

    Wish I knew what the r-word is.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |

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