Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MDA to Jerry Lewis: "Thanks and f--- you!"

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has distanced itself from and shown great disrespect toward its greatest asset and the man who gave it an international identity, saying today that Jerry Lewis "will be asked" to participate in the drastically-slashed telethon in 2011.

We reported five days ago that something was amiss in the MDA's announcement that it would turn the 21 1/2 hour national tradition into a six-hour Sunday night television special because its announcement did not mention Lewis' name, while featuring photos of subhost Jann Carl. The following day, we reported exclusively word from a telethon insider that Jerry Lewis was not part of the decision-- and that the MDA officials consider the end of Lewis' reign to be a "transitioning."

Today, John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Sun picked up the story, reporting that by all indications, Lewis will have a diminished presence on the revamped television special.

He quoted MDA PR VP Jim Brown:

“Jerry Lewis has been MDA’s national chairman for more than 50 years. He’s a world-class humanitarian how has done an absolutely outstanding job for the families served by the association. Jerry will be asked to play a key role in the 2011 telethon.”

Kats emphasized the "will be asked. Not, has been asked. "Lewis has been informed of, not consulted about, the drawdown of the show. He had nothing to do with that decision, which organizers feel will intensify interest in the program and appeal to big-name celebs who want to reach a large audience in prime time instead of the insomniacs tuning in at 3 a.m."

Kats says Jerry returned his phone call this morning and said, "I have nothing more to discuss about the situation," but called back later and promised to speak over coffee later in the week.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must admit, a lot of different articles read about this great man, but a detailed article for the first time. THankxxx