Doctor Apologizes For Racist Fat Jokes


A doctor at the University of Pennsylvania has apologized for making racist, fat-shaming jokes in his monthly column in a trade magazine. But now the magazine is threatening to sue a blogger who posted the jokes.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, John D. Kelly apparently ran out of ideas for his monthly column in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. So he just told 27 jokes about fat people, many of them copied from popular comics. A sampling:

Be real concerned if:
Your patient has more chins than a Chinese phonebook.
Your patient has stretch marks on his teeth.
Your patient’s tailor is Omar the Tent Maker.

Unsurprisingly, some readers didn’t find these hilarious, and several bloggers complained. Kelly, who’s also an amateur standup comedian, responded:

I blew it. I was not respecting the dignity of my patients with these comments. I didn’t recognize that this is a different audience than the comedy clubs –- of course I will revamp my comedy routines now that I know the potential hurt some jokes can inflict.

He added,

The irony is that I really do try to keep my comedy positive. A priest once told me that ‘humor is a gift of the Holy Spirit” Clearly the Holy Spirit was not behind most of these jokes.

Kelly shows a level of contrition here that’s unusual for a public apology. Unfortunately, Orthopedic Surgery Magazine seems less contrite. According to FormerFatDudes (via Romenesko), the magazine sent a cease-and-desist letter to Diva Taunia, demanding that she remove from her blog quotes from the original piece and from a lukewarm apology subsequently printed by Editor-in-Chief Dan O’Connor. Taunia’s hardly taking traffic away from the magazine — a more likely explanation for their move is that they’re worried her post is making them look bad. And if they’re concerned about that, they might try looking over articles a little more closely before they publish them.

Doctor Apologizes For Fat Jokes In Outpatient Surgery Magazine Column [Romenesko]
Penn Doctor Endures Fallout Over Fat Jokes [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Image via Frank Jr/

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