Howie Mandel Swallows His Words After Bulimia Joke

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Howie Mandel Swallows His Words After Bulimia Joke 

August 26, 2015 – Funnyman Howie Mandel is swallowing his words today after making an eating disorder joke during last night’s live telecast of America’s Got Talent. Mandel, a judge on the show, made the comment after a performance by Stevie Starr, a “professional regurgitator” known for his ability to swallow objects ranging from lightbulbs to goldfish then bring them back up again whole. (Like we couldn’t all do that in college.) Knowing he was about to probably step in it, Mandel prefaced that his remark would “probably come out wrong.” But then he followed through with:

“You, sir, make bulimia entertaining.”

Stevie Starr

The show carried on but so did social media. Someone at America’s Got Talent must have been monitoring the Twittersphere because several acts later, Howie Mandel came back to the joke:

“I just wanna take a second just to apologize. I made a comment earlier, it’s live television, I wasn’t thinking. 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.”

Today on Twitter:

“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.”

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10 thoughts on “Howie Mandel Swallows His Words After Bulimia Joke

  1. Is joking about an illness funny no…. but saying something about an illness that could get people thinking/researching/making it easier to talk about… he mentioned something that should be talked about. I don’t think it’s funny or offensive. Its not like howie said “people with bulimia are stupid” (which would be offensive duh). When something that is not understood by the masses and is mentioned in pop culture it is possible too spark curiosity (which can lead to awareness) and let’s face it awareness can help a lot of mental illnesses.

  2. I wonder how he would react if someone made a “joke” about OCD or ADHD? As someone who deals with mental/behavioural illness himself, he should damn well know better without having to be told.

    1. Women aren’t the only people who can suffer from eating disorders.

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