April 6, 1995 in Nation/World

Fuss Over Humor Has Senator Place An Accent On Apology

Los Angeles Times

Comedians often say that ethnic humor - especially done in exaggerated accents - is tough to pull off. That may be so even for that most glib of legislative quipsters, New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, whose joke about Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito caused such a fuss that he has apologized.

The self-assured ItalianAmerican, who represents one of the nation’s premier melting pots, used an artificial Japanese accent while criticizing Ito’s handling of the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles during an appearance Tuesday on Don Imus’ syndicated radio talk show.

On Wednesday, the looselipped Republican apologized for using the accent, but stood by his criticism of Ito’s allowing the case to drag on for too long.

“Judge Ito will never let it end,” D’Amato said on Tuesday in a caricature of a Japanese accent. “Judge Ito loves the limelight. He is making a disgrace of the judicial system, little Judge Ito. … This is a disgrace.”

Numerous Japanese-American groups complained.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus