Michael J. Fox Gets Apology From E! for Questionable ‘Fun Fact’

Michael J. FoxIn the run up to the popular awards, E! broadcast a pre-Golden Globes show, on which they got into trouble with Michael J. Fox for a questionable “Fun Fact” about Parkinson’s disease, for which he now gets an apology.

As the NBC Universal-owned cable channel showed the stars making their way down the red carpet at the Golden Globes, they were putting up “fun facts” about the actors in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

When it got to Michael J. Fox, what they displayed on screen was in the worst possible taste.  Their “fun fact” for him was:

“Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991.”

Obviously being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is no fun at all and the channel issued an apology to the Hollywood Reporter on Sunday evening reading:

“We regret the insensitive classification of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis during our Eonline [sic] live stream. We understand the serious nature of the disease and sincerely apologize.”

Michael J. Fox
“Fun Fact” on Michael J. Fox as per E!

When their indiscretion appeared on screen, viewers didn’t hesitate to hit the Twitter-sphere, criticizing the network for such an insensitive remark.

As an offshoot of the “Fun Fact” debacle, several memes are now doing the rounds on the Internet, with varied comments.  These include such gems as:

“Fun Fact: 37 Cats Died During the Making of Inside Llewyn Davis”


“Fun Fact: Ryan Seacrest is Wearing a Diaper”

along with the rather deeper and darker:

“Fun Fact: There’s no afterlife. Just eternal nothingness.”

Fox is well-known and popular for his appearances in the Back to the Future film series as well as the TV series Family Ties.  He has also made strong cameo appearances in the popular legal series, The Good Wife.

His Golden Globe nomination was for best actor in a comedy series for his latest show on NBC, The Michael J. Fox Show.

Apparently the insensitive “Fun Fact” appeared as Fox entered the Beverley Hilton and showed only on the digital live-stream and was not displayed on the television feed.

Michael J. Fox Gets Apology From E! for Questionable ‘Fun Fact’
Robert Redford

It turns out that it wasn’t only Fox who got hit by the insensitivity either.  Robert Redford was on his way down the red carpet when this “Fun Fact” appeared about him:

“Fun Fact: Robert Redford suffered from polio as a child.”

As with Parkinson’s disease, we can take it as fact that it is not much fun to suffer from polio either.

Redford was there for his nomination for a Golden Globe for his recent appearance in the film All Is Lost.

These weren’t the only incidents to crop up during the Golden Globes.  At once stage a lighting rig caused a sprinkler system to start up.  This flooded the red carpet with gallons of water and the Beverley Hills Fire Department had to come and suck up as much water from the carpet as they could before the stars put their dainty feet and expensive designer shoes onto it.

Another little boo boo that slipped through the network censors happened live on NBC.  Jacqueline Bisset was apparently having a bit of trouble getting through her acceptance speech and the word “shit” just slipped out and played live.

In a similar vein, and soon after that episode, Jonah Hill, co-star in The Wolf of Wall Street, told the audience that when he and Margot Robbie went on to the stage to present, there was an issue with the teleprompter.  Hill said, “I’m not going to lie to you, they put up the wrong stuff.”

All’s well that ends well, however, as Michael J. Fox is a strong guy and can survive such questionable “Fun Facts” as long as he gets an apology from E!

By Anne Sewell



Hollywood Reporter

2 Responses to "Michael J. Fox Gets Apology From E! for Questionable ‘Fun Fact’"

  1. George   February 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Fun Fact: it’s sad the E crew did not have the heart to know as they posted the insensitive comments, the affect it would undoubtedly have on so many lives. It’s nice of E to post apologies, but the persons whom wrote the comments to begin with are the ones whom truly need to say so if they feel sorry at all. In my mind, the apologies mean very little now, as so many viewers being upset, appears to be the only reason they have responded with it at all. A forced apology has far less affect than a heart felt would. I teach my children that if they know what is correct in life, I have done my job teaching them. As they turn into adults, I hope I’m not still telling them to be Concerned with others feeling, for that is something I’m teaching them as young children. And I hope E is not allowing children to post anything of this magnitude. We will see if this makes the post, but I want to say that I am sorry to MJF and everyone else affected by this insensitive comments. I’m not pitting you, for you are who you are for the roads you have travled, but I feel it is wrong that our society has so much to still learn.

  2. mark   January 13, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Fun or not nobody really knows what people go through when they have an illness so why prank or make fun of them it could be you I don’t think there is no humor in it at all should not have been said to start with you think you can say sorry and eveything is fine but the real damage is done

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