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Joan Rivers Embroiled in 'Racist' Row

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Oct 20, 2005 | 7:35am EDT

Comedienne Joan Rivers became involved in a live argument on British radio when a fellow chat show guest suggested she was offended by the term "black."

Rivers labeled Trinidad-born social commentator Darcus Howe a "son of a bitch" when he made the accusation on BBC Radio 4's Midweek program yesterday.

Howe was on the show to discuss his upcoming TV documentary Son of Mine, which details his relationship with his son Amiri, who he has only seen a few times since his birth.

As Howe began to focus on issues of race, Rivers expressed she is more interested in individuals rather than broad generalizations about people's ethnicity, a comment which Howe believed showed Rivers was offended by the term "black."

She hit back, saying, "Just stop right now. Black does not offend me. How dare you? How dare you say that? Black offends me? You know nothing about me, you just sat down here, how dare you...

"Where the hell are you coming from? You've got such a chip on your shoulder. I don't give a damn if you're black or white. It's what the person is. Don't you dare call me a racist. I want an apology...

"I abhor racists. Don't you dare call me that... son of a bitch."

Rivers went on to question Howe, who has seven children by four women, about his abilities as a father before host Libby Purves diffused the situation and Howe clarified that he didn't think Rivers was a racist.

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