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Joan Rivers jokes Obama is gay, first lady is transgender

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Charles Barkley's commentary has again landed the former NBA star in the middle of a controversial discussion. During a radio interview, the media personality said that he believed successful African-Americans are targeted by "brainwashed" and "uneducated" members of their community. "For some reason, we're brainwashed to think if you're not a thug or an idiot, you're not black enough," he said. "If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent and don't break the law, you're not a good black person. ... As a black person, we all go through it when you're successful." This isn't the first time Barkley's fired off some brow-raising remarks. Charles Barkley's commentary has again landed the former NBA star in the middle of a controversial discussion. During a radio interview, the media personality said that he believed successful African-Americans are targeted by "brainwashed" and "uneducated" members of their community. "For some reason, we're brainwashed to think if you're not a thug or an idiot, you're not black enough," he said. "If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent and don't break the law, you're not a good black person. ... As a black person, we all go through it when you're successful." This isn't the first time Barkley's fired off some brow-raising remarks.
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Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
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Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Celebs said what?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Photographer asks Rivers if United States will have a gay president
  • Rivers says U.S. already has transgender first lady, Michelle Obama
  • In a statement to CNN, Rivers calls it a compliment

(CNN) -- Who needs Fourth of July fireworks when you have Joan Rivers around?

The comedian known for her lack of self-censoring recently officiated a same-sex wedding and was asked by a photographer if she believed the United States would ever see the first gay or female president. Her response was typical Rivers.

"We already have it with Obama, so let's just calm down," she said. "You know Michelle (Obama) is a trans."

When asked to further explain Rivers said, "A transgender. We all know it."

Joan Rivers storms out of CNN interview

A representative for Rivers released the following statement to CNN from the comic about her remarks to the photographer:

"I think it's a compliment. She's so attractive, tall, with a beautiful body, great face, does great makeup. Take a look and go back to La Cage Au Follies (sic). The most gorgeous women are transgender. Stop it already ... and if you want to talk about 'politically correct,' I think this is a 'politically incorrect' attack on me because I'm old, Jewish, a woman and a 'hetty' -- a heteosexual ... and I plan to sue the reporter who, when he turned off his camera, tried to touch me inappropriately on the a** - luckily he hit my ankle. Read the book ... if you think that's silly, wait to (sic) you see what I say about FDR and Eleanor!"

Rivers is no stranger to controversy. In March 2013 she refused to apologize for a joke she made about the dress "Project Runway" host Heidi Klum wore to the Academy Awards.

"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said while appearing on the E! channel's "Fashion Police" show.

The Anti-Defamation League slammed Rivers, calling the remark "vulgar and hideous," but she said it was her way of getting people to talk.

"It's a joke, No. 1. No. 2 it is about the Holocaust," she told HLN's "Showbiz Tonight. "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor."

Of course, this latest dust-up coincides with Rivers' book, "Diary of a Mad Diva," which was released on July 1. Rivers' representative told CNN, "These are all funny jokes. The book is hysterical. The prologue says if anyone takes anything in the book seriously (he or she) is an idiot. And (Rivers) says if anyone has a problem with that, they can feel free to call her lawyer Clarence Darrow."

Gary Oldman: Still apologizing, this time on Kimmel

Celebrity apologies: The good, bad and uncomfortable

CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report

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