While accepting the Critics' Choice Award for Best Comedy film, "Bridesmaids" producer slammed Jerry Lewis for a sexist remark the legendary comedian once made.
"Jerry Lewis once said that he didn't think women were funny, so I'd just like to say, with all respect, 'F*ck you!'" Apatow exclaimed at the end of his speech to cheers from the audience.
Lewis made the comment in 1998 at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. He told an audience during a Q&A session that "I don't like any women comedians" and "A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world."
With its all female leading cast headed up by co-writer Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids" scored critical raves, took in $288 million worldwide and is nominated for three Golden Globes. Though it seems silly to think that there were skeptics, its success proved to many in Hollywood that women can anchor successful broad comedies, not just the romantic comedies and "Sex and the City" films.
Apatow addressed that skepticism in an interview with the New York Times shortly after the film was released.
"Sadly, I think some of that talk was true," he said. "There are a lot of female-driven comedies on the bubble at the studios and they do look to measure how well these things do, and what levels of interest there are in certain genres. One of the reasons there was pressure is because the studios knew this movie came out very well, and if nobody bothered to go see it, they could say, 'Even when you make a really good one, nobody comes.' But because people came, the opposite lesson was learned, which is, there’s an enormous neglected community of moviegoers who want to see films like this."