Cruise line throws Joan Rivers overboard after bad joke

Many celebrities say that there's no such thing as bad publicity because it gets the media talking about you. My first reaction to that is: what about Paula Deen?

My second reaction? What about Joan Rivers?

Comedienne Joan Rivers crossed the line April 22 when she was on the Today Show.

She and her daughter Melissa walked on and, when asked what it's like living with her daughter, Melissa, said: "I'm still in the same stupid little room. Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space."

For that, and ensuing remarks, one of her sponsors finally distanced themselves from her.

On Friday, Norwegian Cruise Lines threw her overboard -- literally.

Joan, Melissa, and Melissa's son Cooper were booked on a July cruise to Alaska where they'd give lectures on board and travel in style. Someone from the NCL marketing staff called and said Joan "en famille" were no longer welcome because NCL was a 'family-friendly brand.'"

Rivers started this firestorm herself because it isn't a case of being "too soon" to joke about the three kidnapped women who were repeatedly raped over a decade. It's a case of it will never be time to joke about their horror. Never.

(Read Expanded Coverage: Miracle in Cleveland for more information)

Attorneys for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus demanded an apology. Rivers said no apology would be forthcoming and added "I'm a comedienne...There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That's what I do."

The Today show apologized and distanced itself from Rivers' comments, saying they did not know what she was going to say when she appeared live on the air.

Rivers later added fuel to the fire, saying, "One of them has a book deal. Neither are in a psych ward. They're OK . . . I bet you within three years, one of them will be on 'Dancing With the Stars.' "

I congratulate NCL for doing what they did. I only wish QVC (where Rivers sells her wares), WE (which carries her reality series) and the E! network that airs her "Fashion Police" show would do likewise.

It's not just that I live in Northeast Ohio and, as a reporter and columnist, have covered the missing girls and their rescue for over a decade. I used to be a fan of Joan Rivers until her jokes became downright mean when she started the "Fashion Police."

Even her "Fashion Police" delivery sounds scripted, like she took time to find the meanest thing to say about what people were wearing or how they looked. I love people with a good sense of humor and think humor and intelligence go hand in hand.

But I think that Rivers has outlived her shock value and that her act should be shelved by E! and WE as well. Now she's just downright offensive. Agreed?

Follow me on Twitter @KimWendel


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