Joan Rivers fights activist on BBC radio

Oct. 20, 2005 at 9:47 AM

LONDON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. comedian Joan Rivers exploded on British radio after a fellow guest called the United States racist and implied maybe she was too.

Rivers, in London for a comedy tour of Britain that starts Friday, was a guest Wednesday on the BBC radio show "Midweek" with Trinidad-born writer/activist, Darcus Howe and two others, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

During the discussion about race and personal relationships, Rivers said she was "bored with race," adding race should be irrelevant in love and marriage: "Race doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's about people."

Howe then condemned the United States as one of "the most savagely racial places in the world," the Times said.

The tone of the conversation escalated and when Howe noted to Rivers "the use of the term black offends you," a shouting match of personal insults erupted with Rivers calling Howe a common expletive, the Times said.

Although the guests eventually calmed down with Howe apologizing to Rivers, BBC host Libby Purves remarked: "I am starting to feel like Oprah."

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