When one thinks of the term “fun fact,” he or she probably associates it with some sort of lighthearted truth, like Leonardo DiCaprio first starring in the show “Growing Pains” before making it big, or finding out that Woody Allen’s first film was “What’s New Pussycat?” in 1965. But for some reason the E! channel decided to take a very serious disease and make it a fun fact during the live streaming of its red carpet broadcast.
During the show, a grey box appeared on the screen with the words “Fun Fact” in bold white letters and in the box it said “Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991,” which of course caused an immediate backlash from viewers. Fortunately for E! the snafu came during the live streaming of the event and not on live television.
But it wasn’t too long after the error that E! sent out an apology, and said that it recognized its crucial mistake. “We regret the insensitive classification of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s diagnosis during our E online live stream,” said the network. “We understand the serious nature of the disease and sincerely apologize.”
In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Fox said that if he had the opportunity to be cured, he wouldn’t take it because Parkinson’s taught him so much. “If I walked into a room with God or Buddha or Bill Gates or Sergey Brin or whoever could figure out a way to fix it for me, I don’t think I’d do it,” he said.
“The bottom line of this whole f–king thing is that it’s better. My life is better than it was, because I have access to these truths and access to these moments where I give myself a break and just go, ‘F–k it.”
In addition, Fox said that people shouldn’t feel sorry for him at all, because he’s coping with the disease just fine. “People look at me and have fear and sadness in their eyes, which they think they’re seeing reflected back at them,” he said. “They wouldn’t see what I’m really feeling, which is, I’m okay! But people are afraid. They’ll realize that this is just my life, the stuff I was given to deal with.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons