YIKES

NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ Cuts Ties With Film Critic David Edelstein Over ‘Last Tango in Paris’ Rape Joke

NPR’s Fresh Air has parted ways with a contributor who made a joke about a rape scene in Last Tango in Paris on Facebook, Time reports. Following the death of the movie’s director, Bernardo Bertolucci, film critic David Edelstein posted a photo of the movie’s controversial butter scene on Facebook with the caption, “Even grief is better with butter.” In a statement Tuesday, the radio show said the post was “offensive and unacceptable” because of the scene’s context. The actress in the rape scene, Maria Schneider, said in a 2007 interview that the scene was  “unscripted,” and she felt pressured by Bertolucci. “I was crying real tears,” Schneider said.

After the post’s backlash, Edelstein reportedly said he didn’t remember that the scene depicted a rape and was unaware of Schneider’s experiences. “The line was callous and wrong even if it had been consensual, but given that it wasn’t I’m sick at the thought of how it read and what people logically conclude about me,” Edelstein wrote on Facebook after deleting the initial comment. According to Time, Edelstein remains employed at New York Magazine. A spokesperson reportedly said the magazine believes Edelstein but is “reviewing the matter internally.”