Ben Stein Expelled by Citigroup

Our old friend, dashing screen star Ben Stein, famous for his role in Expelled! — the embarrassingly shabby creationist documentary (see Expelled Exposed), has suffered a recent setback.

At the Bloomberg website we read: Citigroup Axes Ben Stein Speech as Texas Woman Objects to Jokes. It’s a long article. Here are a few excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Citigroup Inc. (C) canceled a planned keynote speech by writer, actor and TV personality Ben Stein after getting a complaint that he told jokes disparaging women at a private-equity conference in Dallas earlier this year.

Jokes disparaging women? Egad! Let’s read on:

“We have decided to present the conference without Mr. Stein’s participation,” said Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank. Stein, in an interview, said his jokes were mischaracterized and that the company didn’t call him before canceling.

Citigroup, accused in a gender-discrimination suit last year of being an “outdated boys club,” canceled the speech yesterday to avoid being associated with any inappropriate remarks, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Hey, get this:

Stein’s agent, Marcia Hurwitz, said Citigroup had initially contracted with Stein through a speakers bureau and that his typical corporate fee is $45,000, plus first-class travel for two. He delivers “deadpan humor and serious insights on the economy and human nature in talks that leave people laughing and thinking,” according to the Washington Speakers Bureau website.

That guy gets $45K for a speech? Amazing world. We continue:

[The woman who complained] told of three jokes at the Dallas conference she said were disparaging to women. One joke was about a wealthy man, his wife and his mistress, she said.

Another involved a female airline passenger who, realizing the flight is about to crash, takes off her clothes and asks if there is a man aboard who will “make me feel like a woman,” according to Villarreal’s e-mail, which was also sent to Bloomberg News. A cowboy in a hat removes his shirt, hands it to the woman, tells her to iron it and fetch him a beer.

That’s a real knee-slapper! Here’s something with which you’re all familiar:

Earlier in 2009, Stein withdrew as the University of Vermont’s commencement speaker over complaints about his critical views of evolution in favor of intelligent design, according to the AP. He discussed those views as host of the 2008 documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

There’s more to the article, but we’ll wrap it up with this:

“I didn’t think I had an enemy in the world, except for the people who didn’t like my movie about evolution,” Stein said. “I am super, super, super encouraging to women. I support an awful lot of women who are trying to make their way in the world.”

Poor Ben. First the Darwinists turned on him. Now it’s the ladies. A creationist just can’t get a break these days.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Ben Stein Expelled by Citigroup

  1. His timing sucks. That is a good joke if told properly and is not an insult to women but, cowboys.

  2. comradebillyboy

    What is a good joke among one’s friends in a social setting may not be such a good idea in a business setting.

  3. Depends on the business. Considering this was Citibank it was probably not. But, then again bankers tend to be humorless.

  4. cnocspeireag

    Curmudgeon, you called Expelled a ‘documentary’. Have you been eating armadillo?

  5. cnocspeireag asks: “Have you been eating armadillo?”

    Not today.

  6. Tomato Addict

    > “Not today.”

    Not yet!

    The massive critical reaction to Expelled was my entry point into “the controversy”. It awoke me to the need to actively support the methods of science over those of quackery and deception. Thanks Ben!

  7. “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have a humor section. This is a feminist bookstore.”

  8. He’s telling jokes most of us heard in high school?

    I’d say Citibank was right to cancel. Not because of the offensiveness of the jokes, but because $45k is wildly overpaying a guy who doesn’t even bother to write his own material.