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The Voice host Carson Daly was forced to issue an apology after making an ill-advised joke suggesting that gay men would not have been able to stop the crazed Jet Blue pilot that passengers had to subdue before a flight to Las Vegas. Daly was slammed for it by many, including GLADD and the mother of a 9/11 victim who helped stop the hijackers of Flight 93.
TMZ reported on Thursday that Daly went on his Los Angeles radio show in the morning and tried to make a joke about the incident. "Most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas ... it was like a bunch of dudes and well trained dudes ... thank god,” he started. He laughed, adding, “With my luck, it would be like ... 'this is the flight going to [the gay pride parade] in San Francisco ... I mean, that would be my colleagues. Uh, we're headed down to Vegas for the floral convention.”
The comment was met with immediate criticism. Alice Hoagland, the mother of Mark Bingham, who died in Flight 93, sent a letter to TMZ, telling Daly that her son was able to stop the hijackers on the plane even though he was gay. "Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit,” Hoagland said.
Later Wednesday, Daly went on damage control, issuing apologies and meeting with GLADD. Daly did issue a statement to GLADD, which added that they “look forward” to working with Daly. “We live in a time where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals find courage every day to overcome adversity, stand up to bullying and find equality. I'm truly saddened that my words today suggested otherwise. I've long been a supporter of gay, lesbian, and transgender rights, and I'm saddened that my comments, however unintentional, offended anyone, specifically members of the LGBT community,” Daly said in the statement.
Daly also tweeted, “This morning on my radio show I attempted to make fun of myself & offended others by mistake. I sincerely apologize.”
E! News notes that Clayton Obson was the pilot who was suspended and has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, which is considered a federal crime.