Moviemaker Richard Curtis has apologized for spoofing hit movie "The King's Speech" during the Comic Relief fund-raiser in Britain on Friday, March 18, after the sketch was slammed by stammer groups.
The "Love Actually" writer-director co-founded the Comic Relief charity with funnyman Lenny Henry in 1985 and stars flock to appear on the annual U.K. telethon, which raises money to for a number of good causes.
Henry kicked off 2011's show with a spoof of Colin Firth's Oscar-winning movie, about stuttering monarch King George VI, and the scene showed the comic growing exasperated at the royal's speech impediment. The sketch drew complaints from bosses at The British Stammering Association, who claimed it could lead to bullying, and now Curtis has apologized for the skit.
"I'm very sorry about that," he tells BBC Radio 5 Live. "Comic Relief does spend money on bullying... and I'm sure that we were just thinking about the huge fame of that film at the moment and the immediacy of it."
"I would never want to give that impression [of bullying] and if we did I am sorry about that. It was meant to be a big joke about a very famous film rather than anything to do with stammering and offense. I would apologize for that."