PHOENIX (AP) -- Comedian Jerry Lewis, whose telethons raise millions for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, apologized Friday for referring to the wheelchair-bound as "cripple" and saying people donate out of pity.
During a profile of Lewis that was broadcast May 20 on the "CBS Sunday Morning" show, a reporter described Lewis as unapologetic to those who say he is patronizing in his charity work.
Lewis then said, "I'm telling you about a child in trouble. If it's pity, we'll get some money. I'm giving you facts. Pity. You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair, stay in your house."
In a statement released by MDA on Friday, Lewis apologized and said his comments were in error.
More than 100 people complained to MDA about the comments, including some who receive services from the organization, spokesman Bob Mackle said.
Lewis has been the group's national chairman and biggest fund-raiser for 50 years.
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