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Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 10/25/2011

Orlando Jones defends ‘kill Sarah Palin’ tweet joke as not ‘a call to action,’ ‘artistic expression’

Orlando Jones in 2005. (KATHY WILLENS - AP)
Orlando Jones reentered the public consciousness this week for all the wrong reasons. The “MadTV” actor has come under fire for a tweet he sent Saturday following the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi:

“Libyan Rebels kill Gaddafi, if American liberals want respect they better stop listening to Aretha & kill Sarah Palin (: ”

Needless to say, what could be read as an implied call for to “kill Sarah Palin” was met with an angry response.

NewsBusters writer Noel Sheppard wrote, “Despite liberal calls for civility after the shootings in Tucson this past January, one imagines Jones getting even better roles for this attack on the Left's favorite target. It certainly won't hurt.” Andrew Breitbart’s Hollywoodland blog asked, “Can we enjoy his role as Steve the Magazine Salesman in ‘Office Space’ ever again?”

But Jones, who may be remembered from “The Replacements,” “Drumline” or old 7Up commercials, said on Twitter he is not going to apologize for his “inane” tweet.

“My tweet was farcical not funny or a call to action,” he tweeted. “100 bucks 2 the 1st person who can count the # of Palin jokes about killing Democrats.”

After spending the past few days responding to outraged and at times racist tweets, he released a statement on Facebook.

“My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror to society. I do not decide how people feel or react to that. My tweet hit a nerve. That's good. The fact that is has taken precedent over the serious issues that face us is not good,” the statement said. “Any anger directed at me and my right to free speech is an absolute waste of time. I am not a statesman. My comments reflect no political affiliation. It's just me being me, in a world that will never comfortably mix political correctness with artistic expression. For that, I offer no apologies, excuses or wisdom.”

By  |  02:47 PM ET, 10/25/2011

Categories:  Celebrities, Political Statement

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