Howie Mandel is known as a comedian who has been candid about his own battle with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). But when Howie attempted to joke about bulimia on America’s Got Talent, Mandel discovered that social media isn’t always kind, and that live broadcasts can’t be undone, reported MSN.
The eating disorder mis-judged humor attempt came when Howie was commenting on a contestant called The Regurgitator. Mandel declared that Stevie Starr’s ability to gulp down items and then regurgitate them was amusing.
“This would probably come out wrong, but you, sir, make bulimia entertaining,” complimented Howie.
Mandel subsequently took a moment to try to make amends later in the live show.
“I just want to take a second to apologize. I made a comment earlier, it’s live television, I wasn’t thinking. I made light of bulimia, which is a very serious eating disorder and mental health issue. I deal with mental health all the time, and I did something stupid. I should never make light of it.”
Howie is known for being social-media savvy. So Mandel pre-empted Twitter by quickly posting his apology there, reported Fox News.
“I am NOT perfect. I make mistakes. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was offended,” tweeted Howie.
But it’s not just Mandel who has made the comment that bulimia can be viewed as entertaining, reported Time.
Although Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato both have revealed that they battled bulimia, Lovato recently criticized the other singer for making the eating disorder look glamorous. That criticism resulted from Gaga’s use of a so-called “vomit artist” named Millie Brown.
“Sad… As if we didn’t have enough people glamorizing eat disorders already. Bottom line, it’s not ‘cool’ or ‘artsy’ at all,” tweeted Demi.
But Brown defended herself.
“It feels quite good in a way, because it’s like you’re cleaning your body out. It’s kind of a cleanse,” she said.
However, Dr. Robert Glatter, an editorial board member of Medscape Emergency Medicine, emphasized the dangers of bulimia.
“Bulimia is a devastating disease, disrupting families and leading to long-term depression, anxiety, medical illness, as well as suicide if untreated,” he said.
The risks of bulimia include inflammation in the esophagus, swollen salivary glands, tooth decay from stomach acid, and lack of nutrients.
Lady Gaga’s “vomit artist” insists that it is performance art, however, reported E! News.
And despite the negative reactions, she feels it’s a worthy process.
“I came up with the idea of actually vomiting a rainbow using my body as a tool to create paintings. It’s also about the whole process of the painting.”
But as the Inquisitr reported, Portia de Rossi has been candid regarding her own battle with eating disorders and bulimia in particular and just how destructive she felt they are.
The actress revealed that she struggled with eating disorders, weight, and bullying since age 12.
With regard to his own battles, Howie has admitted to struggling with OCD as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), reported Additude.
Mandel revealed his gratitude for support.
“Thankfully, my parents accepted all of my quirks and differences. I have the best family — everyone shows me nothing but love, support, and strength. Even with all that, it can be hard — sometimes terrifying and dark — to manage the symptoms of my disorders.”
[Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]