What Do Dr. Laura and Jennifer Aniston Have in Common?


The Story

Answer: They both used offensive language this week.  Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the radio talk-show host, used the "n-word" an astonishing 11 times.  Granted, she didn't direct it at anyone in particular, but many people found it offensive.  She has since announced that she won't renew her contract as radio host. 

Meanwhile, on the Live with Regis and Kelly show, actress Jennifer Aniston used the "r-word," also not appropriate for primetime media.

Dr Laura Jennifer Aniston

Read more about Dr. Laura and Jennifer Aniston.

Discussion Starters

  • What other examples were in the news lately of people using these or similarly offensive words?  How did the public react in these cases?
  • Is this a big deal?  What are your own views of "politically correct" language? 
  • What, if any, differences do you see in using this language among your friends and using this language in a workplace?

Assignment Ideas

  • In small groups, discuss your own use of potentially offensive language.  In what ways do you adapt your language at work?
  • With a partner, role play a situation where you, as a business professional, explain to either Dr. Laura or Jennifer Aniston why the use of the term is offensive.
  • As either Dr. Laura or Jennifer Aniston, write a letter of apology for using the offensive word.  Imagine that you would post this message on your website.