NPR’s “Fresh Air” program has parted ways with David Edelstein after the film critic made a controversial comment about a rape scene in the movie “Last Tango in Paris" following director Bernardo Bertolucci’s death.
“Today we learned about film critic David Edelstein’s Facebook post in response to the death of film director Bernardo Bertolucci,” NPR "Fresh Air" wrote in a statement Tuesday on Twitter.
On Monday, Edelstein posted an image of the rape scene on Facebook with the caption: “Even grief is better with butter,” according to Variety. Per the outlet, Edelstein was referring to star Marlon Brando's character, Paul, and his use of butter as a lubricant in the 1972 movie.
“The post is offensive and unacceptable, especially given actress Maria Schneider’s experience during the filming of ‘Last Tango in Paris,'" the statement continued, referring to Schneider’s 2007 interview with the Daily Mail, in which she told the outlet that the scene "wasn't in the original script" and she cried while filming it. Schneider died in 2011 at age 58.
"The post does not meet the standards that we expect from ‘Fresh Air’ contributors, or from journalists associated with WHYY or NPR. We appreciate the apology David posted, but we have decided to end ‘Fresh Air’s association with him, and have informed David accordingly," the statement concluded.
Edelstein, who has since deleted the controversial post, issued an apology earlier on Tuesday, saying he “was not aware of” Schneider’s experience on “Last Tango in Paris.”
“I now realize the joke was in poor taste and have removed it, and apologize for the remark,” he said.