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Joan Rivers jokes Obama is gay, first lady is transgender

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
In the August 2014 issue of GQ magazine, Kanye West gives a few head-scratching quotes. One of the most perplexing was his comparison of celebrities to African-Americans in the '60s: "I talked about the idea of celebrity, and celebrities being treated like blacks were in the '60s, having no rights, and the fact that people can slander your name," he recalled of his wedding toast. "And I had to say this in a position where I, from the art world, am marrying Kim. And how we're going to fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life." Of course, this isn't the first time a celebrity -- including West -- has said something provocative: In the August 2014 issue of GQ magazine, Kanye West gives a few head-scratching quotes. One of the most perplexing was his comparison of celebrities to African-Americans in the '60s: "I talked about the idea of celebrity, and celebrities being treated like blacks were in the '60s, having no rights, and the fact that people can slander your name," he recalled of his wedding toast. "And I had to say this in a position where I, from the art world, am marrying Kim. And how we're going to fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life." Of course, this isn't the first time a celebrity -- including West -- has said something provocative:
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Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
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Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
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Mouthing off: Did they really say that?!
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Photographer asks Rivers if United States will have a gay president
  • Rivers says U.S. already has transgender first lady, Michelle Obama
  • In a statement to CNN, Rivers calls it a compliment

(CNN) -- Who needs Fourth of July fireworks when you have Joan Rivers around?

The comedian known for her lack of self-censoring recently officiated a same-sex wedding and was asked by a photographer if she believed the United States would ever see the first gay or female president. Her response was typical Rivers.

"We already have it with Obama, so let's just calm down," she said. "You know Michelle (Obama) is a trans."

When asked to further explain Rivers said, "A transgender. We all know it."

Joan Rivers: First lady is transgender
Joan Rivers storms out of CNN interview

A representative for Rivers released the following statement to CNN from the comic about her remarks to the photographer:

"I think it's a compliment. She's so attractive, tall, with a beautiful body, great face, does great makeup. Take a look and go back to La Cage Au Follies (sic). The most gorgeous women are transgender. Stop it already ... and if you want to talk about 'politically correct,' I think this is a 'politically incorrect' attack on me because I'm old, Jewish, a woman and a 'hetty' -- a heteosexual ... and I plan to sue the reporter who, when he turned off his camera, tried to touch me inappropriately on the a** - luckily he hit my ankle. Read the book ... if you think that's silly, wait to (sic) you see what I say about FDR and Eleanor!"

Rivers is no stranger to controversy. In March 2013 she refused to apologize for a joke she made about the dress "Project Runway" host Heidi Klum wore to the Academy Awards.

"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said while appearing on the E! channel's "Fashion Police" show.

The Anti-Defamation League slammed Rivers, calling the remark "vulgar and hideous," but she said it was her way of getting people to talk.

"It's a joke, No. 1. No. 2 it is about the Holocaust," she told HLN's "Showbiz Tonight. "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor."

Of course, this latest dust-up coincides with Rivers' book, "Diary of a Mad Diva," which was released on July 1. Rivers' representative told CNN, "These are all funny jokes. The book is hysterical. The prologue says if anyone takes anything in the book seriously (he or she) is an idiot. And (Rivers) says if anyone has a problem with that, they can feel free to call her lawyer Clarence Darrow."

Gary Oldman: Still apologizing, this time on Kimmel

Celebrity apologies: The good, bad and uncomfortable

CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report

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