Bernhard’s Palin Problem

Sandra Bernhard has come out against rumors that she joked about violence against vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin during a performance last month.

The comedienne, who was recently cut from the lineup of an upcoming benefit luncheon for a Boston women’s shelter, denied media reports that she’d joked Palin would be “gang-raped by my big black brothers” if she campaigned in New York.

A spokeswoman from the shelter, called Rosie’s Place, said it would seek a replacement act for its “Funny women … Serious Business” fund-raiser. Some women at the shelter have been victims of violence and “we don’t think violence against women is a laughing matter,” she said.

Bernhard, however, told liberal news site Huffington Post that the show in question had received a “glowing review” and the shelter was probably strong-armed by sponsors to cancel her scheduled set.

“I always contemporize my show and open with something of the moment,” Bernhard said. “It so happens we are in the middle of a highly charged political time. And I’m a woman. And I’m concerned not only for myself but for my daughter and the future of all young women, specifically with Sarah Palin and her stance on reproductive rights.

“Being a comic, you go off on these really funny stream of consciousness tangents. So what I said, only funnier, was ‘are you willing to have the experience of getting raped and then keeping your child?’ Only I said it much funnier, and more fluidly. I never once said gang rape. Actually I never said rape. Of course what I said was outrageous, it’s insane, and I’m completely unapologetic about it.”

Bernhard plans to make a donation to the shelter in lieu of her performance, according to Huffington Post.