Matthew Perry Will Yank Unpopular Keanu Reeves Jokes

In memoir, Perry seems to lament that Reeves is still alive while other stars have died
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2022 11:29 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Matthew Perry Apologizes for Keanu Reeves Digs
Matthew Perry in 2015.   (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
UPDATE Apr 24, 2023 2:00 AM CDT

Speaking before a packed audience at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday, Matthew Perry said he would remove unpopular jokes made at the expense of Keanu Reeves from future editions of his memoir. "I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do," said Perry, per the Los Angeles Times. "I’ve apologized publicly to him. Any future versions of the book will not have his name in it," he continued, adding that while he has not apologized directly to Reeves himself, "If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid."

Oct 27, 2022 11:29 AM CDT

Ahead of the release of his memoir, Matthew Perry finds himself on the defensive over some harsh words directed at fellow actor Keanu Reeves. As Variety reports, Perry twice references Reeves in his book, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing:

  • "It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down," Perry writes. "Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?"
  • In another passage in which Perry is lamenting the death of Chris Farley, he writes, "I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston's dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us." (Farley, Ledger, and Phoenix died of overdoses, and Perry's memoir recounts his own decadeslong struggle with substance abuse.)

The digs at Reeves triggered a strong reaction on social media, notes BuzzFeed, with fans and celebs including Lynda Carter and Rachel Zegler among those pushing back. In response, Perry has issued an apology to outlets including People and Deadline:

  • "I'm actually a big fan of Keanu," the statement reads. "I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead." Deadline notes that Reeves, who hasn't responded publicly to the flap, was close friends with Phoenix.
(More Matthew Perry stories.)

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