UPDATE: A real apology:
"Hey guys- I just want to say how sorry I am for my recent post. It was careless and thoughtless and I assure you it is not a reflection of the way I really feel. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always supported the gay community and will continue to do so. I’m embarrassed and I apologize."
Alice Ripley gave one of the best performances in one of the best shows (Next to Normal) I've ever seen, and maybe that's why her recent use of the word "fag" in a pretty nasty context has taken so many theater-loving gay people by surprise—and why it's angered them.
Apparently, Ripley reads negative comments about her show on BroadwayWorld.com, because she responded to one on Facebook thusly:
"QUOTE FROM A NUMB BUTT ON BROADWAY WORLD: 'I'VE SEEN N2N 8 TIMES WITH ALICE RIPLEY, WHICH IS 7 TIMES TOO MANY.' HA HA HA HA!!! THIS FRUSTRATED ACTOR (I WON'T SAY FAG) IS MY NEW BEST FRIEND! THANKS FOR LOOKING DOWN ON LOSERS LIKE US THAT WORK FOR A LIVING. YOU ARE THE OPPOSITE OF A WONDERFUL AUDIENCE."
Ripley has refused to sincerely apologize (instead, she posted, "YIKES! FORGIVE MY OFFENSE"), and at least a couple of fans think the whole thing is meaningless because she has gay friends so...what more do we want? Well, we want friends who, when they're enraged and reaching for the nastiest word they can think of, don't reach for "fag." I don't think that's too much to ask.
Some (one?) are organizing a stage-door protest. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do think this tarnishes her reputation. Best comment I've read (at BroadwayWorld.com):
"I think many straight folks are a titch homophobic internally. It doesn't mean it's a virulent homophobia, but nothing really surprises me. I'm often surprised by the limits of heterosexual tolerance, even on this board. No, I really don't think she's homophobic, nor do I think a gay guy saying the c word is automatically misogynistic. However, if you use a pejorative word for a group and get called out on it and kind of willfully keep your ignorant head up, there IS some sort of problem there. It's very Palinesque."