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Dalai Lama apologizes for sexist remarks, ‘meant no offense’


The Dalai Lama said he felt “almost normal” as he left the New Delhi hospital where he had been treated for a chest infection. The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader spoke to The Associated Press as he was leaving Friday. (April 12)

The Dalai Lama walked back on his jokes made last week during an interview that a future female successor would have to be “more attractive.”

In a statement released Tuesday, his office said that “His Holiness genuinely meant no offense” and that he’s “deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies.”

“It sometimes happens that off the cuff remarks, which might be amusing in one cultural context, lose their humor in translation when brought into another,” the office continued to say in the statement.

The 83-year-old Buddhist monk was accused of sexism after a BBC interview in 2015 after stating that his future successor can be a woman but must be “very attractive” or she would be of “not much use.”

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The Dalai Lama doubled down on those remarks last week when BBC reporter Rajini Vaidyanathan asked whether he understood how those comments could have angered women.

He also added that if she were not attractive, “people, I think, prefer not see her… that face.”

“A lot of women would say that’s objectifying women, it’s about who you are on the inside,” Vaidyanathan said.

The Dalai Lama replied, “Yes, I think both.”

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was hospitalized earlier this year for a chest infection.

Contributing: Joshua Bote, USA TODAY 

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT


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