Gilda's Club chapter in Wis. won't change name after all
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Stung by the overwhelmingly negative reaction to removing the name of original "Saturday Night Live" cast member Gilda Radner from a cancer support group's title, the Madison-area chapter is borrowing one of the comedian's catch phrases for its next announcement: Never mind.
Gilda's Club Madison will remain just that, group leaders told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The board voted last week to keep the name after an avalanche of criticism in November when it announced it was switching to the more generic Cancer Support Community Southwest Wisconsin, in part out of concern that young people today were unfamiliar with Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.
"It really struck a chord with folks and all of us agreed we want people to come to Gilda's and get the help that they need," said Wayne Harris, chairman of the board for the Madison chapter. "If this is what it takes to make that happen, we're all as a group happy to make it happen."
The intention of changing to a broader name was honorable, Harris said. "In retrospect, we probably should have thought that through or understood it more," he said.
Anger over the name change, which was supposed to take effect this month, came from members of the local Gilda's Club chapter, fans of Radner who saw it as a slight to a woman who confronted cancer with dignity and humor, leaders of other clubs who reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the name, as well as Radner's husband, actor Gene Wilder.