The late '90s weren't kind to Martin Lawrence. His rap sheet includes arrests for waving a gun in the middle of L.A. traffic, carrying a gun onto an airplane and nightclub brawling. He was also accused of sexual harassment by his Martin leading lady and later hospitalized when an overheated jog left him comatose for three days. He's not asleep anymore, though!
His new concert film Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat as in "run, tell that" is the forum he's chosen to tell his side of the story, but "not in an angry way." Dramatically, he explains: "Laughter is part of the masquerade of the pain."
Lawrence shies away from discussing the sexual harassment suit, then blames his other troubles on misunderstandings and marijuana-induced hallucinations. He says "it hurts" to relive these incidents, "but if it can help me to understand a road that I don't want to travel again, then it's necessary."
Recalling the media coverage of his scandalous doings, he accuses reporters of blowing things out of proportion. "I don't like the press," Lawrence snarls as if showing up over an hour late for his interview didn't already convey that to us. "I like the people that report accurately. There are talented, honest anchors and journalists out there who I have a great deal of respect for... But the ones who sensationalize bulls--t and just run around and talk negatively and misinform people, I have no respect for them. I think they're the scum of the earth."
Lawrence is even more audacious in his concert, which crosses all P.C. boundaries when it comes to sex, marriage, corporal punishment for children and his feelings toward potential terrorists. "I almost f---ed up an Indian on the way [into a plane]," he rants in Live. "Pull up your turban and show me a dot or something!"
Asked if he thinks Muslims and Indians might take offense to such humor, he snaps: "I think you have to look at the film again. That's not about a race. You can view that joke how you want, but... I think you're reading into it a little much. I love all races if you're good people. I don't like negative people."