ROSANNE & SAMANTHA
HIGHLIGHT BIAS & IRONY
I’m old enough to remember when folks in the entertainment business tried to avoid saying offensive things — or to avoid being heard saying them. If something problematic did get out, stars and their PR minions would scramble to clean up after the ill-considered words.
Recall John Lennon’s observation that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” Given the slide in church attendance already obvious in 1966, that remark had a certain prophetic quality. Yet Lennon was forced to apologize to irate clergy and believers.
In a tense press conference, he nervously tried to explain the origin and context of his controversial quip…
“Well, originally I pointed out that fact in reference to England — that we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that time. I wasn’t knocking it or putting it down. … I just said what I said and it was wrong, or it was taken wrong, and now it’s all this.”
Lennon had at first dismissed what looked to him like the proverbial tempest in a teapot. But the furor — especially in America where there were credible death threats surrounding a planned Beatles tour — made him realize the price of his own thoughtlessness. As recounted in Rolling Stone…
“Faced with the realization that both the tour and his life hung in the balance, Lennon finally cracked. ‘He actually put his head in his hands and sobbed,’ [Beatles press aid Tony] Barrow maintains. ‘He was saying, “I’ll do anything … whatever you say. How am I to face the others if this whole tour is called off just because of something I’ve said?”’”
One wonders if Rosanne Barr is having similar feelings in the wake of her notorious Valerie Jarrett tweet and the cancellation of “Rosanne.”