Mister D: Anybody have any opinions on this: Click Here
From The Advocate March 25, 2008. Am I being too hard on Bette Midler? Certainly
March 25th, 2008
Reading The Advocateâ€™s recent interview with Bette Midler reminded me of why we should never place anyone, much less a celebrity, on a pedestal. It seems like no one will ever be able to live up that idolatry.
Having said that, itâ€™s hard to accept when long-time â€œgay iconsâ€ donâ€™t openly embrace certain issues, like gay marriage, that we think should be no-brainers for them as we see them as our allies. At the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, is it possible to safely lower a celebrity who one may have put up in a pedestal and continue to be a fan of theirs? Right now I am not so sure.
The following is an excerpt from an interview Midler gave in 2003 to Larry King, which I am including as it’s referred to in the article but not included:
KING: I understand. It’s a dilemma to you.
MIDLER: It’s a real dilemma, but I think it’s a dilemma to a lot of people. I don’t think it really hurts anybody. I think — I think — to tell you the truth, my — my — many, many, many of the homosexual men that I know — I can’t speak for the women because — the way I feel — the women, they can look at each other from across a crowded room, and suddenly, they’re mates for life. You know, they — you know, they’ll go out for a Coke, and they’ll just be, you know, move in, and that’ll be the end of it. But gay men, they like to — you know, they like to move around. They like to have — you know, they’re — that’s part of it. That’s part of the fun of being a gay man. So if they’re married, does that mean they’re not going to cheat, they’re only going to be with one…
KING: Well, that’s what they say, they want to make the commitment.
MIDLER: They want to make the commitment…
KING: Why shouldn’t society let them make the commitment?
MIDLER: Well, it’s interesting.
KING: That’s what they’re saying.
MIDLER: It’s very interesting. I’m really wondering how — what that commitment is going to be about.
Has she changed her mind since then? The interviewer seems to give her a pass, but I donâ€™t see a significant shift, particularly when it comes to how she views gay men in general. After reading her article, I am not sure that there is a straight man or woman alive, who could meet the standard the she seems to be setting for gay men who want to have the right to marry.
But why should any of this matter is what I would be asking any music/film fan who enjoys Betteâ€™s work. I guess that it should not as sheâ€™s not done anything to hurt gay men and did not ask to put be put up in a pedestal. Sheâ€™s not pulling a M. Gibson or I. Washington, but for now I need to see if the quality of her contribution (past and future) can offset this knee-jerk reaction to not want to hear from her for a while. It will be my loss but I am just not feeling her after reading the interview.
Mister D: Here’s a link to the newest Advocate interview with Bette -2008: