World-renowned comedian, author, actress and television host, Joan Rivers, seems to have had good reason when she exploded at journalist Fredricka Whitfield of CNN. Whitfield repeatedly badgered Rivers for overtly criticizing celebrity fashion on her TV show, Fashion Police, and then hassled the comedian regarding the copious amounts of jokes she makes towards many of today’s pop culture icons.
Rivers just released her latest book entitled Diaries of a Mad Diva. The Fashion Police star has published numerous books before this latest endeavor, all showcasing her knack for comedic writing and her ability to make light of seemingly dark topics. Past book titles include, I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me, Men Are Stupid…And They Like Big Boobs and Murder at the Academy Awards. Her latest work in Diaries of a Mad Diva has proven to raise a fair amount of controversy in the world of Hollywood.
Many celebrities and public figures that Rivers mentions in her newest book have spoken out against her jokes about them and have become rather defensive. People such as Twilight’s Kristen Stewart have gone as far as to say they wish to see Rivers put behind bars for her words written about the young actress, even though they were intended for comedy. Grammy-winning singer Adele demands an apology for Rivers’ comments about her weight. Rivers answered Adele’s statement with a retaliation “I will write her a major apology on her a**.”
After officiating a ceremonial wedding for two gay men at a Barnes & Noble signing of Diary of a Mad Diva, Rivers received flack for a comedic remark made towards President Obama. A reporter approached Rivers and asked her when the country could expect to see its first gay president. Rivers replied by stating the nation already had one with Obama. When further questioned by the reporter about why she thought Obama was gay, Rivers jokingly stated that it was because the First Lady, Michelle Obama, was a transgender woman. Numerous articles and reports have published negative angles on Rivers’ statements, and one must wonder if the nation can take a joke or if they simply like the idea of creating controversy for the sake of controversy.
The ensuing explosion Joan Rivers conducted towards the CNN journalist had good reason behind it. The journalist consistently made passive aggressive remarks towards Rivers’ behavior, and statements made in her books and on her television program. Rivers stood her ground by defending herself when anchor Fredricka Whitfield accused her Fashion Police critiques on red carpet attire as being too “mean.” Rivers’ response was that she only states the truth she is not mean.
Rivers continued by arguing that she says nothing about celebrity fashion that the viewers at home are not saying whilst sitting on the couch. Rivers’ point can be furthered if one takes into account that the television host has a segment on the show where she brings forth a throwback picture showcasing some of her own most horrendous fashion choices on the red carpet. In closing on the topic, the comedian says her jokes and critiques on Fashion Police are directed solely at the clothes that are being worn and not of the person wearing them.
The interview on CNN continued with Whitfield asking Rivers if she ever worried about taking her jokes too far and offending people. Rivers retorted by stating that one’s life can be extremely tough, and if they can take a dire situation that seems only to bring horror and turn it into a lighthearted joke and make that situation easier handle, then by all means do it. The boldness Rivers displays in bringing to light a human vulnerability of making a joke out of a serious matter is something that is rarely found in the emotionally blocked media and world of Hollywood.
When Whitfield persisted in trying to find negativity in the comedian’s work, Rivers stopped the interview and gave the journalist a piece of her mind. Rivers went on to point out the fact that the interview Whitfield was conducting was turning into a defensive interview. Whitfield appeared baffled by Rivers’ explosion and she was thrown off of her routine in trying to dig up controversial Hollywood dirt. Nearly shouting at the journalist, Rivers puts her in her place by announcing that she is leaving the station and Whitfield is not suited to interview anyone who does humor.
Joan Rivers had good reason to explode at the journalist as she did. The CNN anchor was obviously not suited to handle the forward type of comedy that has kept 81-year-old Joan Rivers a household name for upwards of 50 years. Rivers was justified in her actions and one can only hope future faces of Hollywood will not succumb to the negativity that the media can evidently display.
Opinion by Cody Collier