Friday, September 25, 2009
Rant #97: Baring Ones Soul On National TV
When people like you and I have burdens to bare, we often lookto our friends, relatives and loved ones as people who will offer a shoulder to cry on.
When celebrities have their burdens, they write books and go on network television to vent their frustrations.
The latest celebrity to go this route is Mackenzie Phillips, the former child star and long-time drug abuser, who recently went on Oprah Winfrey’s daily gabfest to not only push her book, but also to tell the world a deep, dark secret: she had had a long-term inappropriate relationship with her father, John, the leader of the classic Mamas and Papas pop group.
Phillips said she had been abused for many years, to the point that the relationship had become consensual. It was only terminated because Phillips became pregnant, and thought her father might have sired the child (she had been married during this period, so it was either her husband or her father).
If what Phillips said is true, it is a devastating admission about her relationship with her dad. Of course, he is not here to defend himself, and her credibility as a long-time drug abuser has to be questioned.
That being what it is, why is Phillips using the Oprah show as a platform to tell the world about this supposed experience? Is she doing it to hawk a book, or is she doing it to “come clean” to the public at large? Is she doing it to revive her career, or to help other women come out with their own admissions?
Whatever the case, celebrities going on national TV shows to air their dirty laundry is nothing new. Just a week before Phillips, Whitney Houston came out with her own stories about her relationship with Bobby Brown.
And, of course, she came out with these admissions as her new album was being released.
You just have to wonder why celebrities feel the need to unload their feelings in front of millions of people. First off, why not do this with a licensed therapist that can help you deal with these feelings? The last time I looked, Oprah did not have this attribute on her resume.
Secondly, what are the celebrities’ motives for doing this and are the hosts of these shows going for ratings or are they truly concerned for these people?
I do not understand why celebrities’ skeletons in their closets are not handled in a better way. Why must they come on these shows and air their dirty laundry like they do?
Again, I don’t know if Phillips’ story is credible or not. Based on her past, there are lots of questions to be asked about this, and again, her father is not here to defend himself.
But that doesn’t excuse celebrities from using these shows as their own pulpit, not only to expunge some demons but to sell some product.
To me, it just isn’t the right thing to do.
Posted by Larry at 4:03 AM