Jodie Foster Stops Lying, Ctd

This Onion report is priceless (sorry for the ad beforehand):

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Some final reaction from readers on this week’s popular thread:

So you continue to assert and condemn Jodie Foster as having attacked other gay people. As I re-read her speech, her strawman was baiting the media, which would surely schedule a press conference, not other gays. Again, cite her language and show where she was attacking others, and say which others you mean. Repeating the assertion does not illuminate anything.

Here’s what I was referring to:

Now I’m told, apparently, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show.

This is both a straw man and a veiled swipe at those like Ellen Degeneres who showed real courage before Foster ever did and worked through the process and in turn made others’ lives freer and happier. I’m with Ellen’s courage, not Foster’s retroactive defensiveness. No one needs to know about the details of Foster’s private life, by the way, which she deserves to keep private. All anyone ever asked for was acknowledgment of the public fact of her being gay. And, as Mark Harris’s insightful EW story last year showed, the new wave is doing this simply, matter-of-factly and incidentally. No one wants a press conference or a fragrance or a reality show. And, by the way, on Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo, a redneck gay man, Uncle Poodle, is very effectively and elegantly integrated into the series and just revealed his HIV status. Now, that’s very 2013. Foster is still railing against 1989. How one reader translates her speech:

“Hi, thank you for this award and for acknowledging me for all the movies I’ve done, I’ve got a big announcement to make but I’m not really going to say it clearly, I’m just going to talk around it like Clarice Starling would do, and look, there’s my date Mel Gibson in the audience looking absolutely desperate and friendless and not weird at all, and I came out a million years ago, secretly, like a real hero, and don’t ask me what I came out of because that’s for me to know and you to only kind of know, and hey, get out of my business, entire world watching me on teevee now, this is private!”

On Sunday night, Jodie Foster just came out as weird.


My favorite part is how right before she goes off on privacy, she mentions how her publicist will probably be mad at her. I love it when a person with a publicist bemoans a lack of privacy.


You’re thinking too hard about Foster. She’s a narcissistic movie star. I didn’t realize how repulsively full of herself she was until she gave that speech.

No modesty about receiving it at relatively young age. (Only three previous recipients have been under the age of 50.) No comment about being one of the few women to receive it. (Only 14 women have received it in the 60+ years the award has been given and the last one was thirteen years ago.) No account of what she’s learned from certain roles or other actors and directors or what a privilege her job is. No reflections on the craft and work of acting and directing.

Ms. Foster just rambled on about how hard it has been to deal with movie stardom, how long she’s done it, and how she had to overcome it and what it’s done to her privacy. From the narcissistic cocoon from which she seemed to be speaking, I don’t think she has overcome it. Stardom made her famous, powerful and a ton of money but it seems to have warped her perspective and humanity.

She’s not homophobic; she just doesn’t care. She doesn’t care about the gay community, other women, or what anyone thinks of her calling on Mel Gibson to be her date. Frankly, I’ve been shocked that anyone in the press lauded her speech. It was like Anna Nicole Smith without the drugs.


Perhaps, just perhaps, her friendship with Gibson exists in spite of his vile acts and the beliefs he has espoused.  Perhaps, just perhaps, she sees that within this deeply troubled man there remains a spark of decency and she refuses to give up on it. Perhaps, just perhaps, like an alcoholic’s sponsor, she is one of the few people that can call him on his shit and guide him out of the darkness.

I was struck, during her speech, by the images of Gibson, who looked sad and small and grateful – grateful that one person had not given up on him, had not written him off.  Perhaps, when she referred to him as having “saved her” she meant that by making the effort to stand by him, to do her best to right his ship, she had found in herself a deep well of compassion for even the lowest man.  As a Christian that concept can’t be foreign to you.

Of course it isn’t. But it is the reverse of what Foster actually said. And another:

How would Foster being out of the closet have helped prevent gay men from dying of AIDS? Would they have reconsidered the risks associated with unprotected sex because Foster’s orientation was weighing on their minds or something? Would AIDS researchers have been extra-motivated in their work, knowing that America’s sweetheart, Ms. Foster, just might be the next to fall ill?

This is extremely silly, collectivist, identity politics. Jodie Foster is an autonomous individual with her own ambitions, her own thoughts, and her own desires, as we all are. Just because she happens to share your and your friends’ sexual orientation does not make her part of your “community” in any meaningful way, and it certainly does not make her obligated to take up the cause of this community’s self-inflicted health problems.

Go see “How To Survive A Plague” and witness the incredible support so many lesbians and straight women gave to their gay brothers and friends in an existential crisis. I’m the opposite of an identity politics maven. But when you are in the middle of a plague, community matters. Another:

In your latest about Jodie Foster’s emotional and clumsy speech on Sunday, you threw a piece of insult about silence equaling death in the general direction of someone who is undeserving of it. Throw it directly Reagan’s way; I do. But Ms Foster is not responsible for the death of people who had AIDS due to her silence about her sexual life. She never once denied being a lesbian or pretended otherwise. Sorry but that was a bold choice 30 years ago or 20 years ago or even five years ago. Jodie Foster came out in front of a global audience of tens of millions on Sunday in her own, sometimes opaque way. But. She. Did. It. Can’t we honor all steps forward even when they stumble?

Yes, we can. Which is why I also said I was “thrilled” by her coming out. Another sees the stage differently:

Among all the reactions to Jody Foster’s speech at the Golden Globes, I haven’t seen anyone suggest that the venue was ill chosen. Certainly the award was in recognition of a lifetime’s work, but that made it someone even more inappropriate. At least I found it self indulgent. Here is a yearly event that is known for imbibing of alcohol and general frivolity, which doesn’t seem quite the place for an extended “I Did It My Way.” Even though there is certainly talk of who wore what, Ben Afflecks’s win, or Jennifer Lawrence’s Meryl Streep comment, most of the attention has been grabbed by the WTF ramblings of Foster.

I hear that Oprah is looking for people who want to get things off their chest.