Tag Archives: Dustin Hoffman

Can we still admire the work of a person accused of sexual assault? Pink gives a fantastic performance at AMA’s. And my annual tribute to “Cheers” Thanksgiving episode

When I was first starting out in journalism, and I was trying to learn to become a better interviewer, I watched Charlie Rose a lot.

He was on late at night (which fit my nocturnal sportswriter hours), and I remember admiring how well he would frame questions to his subjects, how he would draw out revealing answers, and how his interviews always felt more like conversations than interviews.

I remember ordering a VHS copy of his 1999 interview with Dustin Hoffman right after the Columbine school massacre. The show was one of the most sensational things I’ve ever seen (and thank God for  YouTube, that interview is right here)   and actually watching it and studying it for how Rose elicited such an emotional response from the actor. I followed and watched Rose for years, and greatly admired his skills as a TV personality.

All of this is to say that clearly I looked up to Rose, and now like millions of others I’m horrified to find out what a lecherous, inappropriate man he has been to many, many women over the years. And what I’m wrestling with, and what I’m sure many others are wrestling with, is a question that really has no easy answer: Can we still admire the work of individuals who in “real life” have proven to be so loathsome and disgusting?”

Call it the “Woody Allen” problem: If the person who made the art is despicable, can we still enjoy it? Can’t I still laugh at “Annie Hall” or “The Cosby Show” or a Jeffrey Tambor show like “Transparent” even if I know that a huge part of the show is a terrible person when the cameras are off?

I don’t pretend to know the answer, but for me, it’s yes. The art is different from the person who made it.

Sports fans have dealt with this problem for decades. Baltimore Ravens fans cheered Ray Lewis, who was involved in a double murder, to sack the quarterback. San Francisco Giants fans roared for Barry Bonds, steroid cheat. The list could go on and on.

And I think the same holds for entertainment. “Annie Hall” is no less a work of genius because Woody Allen is a severely flawed, possibly criminal, person. Bill Cosby will hopefully rot in hell, but “The Cosby Show” entertained millions and is still pretty damn funny.

Charlie Rose did horrible things, and damaged women. I hope he pays a huge price for his behavior (and it seems he has, as he’s been fired from both his PBS and CBS shows).

But I am still grateful that I learned to become a better journalist thanks to watching him. And I don’t think any of us who still enjoy the work of these disgraced men need to apologize for it.

***Next up today, you all know how much I worship and adore the amazing singer Pink, who is fierce and fabulous and puts on a hell of a show (we’ve seen her live twice already and are seeing her again next April on her next tour). She was at the American Music Awards on Sunday and sang a beautiful, haunting duet of R.E.M’s classic “Everybody Hurts” with Kelly Clarkson. But her even better performance was of her new song, “Beautiful Trauma,” while hanging off the side of a hotel in Vegas. Watch this, the woman is just incredible.

**Finally today, I don’t have too many traditions on this here little piece of the Internet, but one I’m happy to continue each year is to share the “Cheers” Thanksgiving episode, one of the finest pieces of comedy ever recorded. It makes me laugh every time, and often at a different part: Today I took so much joy out of Ted Danson’s face after he’s shut down Diane’s little speech.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there, and I’m as always grateful you take the time to read Wide World of Stuff.

A guest blog from a pretty “meh” night at the Oscars

barbarastreisand

Hi everyone. In lieu of my normal post-Oscar ranting and raving, my wonderful friend, fellow runner and more importantly, fellow film obsessive Diana D’Abruzzo has graciously accepted my invitation to write a guest blog on last night’s show. Diana and I have been friends for (eek!) 16 years now, since we met as cub reporters at the Wilmington Star-News. She now works in Washington, D.C., loves “The Princess Bride” as much as I do, and is usually hilarious and snarky about awards shows.

So here goes some rambling thoughts from throughout the Oscar telecast.

Take it away, Diana…

** Why didn’t they get Tina and Amy to host?” comment by William Shatner was what everyone was thinking. I’m skeptical about Seth MacFarlane. Don’t care for his humor.
  
**The cutaway to the socks in the dryer during the “Flight” puppet show was priceless.
**I’m annoyed they are using web articles as samples of tomorrow’s Oscar headlines. Why not newspapers, Academy? Not cool.
**”Hell they’re going to give it Anne,” comment by Sally Field in sketch was fabulous.
**Tommy Lee Jones is smiling so much now, I think someone did something to his face.
**Horrible bit between Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd. Not funny.
** The jokes about the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” girl were pretty funny, particularly the “In 16 years, she’ll be too old for Clooney.”
**Not a fan of using the “Jaws” theme to end speeches.
**Jealous Diana is actually a little happy that Jennifer Aniston is looking older.
**Bond tribute now. Guess I can take a nap
**Every time I look at Seth MacFarlane, I think of Peter Brady.
Back to back intros to “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” means I better be seeing some Kyle Chandler soon.
**Jessica Chastain looks more and more like Jessica Rabbit with every awards show.
**So why isn’t the orchestra allowed in the actual Oscar auditorium? Not famous enough?
jenniferlawrence
**Oscar game: singing or lip syncing?
** The “family Von Trapp” bit was … weird. I laughed but then was like, “That’s it? That’s the whole joke?”
**As soon as Christopher Plummer walked to the mic and said “these talented actress,” I said, “just give it to Anne already.”
**There are a lot of Anne haters out there.
**I thought Jennifer Lawrence was hands down best dressed (especially if you include hair, makeup and jewelry). A close second was Stacy Keibler, unfortunately.
**I could never handle the violence of the movie but that blip from “Django Unchained” with the gunshot sound and blood hitting the cotton was so cool and unique.
**Was in the bathroom during commercial break and heard “Ladies and gentlemen, George Clooney!” Never before have I washed my hands so quickly before skidding into the living room.
**Just saw back-to-back Facebook posts from friends who don’t know each other mentioning Cher in reference to Streisand’s hair.
**Just found out I’m not the only one who hears “Memories” and immediately thinks of “scattered pic-tures” from “Big.”

**See they already knew Adele would win so there was no need to sing the other songs live. 

**Why is every women dressed like an Oscar statue  tonight?

**Dude, Dustin Hoffman is shrinking. 
**Charlize Theron’s hair is so awesome.
 
**Love the disheveled Quentin Tarantino. I normally would make fun of him, but I won the category in the Oscar pool, so I’m happy for me, er, him.
**Michael Douglas is so amused by Jane Fonda’s dramatics.
 

**If you direct a tiger you deserve an Oscar.

 
** Making a joke about how late the Oscars is running is a requirement as a host. Like it was a requirement for Kristin Chenoweth to mention her height during each red-carpet interview.
 
**Jennifer Lawrence fell… Isn’t that the worst  nightmare come true for an actress? But i have a feeling getting an Oscar probably evens things out.
 

**I don’t think Streep even opened the envelope before announcing Daniel Day-Lewis’ win!

**Loved Daniel’s speech!
**Awkward camera pause on that guy who was not Steven Spielberg as Daniel was praising Spielberg.
 
**Jack Nicholson looks like Danny Devito!

** Michelle Obama giving out Best Picture? Seriously? So stupid.

**So proud of Ben Affleck!
 
** How does Kristen Stewart get to sit behind Steven Spielberg?
** Thought the ceremony was entertaining but between the Obama appearance and the final song, it sure did end on a low note.  But Ben’s speech was great, and I’m so glad he won.