REVIEWING THE NEWS: We may not love her sitcom, but we do applaud Whitney's provocative and insightful blog post in defense of SNL casualty Lana Del Rey.
By Kenny Herzog
We assume this was Whitney's reaction to reading Del Rey criticism. (Credit: Chris Haston/NBC)
When we posted our op-ed regarding Gawker founder Dick Denton and Editor-in-Chief A.J. Daulerio's mishandling (read: reprehensible fumbling) of the Brian Williams/Lana Del Rey private e-mail fiasco, we failed to acknowledge one important repercussion: Their actions not only alienated Williams' confidence and belied any basic journalistic ethos, but also further defamed Del Rey, who'd been plenty humiliated already by bloggers whose explicit goal was to publicly shame her.
It's a mean, mean world we live in, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Whitney Cummings, an often-scorned female entertainer in her own right, can relate to being smothered with ill will. Early this morning, the comedian/actress published an open letter in Del Rey's defense. It's a surprisingly candid, sensitive and absolutely spot-on plea for consumers and critics of pop culture to—in paraphrased Real World-ian parlance—stop being hurtful and start getting real.
Cummings admits she's neither objective nor qualified enough to comment on the veracity of peoples' horror at Del Rey's actual SNL performance. By the same token, we're far from pre-inclined toward solidarity with Whitney, and have been among the voices expressing dismay at her eponymous sitcom and 2 Broke Girls. But what her letter tries to emphasize—and it's a point of view we fully support—is that Del Rey's supposed "Video Games" debacle (which wasn't actually that bad) seems to have opened up a permissive space for simmering discrimination against and regressive attitudes about women in pop culture.
Maybe it was late at night, and Cummings had just polished off a bottle of wine and was feeling sentimental enough to convey how she's "protective of girls, especially young performers, because they live a hard, emotionally challenging, often physically challenging life" and avow that, "Other peoples success doesn’t fuck up our lives and other people [sic] failures should not brighten them." Perhaps all the Del Rey venom hit close to home, but with enough distance for her to comment on it comfortably. Whatever the impetus, and without dismissing Whitney's opinion on the basis of disregard for her television alter-ego, her ballsy testimony is the kind of outspokenness that deserves encouragement and support.
IN OTHER WORDS: You go, girls.
WHITNEY RATING: 2/10
WHITNEY RATING: 10/10
INEVITABLE, INSECURE BACKLASH TO WHITNEY'S REMARKS: Mean People Suck/10
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