Making a Big Whoop(i)

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Speaking of Whoopi Goldberg, the AP reports that the "comedy queen" and diet-shake pitch gal is mad as hell at being dropped by Slim-Fast faster than unwanted pounds on a sensible diet regimen. But like any true patriot, her tears are shed not for herself but for her country:

"While I can appreciate what the Slim-Fast people need to do in order to protect their business, I must also do what I need to do as an artist, as a writer and as an American—not to mention as a comic," Goldberg said in a statement Thursday. "It's unfortunate that, in this country, the two cannot mesh."…

"America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal," she added. "In a time when candidate bashing has become the norm, be it on television, in speeches or Sunday morning programs, I find all this feigned indignation about 'Bush bashing' quite disingenuous.

Various news accounts have made it clear that Whoopi's offending remark equated George Bush with Whoopi's own nether regions (btw, when is the anti-prez crowd going to embrace the obvious slogan: LICK BUSH, DICK CHENEY?).

But does anyone have the actual text–or better yet, film footage–of Whoopi's vagina monologue? Sounds like a job in particular for The Memory Hole, or some other Web site that traffics in verboten or semi-secret artifacts.

Indeed, if the tape of what sounds like one of the entertaining shows put on at Radio City Music Hall since the debut of the movie version of 1776 doesn't start circulating, we'll have to pronounce the Internet, what with all its gatekeeper-avoiding, routing-around-censorship, aggregating-knowledge hype, a total failure. It was one thing to keep Earl Butz's dirty jokes secret back during the Ford years, but as Paris Hilton, Jack Ryan, and any number of other folks could tell you, we're living in a different world these days.

This much seems certain: Whoopi will perservere (how you feel about that may well end up becoming part of the MMPI). Her career withstood a series of cinematic neutron bombs (e.g., Jumping Jack Flash, Burglar, and The Telephone) and, after taking over the center square in The Hollywood Squares, the inevitably invidious comparisons to Paul Lynde. Like some sort of Japanese-monster-movie monster (?), she even emerged stronger than ever from her last big public faux pas–a Friar's Club Roast that effectively turned Ted Danson into a minstrel version of Mr. Norman Maine.

NEXT: Phat Fat Coverage

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  1. A bookstore in my neighborhood sells “Lick Bush and Dick in 2004” bumperstickers. And the simple “Lick Bush in 2004” has been a great poster for lesbian demonstrators to use in protest marches.

  2. MTV reportedly was at the event and taped it. Bother them.

  3. Yeah, but why has there not been a similar outcry about Dennis Miller’s allusions to a homosexual love affair b/n Sens. Kerry and Edwards?

    There hasn’t been an “outcry” about Whoopi’s statement. Slim-Fast just sacked her as their spokeswoman. I guess they thought they’d hired the “serious actress” Whoopi, not the “stand-up comic” Whoopi. Now, there *was* an “outcry” that John Kerry skipped a security briefing in order to listen to Whoopi’s routine. But that’s not why Whoopi herself got sacked.

    Dennis Miller, on the other hand, was hired to make smartass remarks about politicians, so he’s just doing his job (although Edwards/Kerry gay jokes aren’t very original — every comic in America has been covering that, it seems).

    Now that the company has made a showy move of dumping a spokesperson who has been a crude, cussing lefty wiseass for her whole career

    The last time Whoopi Goldberg had a public image as “a crude, cussing lefty wiseass”, Ronald Reagan was in the process of trouncing Walter Mondale.

    For the last twenty years (i.e., the entire time most people have been aware of her existance) she’s been doing virtually nothing besides “wise black woman” roles, family-friendly comedies, and voice acting (usually in children’s cartoons). That’s presumably why Slim-Fast wanted to hire her — people associate her with the characters she plays, which are friendly people who give good advice. And don’t tell jokes about their sex organs.

  4. “”America’s heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal,” she added.”

    Since when?

    First Amendment right are about the GOVERNMENT not preventing anyone from saying what they please.

    There has never (and should never) be any such thing as a right to be shielded from any negative consequence that occurs from someone else exercising THEIR rights as a consequence of someones chosen speech – rather it be freedom of contract rights (like Slim-fast dropping Whoopy) or other peoples First Amemdment rights to criticize her in turn.

  5. Actually, the website whitehouse.org is selling bumper stickers with “Lick Bush, Beat Dick”

  6. Actually, the website whitehouse.org is selling bumper stickers with “Lick Bush, Beat Dick”

  7. You’re all missing the real issue — nothing to do with Whoopi’s political comments. Have you noticed how portly she’s gotten? No consumer products company (or entertainment company or sports franchise, for that matter) ever bounced a spokesperson for what they said; only for failing to deliver the goods.

    I’ll bet if you could be a fly on the wall at Slim-Fast corporate HQ, you’d hear them say, “Hey, Whoopi’s not looking much like a slim-faster lately, and her commercials haven’t been moving enough gallons of S-F to pay her big fees, so let’s dump her and get out of the contract based on this political bullshit.” In our wonderful free market world, that’s the only reason a celebrity ever gets canned. Or, to put it the other way, if she were moving the cases of Slim-Fast, they wouldn’t fire her no matter what she said.

    (By the way, the latest bumper sticker here in L.A. reads “Re-Defeat Bush in ’04”.)

  8. If she cares so much about her integrity as an artist, why did she turn herself into a diet-drink shill?

  9. The most frightening part is that she actually considers herself “a comic.” Has she done anything even remotely funny since her acclaimed one-woman show that preceded her debut in The Color Purple? Outside of the Whoopi-Robin-Bruce Vilanch mutual admiration society, almost nobody finds her funny.

    n a time when candidate bashing has become the norm, be it on television, in speeches or Sunday morning programs, I find all this feigned indignation about ‘Bush bashing’ quite disingenuous.

    Yeah, don’t try to rise above or anything.

  10. Found this in today’s Guardian:

    Slim-Fast, the biggest company in the $40bn (?22bn) US diet market, took exception to a passage during the event at Radio City Hall in New York, when Goldberg, waving a bottle of wine, pointed to her genitals and said: “We should keep Bush where he belongs, and not in the White House.”

  11. Let’s not get it backwards. Ms. Goldberg was a didactic, lefty political monologist more Lily Tomlin or Lenny Bruce than real standup for years before she found her way into movies, sitcoms and “Hollywood Squares”. She’s continued to be politically outspoken for all 20-plus years of her career. The reported controversial remarks are unusual only in that they appear to have been funny.

    Why the Slimfast commercials? Probably because her leftward lean isn’t an all-or-nothing rejection of free enterprise and their sugar-and-additive-laden diet shakes worked for her. Not everyone’s politics can be reduced to a five-word catchphrase on the cover of a magazine. I managed to lose 10-20 pounds myself years ago with the help of the stuff. Now that the company has made a showy move of dumping a spokesperson who has been a crude, cussing lefty wiseass for her whole career, I’d want to know if the company’s decision was directly motivated by politics and not just concern over sales before I’d buy their stuff again.

  12. Here are the results of an OpenSecrets.org search for political donations in 2000 and 2004 by individuals listing their employer as Unilever, which owns Slim-Fast. It . . . does not appear to lean to the right, to say the least.

  13. “(btw, when is the anti-prez crowd going to embrace the obvious slogan: LICK BUSH, DICK CHENEY?).”

    I saw t-shirts with this exact slogan in the East Village last month. On a similar theme, also spotted: “The only Bush I trust is my own.”

  14. “America’s heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal.” What a pantload. Sure, in America it’s reasonable to expect no reprisal from government, but from an employer?

    If what Whoopi says is true, then maybe I’ll just tell the boss at work how full of shit I think he and his policies are.

  15. Yeah, but why has there not been a similar outcry about Dennis Miller’s allusions to a homosexual love affair b/n Sens. Kerry and Edwards? His comments were equally crude and vulgar, and yet W got up on stage immediately following Miller’s intro…

    Basically, it’s just sad that the discourse in this country is at such crude level…

  16. I personally dislike Bush and what he’s doing to this country, but I wish people would focus on what he has DONE, rather than the fact that his name could be made to sound obscene. There’s a huge difference between saying, “I dislike Bush because he has endangered civil liberties” versus “I dislike Bush because he’s a poopyfaced stupidhead;” the former might make Bush look bad, while the latter reflects badly on the speaker.

    Likewise, for all the reasons I’m opposed to Cheney, the fact that his first name sounds like a male body part is not one of them.

  17. Anyone wishing to tag Goldberg with cinematic atrocities should remember the straight-to-video “Theodore Rex,” wherein her costar was a dinosaur.

  18. AarvoDC seems to think that jokes about a Kerry/Edwards affair are negative. Around here they were positive, an indication that the candidates didn’t have a hangup with gayness (although in reality, who knows?).

    And last season’s now-cancelled “Whoppi” was often very funny.

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