Around here, we call it a “Pull Up Pal.”
It’s your “boy,” your “girl,” your “bestie, BFF, roomie,” anybody who cares enough about you to turn you around when you’re about to say or do something really stupid.
Man, could Tyrese have used one last week when he made some really mean comments about overweight people.
I don’t know if I’m more upset that Tyrese, who has been a great friend of the show, is so insensitive or because he was just on the Fantastic Voyage Cruise with me for seven days. Could I have triggered his tirade?
Here’s what he said when asked what responsibility he has to inspire people to live healthier lifestyles:
“No two situations are the same. If you are fat and nasty and you don’t like the way you look, do something about it. It’s simple. When you take a shower and you put your fat, nasty body in the shower and by the time you get out, the mirrors are all steamed up so you don’t look at what you did to yourself. That may sound offensive or insensitive, but ultimately, you are big as hell because you have earned that sh*t. You worked your a** off to eat everything in sight to get big as hell. If you got a problem with the way you look, then you need to do something about it. Excuses sound best to the people that’s making them up.”
There comes a point in almost every celebrity or high-profile person’s life when they’re asked about a topic that is bound to cause controversy. What people don’t seem to understand is that in most cases, it’s a set up. When you say the appropriate, expected, politically correct thing, you’re boring and it does nothing for the interviewer’s ratings, magazine subscriptions or the numbers of followers they have on social media. Say something way out of the box and people can’t stop talking about you, the show or publication lucky enough to get you to say something foolish.
It’s all about business, and numbers and popularity…no matter what kind of risk it is to your career.
You have to be smart enough to use the media in your favor and not let it use you to say something that could alienate you from the people who love and support what you do.
Some of Tyrese’s defenders say his words were taken out of context and if we had heard him for ourselves we would have been able to tell that he wasn’t being mean-spirited.
That may be true, but that’s the risk people take when they get too far out of their lanes. I can name 10 comedians off the top of my head who could have said the same thing and gotten a huge laugh. But Tyrese isn’t a comedian. And while we’re on the topic of people getting caught up, let me say Jay-Z is not an Obama spokesman, and Dennis Rodman is not a diplomat or an ambassador or anything that should make him think he can represent the U.S. in North Korea.
There’s nothing wrong with stretching out and sharing your opinion about matters outside of your expertise. They each have every right to do that.
All three need to find a trusted soul who can help them listen to reason and keep them out of trouble. Where is Olivia Pope when we need her?