I first became aware of Rosie O’Donnell in the late 1980’s when I saw her hosting VH1’s Stand Up Comedy show. I thought she was funny, smart and witty. I thought she was great in Another Stakeout and A League of Their Own. This led to her own talk show. I watched a lot of the first season, including the episode where she finally got to meet Tom Cruise (who has since also turning into a complete nut). It was great that, out of all of the millions of people on the planet, she got to have her fantasy of meeting someone she had a crush on and getting a kiss from him come true. I was genuinely happy for her.
Over the next few years, I watched her show less and less as time no longer permitted me to catch it and I wasn’t too impressed with the “Queen of Nice” persona she was exhibiting. If you’d ever seen her stand up routine, you knew she was anything but. Still, I found the good things she was doing a positive thing. She also came out as a Lesbian, something people suspected for years and no one really cared. It was like your dad saying he liked beer. It wasn’t something you didn’t know anyway.
She revived Broadway in a big way due to her sheer enthusiasm for the genre. She helped a lot of people and raised awareness for many causes via her show. Her magazine was serious and she broached serious topics like depression, obesity, cancer, and foster care. Her autobiography received critical acclaim. She was awarded multiple Emmys for her show and herself but, then, something changed. Rosie turned political. Even in this, she couldn’t do it normally. She became militant in everything she uttered.
There was the incident where she said, “You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun, I think you should go to prison.” Then she ambushed Tom Selleck on his position on gun control. Then, she pissed people off further when it was discovered that her bodyguard was armed. She was a hypocrite. Rosie even had the audacity to tell the great Bernadette Peters that she couldn’t sing “Anything You Do” from the Broadway show “Annie Get Your Gun” unless she removed the line “I can shoot a partridge with a single cartridge.” Peters refused, as she should have, and the cast sang a different song without Peters.
Then came the legal troubles with her magazine, Rosie, which eventually folded. The publishers claimed that she was rude, obnoxious, uncooperative and violent. Rosie countered by saying she removed her name from the magazine because they no longer carried her vision of how things should be. A former colleague testified that Rosie had said, “people who lie, die of cancer.” In the end, the judge ruled against both sides, dismissing the case.
Rosie freaked when she discovered many adoption agencies, particularly those in Florida, refused adoptions to gay couples. While this was a great opportunity for her to raise this topic, she came off as an abrasive, militant lesbian, thus defeating any real debate on the topic.
She is currently getting a lot of criticism for her comments that radical Christians are as bad as radical Muslims. Regardless of the validity of this argument people are sick of hearing about her and her wacky views. Rosie could come out and say, “Jesus was a Jew,” and everyone would immediately think, “Shut up already!”
She comes off as a pushy, abrasive, militant, ill-informed, shove-your-views-in-your-face, radical lesbian. People no longer see her as the witty stand up comic she once was or as the queen of nice. They see hatred for all things non-Rosie. She needs a makeover, fast. My suggestion. Go away for a few years, shut up and come back a little less outlandish.