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Barbara Walters regrets Ricky Martin gay interview

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  1. “In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was.”

    I don’t see why Barbara Walters feels responsible for ending his career.

    She’s a journalist. Runmours were circulating wildly about his sexuality. It was perfectly reasonable for her to ask him about his sexuality.

    It’s his cheesy, horrid music coupled with his lack of honesty that ended his career – not Barbara Walters.

    I reckon if he had come out at the time then his career may have survived.

    This whole ‘I don’t comment on my private life’ is no longer an acceptable response.

    Look at Mika – his 1st album was a massive, massive hit and he went down the Ricky Martin route of being coy when questioned about his sexuality.

    Result – he alienated both his gay and straight fans and his second album was a massive flop – despite being as good as his 1st album.

    Elton John; George Michael; Michael Stipe; Melissa Etheridge; Will Young; Dan Gillespie Sells; Rufus Wainwright Jr; KD Lang; Sam Sparro; Beth Ditto; bloke from Westlife etc etc etc. have shown that there is no risk to a singer’s career by being out.

    Ricky Martin and Mika show that being coy about your sexuality can seriously damage your music career.

  2. BrazilBoysBlog 9 Mar 2010, 7:20pm

    I completely agree with the above, the problem is still the fear in a lot of peoples minds about societies views of being gay or lesbian. It is easy to preach when not in that position personally I suppose. It may well be that being gay or lesbian does not hurt your career in music, but we must keep up our efforts to make SURE that is the case. We have much work still to do before we get the the position where people say “yeah he´s gay, so what?”

  3. BrazilBoys thanks for yr comments on another thread!! Now, this issue of making people discuss their sexality. is it really nyone elses business if you are gay or not, why should interviewers “push” people to disclose their sexuality. My son is gay (as i said before) i’m proud of all of him, love him dearly, of course. but i do struggle with whether its important that he disclose his sexuality to all and sundry. i know for definate that there are members of my family (my father for example) who would find it quite disturbing to know his grandson is gay. i agree it shouldn’t be like that but sadly it still is. I’m not ashamed or embarrased myself i just wonder if its relevent when i’m talking about my children to say ones straight and ones gay!! actually i want to shout it from the roof tops but i don’t guess many people care too much!!

  4. Yes but it took a very long time for some in that list to admit to being Gay, notably Elton John and George Michael and that was only once they had become part of the national psyche and even then there were persistent rumours for years. I think, Will Young only came out because a tabloid did it for him. Sorry to say, apart from KD Lang, who is brilliant, I’ve not heard of the others.

  5. BrazilBoysBlog 9 Mar 2010, 9:21pm

    @ Lizzie. Agreed. It would be great if being gay was a non-issue. Sadly for many homophobes it is a big issue.

    I honestly do think that times are better than when I was a kid, but there is still much to do and many battles to be fought before we are considered fully equal to everyone else. It´s a battle for hearts and minds as much as anything else.

  6. No 3: “if you are gay or not, why should interviewers “push” people to disclose their sexuality.”

    Because that’s what sells magazines and newspapers.

    If we take your position to its logical conclusion then no heterosexual singer or actor or sportsperson would ever discuss their sexuality.

    That is never going to happen.

    If it acceptable to question Victoria Beckham about her heterosexuality (which is what happens every time someone asks her about her husband) then of course it is acceptable to ask Ricky Martin about his sexuality.

    I suspect what you are trying to say is that you want gay stars to not be subjected to the same tabloid journalistic standards as straight stars.

    I disagree totally with that. That is a reversal of progress and is a step backwards.

    People in the public eye are subject to different standards by the media than Joe or Joan Bloggs on the street.

    If it acceptable to discuss a straight celebrity’s private life in the press, then it is a hypocritical double standard to say that it is unacceptable to discuss a gay star’s private life.

    Times have changed. There are many examples of singers who prove that being open about your sexuality does not damage your career.

  7. SimonM thanks i do understand that its this gossip that sells paapers and magazines but i still don’t think its right to press anyone to reveal their sexuality, hetrosexual or homosexual. so i’m afraid your interpretation of my comments is incorrect, i certainly wasn’t “trying to say” anything other than what i said!!! that pushing anyone to reveal their sexuality is wrong.

  8. “pushing anyone to reveal their sexuality is wrong.”

    But every time someone is interviewed (unless it is a programme like Newsnight of course) it is par for the course for the interviewee to be asked ‘So is there anyone special in your life at the moment?’

    Nobody is outraged on behalf of heterosexual celebrities being asked this question. Even though they are being pressed to reveal their sexuality when asked it.


    Because it is regarded as a perfectly reasonable, standard, acceptable question.

    And if we agree that gay people deserve equal treatment to straight people then there should not be double standards applied to what is appropriate for them to be interviewed about.

    If Ricky Martin had been honest in his answers to Barbara Walters then I suspect he would still have a career.

    As it stands his refusal to answer the question made it look like he was hiding something.
    That is very unappealing to both a gay and straight audience.

  9. Hmmmm SimonM ok i see your point:) (i just hate gosssip).

    ps are you Simon Murphy?? or a new Simon?? x

  10. I’m the same person.

    For some reason when I was posting at work my replies would not publish (although from home they were published fine)

    So I did a quick name change and problem solved.

  11. Rev Laurie Roberts 10 Mar 2010, 1:08am

    Any kind of bullying or dogmatism / doctrinaire thinking, is no good in my book. No-one should be forced by strangers or others to do or say things against their will (at the time)

    But then I have good reason to understand and fear its power. And the power of the mob — any mob…

  12. I never liked that creature. She often did nasty stuff. Now she politically correcting herself. Political prostitute? Looks like!

  13. Her question was perfectly reasonable.

    Speculation about his sexuality was rife at the time. She would not have been doing her job as a journalist if she had not asked the question.

    He had 3 choices in his answer:

    1. To say he was straight – which would have resulted in loud guffaws of laughter from the audience.

    2. To say he was gay – which would have resulted in a national shoulder shrug of people saying ‘Tell us something we don’t know’.

    3. To say ‘Mind your own business’

    He chose option number 3 which was the WORST choice. It implied he thought it better to hide the truth. No-one respects that.

    No straight celeberity EVER says ‘Mind your own business’ when asked to confirm their heterosexuality. It is an absurd response.

    It is equally absurd for a gay celebrity to say it.

    If a gay person is going to voluntarily enter the public eye they need to accept that we are living in a time where thanks to paparazzi and tabloids and the internet, that their private lives are fair game. Trying to be the 21st century’s Rock Hudson or Liberace is simply not going to work. You will not be allowed to get away with remaining in the closet.

    It may be tough. But that’s the reality

  14. Walters is a fossil in journalism, interviewing, etc. I don’t
    know why she’s on anybody’s payroll — she’s outlived her
    one-time talent.

  15. Clay Aitken is another examnple. He came runner up in American Idol some years ago.

    Tabloids and bloggers were referring to him as ‘Gayken’ before he eventually came out.

    Adam Lambert – last year’s American Idol was being referred to as ‘Glamberace’ before he casme out.

    Lance Bass of N Sync was being referred to as gay before he came out.

    All these men were openly gay in their private lives. It was therefore a bit rich of them to expect the tabloids to lie about their sexuality when every single detail of someone like Britney Spears’s life was available for public consumption

  16. simon – you just dont get it – britney spears’ private life being made public helps her make more money and makes her more successful – its called good PR. a gay man’s private life stops them making as much money and makes them less successful, its called bad PR – as all your examples prove. This bitch walters would have contributed to ricky martins demise in usa because of what she said – they may make good porn over there, but they don’t like openly gay men.

    and lizzie, its very nice you’re ‘researching’ gays because your son is – but you sound like an overprotective interfering MORDER to me. if you’re son has told you he’s gay – its time to let him go – and have sex with some men. the fact that you come from a homophobic family is testament to the grief you will bring on him, and the problems you will, and have already put into his head – I speak from experience. Time to get that ‘one eye’ out of his business and let him get on with his life.

  17. So Jay – effectively what you are saying is the media should collude with closeted gay stars to ensure they continue to make money?

    That is not the job of the media and if you think that it is then that’s absurd.

    And by the way – Adam Lambert’s career is three times more successful than the straight person who actually WON American Idol this year.

    Lance Bass’s moribund career was reignited by coming out.

    And when Britney was splashed all over the tabloids the result was a flop album; losing custody of her children and her father taking control of her estate.

    People vastly underestimate the ability of straight society to deal with the news of someone’s homosexuality.

    No double standards should apply. If it’s acceptable to ask Britney Spears about her private life, then it’s acceptable to ask Ricky Martin about his.

  18. BrazilBoysBlog 10 Mar 2010, 1:28pm

    @17, sad though it is, I agree that it´s a part of life that a ´stars´ personal life will not remain private for long. It´s the nature of the beast these days for gay or straight celebs.

    I do think it is a different matter though for non-celebs. I think people do have a right to privacy and no one should be forced to come-out, or do anything that they are not comfortable with.

    and @16, Thanks for ably demonstrating that some gays are a ´nasty piece of work´. How dare you label someone an overprotective interfering MORDER (whatever that is), you do not know the facts or the people you are so quick to label. Too quick to label someone as homophobic just because some members of the family might be. I´m sure you are ´speaking from experience´…YOUR experience. Clearly that does not apply to everyone.

    I think its great that Lizzie wants to be involved in her sons life, wants to support him and be proud of him. She obviously has much to learn about what it is to be gay and, (not being a know-it-all) she seems keen to learn.

    Good on you Lizzie! I would rather have you for a mother than one who rejects her child and kicks him out to fend for himself… Yes Jay, I too speak from experience!

  19. Jay what ridiculous comments you make, “overprotective interferering MORDER” I AM NOT. sorry if your mother was.
    (BrazilBoys thanks for your support!! x)

  20. Walters regrets that she may be destroyed Martin’s career.

    Oh, Babs! What hubris.

    I regret that you continue to pose as a journalist.

  21. I am not sure who these people are.

  22. David Myers 12 Mar 2010, 10:22am

    The only aspect of this subject that has not been mentioned yeet is the fact that Ricky Martin is hispanic and that hispanic society traditionally is even more homophobic than the average American society, mainly because of its cult of machismo. That does not mean he should be treated any differently than any other star, but it does mean he is more vulnerable to popularity and career destruction due to his preceived sexual orientation and the fact of his predominately hispanic fan base. For instance, would you expect a Jamaican pop star to come out if he/she still lived in Jamaica? Not only would that be the death of their career, it very likely could mean their actual death.

  23. David Myers – Ricky Martin remains a huge star in Latin Anerica,

    It’s only the US where his career is over.

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