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    November 21, 2006

    Kelly vs. Clay and Rosie

    Posted by: Chris

    Who would have thought that Kelly Ripa, Clay Aiken and Rosie O'Donnell would be locked in a three-way feud over homophobia, sexism and manners? It all started last Friday, when Aiken filled in for Regis on "Live with Regis & Kelly."

    Apparently the chemistry between Ripa and Aiken wasn't so great, and the closeted "Idol" alum crossed the line when he playfully put his hand over Ripa's mouth as she tried to ask a question. Ripa was visibly upset, and after telling Clay that was a "no-no" exclaimed, "I don't know where that hand has been!" My first reaction to seeing the video on AOL was that the line was a slam at Clay being gay — well, openly closeted. Apparently, Rosie agreed, and said so on "The View":

    Then Kelly Ripa called in, and in between professions of adoration, she and Rosie went at it over whether Ripa's comment was anti-gay.  Kelly's explanation? It's cold and flu season and as a mother she was worried about catching something, since Clay had shaken hands with people in the audience. Give me a break:

    The irony here is that everyone assumes, without really addressing it, that Clay is gay. Kelly claims it was actually sexist for Clay to put his hand over her mouth, something she claims he would never have done to Regis or a male co-host.

    Yes, it's silly, but it's one of those minor blow-ups that offers a window into the culture. Viewing the actual clip of Kelly's reaction, I'm still with Rosie on this one. Probably most encouraging, though, is how matter-of-fact the gay angle is covered, including Rosie's comfort level discussing it — are you watching, Ellen? What a long way daytime talk has come since Rosie's closet days just a few short years ago.



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    1. KJ on Nov 21, 2006 4:16:17 PM:

      Much ado about nonsense, but Regis sure knows a ratings opportunity when he sees it.

    1. Matthew Veritas Tsien on Nov 24, 2006 12:09:18 PM:

      This is where we as a culture make cheap charges of homophobia way too often so as to exploit every and any, real or imagined, opportubity to control speech and make all gays look like super-victims on the take. This is where gayness fails itself.

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