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Monday
Jan142013

Jodie is Single. And Singular.

Jodie Foster broke the internet. That’s what happens when you are globally famous, drunk, accompanied by a persona non grata (one Mel Gibson) and come out as a gay person… again… sort of. Jodie was being honored with the annual Cecil B Demille award, a lifetime achievement prize earned at the  young age of 50 (we’ve been celebrating her birthday lately right here) and her acceptance speech won the night’s most important intangible prize “Most Talked About”.

Why? Because it mattered.

Watching this storied actress battle with her past self and its direct conflict with The Way Things Are Now was amazing live television. We were watching deeply personal internal backstory play out as a public Living History right there on the television, intoxicated and intoxicating.

more after the jump

Consider that the reclusive actress/director also pretended to eat a stuffed animal just moments before the speech and that that was not the takeaway or the headline or even the meme the next day! But let’s not get distracted as it was so easy to do during Jodie’s mammoth whatishappening offkilter address to the showbiz nation which ABC transcribed for us.

“Well, for all of you ‘SNL’ fans, I’m 50! I’m 50! You know, I need to do that without this dress on, but you know, maybe later at Trader Vic’s, boys and girls. What do you say? I’m 50! You know, I was going to bring my walker tonight but it just didn’t go with the cleavage.”

“Robert [Downey Jr.], I want to thank you for everything: for your bat-crazed, rapid-fire brain, the sweet intro. I love you and Susan and I am so grateful that you continually talk me off the ledge when I go on and foam at the mouth and say, ‘I’m done with acting, I’m done with acting, I’m really done, I’m done, I’m done.’”

“Trust me, 47 years in the film business is a long time. You just ask those Golden Globes, because you crazy kids, you’ve been around here forever. You know, Phil you’re a nut, Aida, Scott — thank you for honoring me tonight. It is the most fun party of the year, and tonight I feel like the prom queen. Thank you. Looking at all those clips, you know, the hairdos and the freaky platform shoes, it’s like a home-movie nightmare that just won’t end, and all of these people sitting here at these tables, they’re my family of sorts, you know. Fathers mostly. Executives, producers, the directors, my fellow actors out there, we’ve giggled through love scenes, we’ve punched and cried and spit and vomited and blown snot all over one another — and those are just the costars I liked.”

“But, you know, more than anyone else, I share my most special memories with members of the crew. Blood-shaking friendships, brothers and sisters. We made movies together, and you can’t get more intimate than that.”

“So while I’m here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this. I am single. Yes I am, I am single. No, I’m kidding — but I mean I’m not really kidding, but I’m kind of kidding. I mean, thank you for the enthusiasm. Can I get a wolf whistle or something?”

[Audio goes out]

“…be a big coming-out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now I’m told, apparently, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show. You know, you guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me. It never was and it never will be. Please don’t cry because my reality show would be so boring. I would have to make out with Marion Cotillard or I’d have to spank Daniel Craig’s bottom just to stay on the air. It’s not bad work if you can get it, though.”

“But seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else. Privacy.”

“Someday, in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was. I have given everything up there from the time that I was 3-years-old. That’s reality-show enough, don’t you think? There are a few secrets to keeping your psyche intact over such a long career. The first, love people and stay beside them.”

“That table over there, 222, way out in Idaho, Paris, Stockholm, that one, next to the bathroom with all the unfamous faces, the very same faces for all these years. My acting agent, Joe Funicello — Joe, do you believe it, 38 years we’ve been working together? Even though he doesn’t count the first eight. Matt Saver, Pat Kingsley, Jennifer Allen, Grant Niman and his uncle Jerry Borack, may he rest in peace. Lifers. My family and friends here tonight and at home, and of course, Mel Gibson. You know you save me too.”

“There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Cyd. I am so proud of our modern family. Our amazing sons, Charlie and Kit, who are my reason to breathe and to evolve, my blood and soul. And boys, in case you didn’t know it, this song, all of this, this song is for you. This brings me to the greatest influence of my life, my amazing mother, Evelyn. Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere and that there are so many things that you won’t understand tonight.”

“But this is the only important one to take in: I love you, I love you, I love you. And I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life. You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally OK to go. You see, Charlie and Kit, sometimes your mom loses it too. I can’t help but get moony, you know. This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting and now what?”

“Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter. Change, you gotta love it. I will continue to tell stories, to move people by being moved, the greatest job in the world. It’s just that from now on, I may be holding a different talking stick. And maybe it won’t be as sparkly, maybe it won’t open on 3,000 screens, maybe it will be so quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle. But it will be my writing on the wall. Jodie Foster was here, I still am, and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely. Thank you, all of you, for the company. Here’s to the next 50 years.”

 

In the history book chapters on the LGBT movement this one will be fascinating to see juxtaposed with Ellen Degeneres's very different bullhorn admission on magazine covers and her own television show so many years ago. That “Yep, I’m gay”, a double coming out which equated the public self (Ellen) with the private (Ellen Lee DeGeneres) opened the floodgates. I’m guessing that Jodie shuddered at the time given her feelings about mixing the two and her own privileged sense of ownership of her own life... her continual preferencing of her own comfort above her community's. And yet here she is all these years later, awkwardly but willfully performing her own Coming Out  but still bristling that she feels compelled to do so.

While it’s true that Jodie has mentioned her former partner Cydney once or twice before publicly, those mentions have always been grossly overstated by those who wanted to claim her as an Out Celebrity and they've always been non-televised… which is an important distinction when it comes to the famous. She’s never stated her gayness THIS publicly. I had hoped that the sudden audio dropout – I believe we missed a whole sentence or two – was merely a cable glitch here in NYC but ABC accounts for it in the transcript. It happened at the worst possible moment in the speech when she transitioned from coyly joking about coming out (“I’m single!”)  to rationalizing her lack of coming out through her continual private honesty. The LGBT community understands this better than their hetero counterparts but it’s impossible NOT to be politicized as a gay person. If you come out, others condemn you for politicizing your private life (read: making them uncomfortable) but if you don't you contribute, however non-malevolently its intended, to the repression and the homophobia that flourishes through societally-condoned ignorance. 

Was that audio-dropped sentence the simple declaration that the LGBT community always wanted from her, a  'Yep, I'm gay' or just merely more talking around it? Jodie Foster is hardly the only closeted celebrity to have indulged in the maddeningly coy but basically honest tactic of never lying about your sexuality but for the lie of pretending it does not exist.

Yet when you read her speech back it suddenly doesn’t sound as incoherent or as dodgy as you remember it but braver... or at least more personal.  Jodie Foster has never been fully at peace with the public nature of her life and she's fought so valiantly about that stance that you have to respect her for it, even if you've been angry enough to judge her for her silence over the years (as I and others have).  Most celebrities who claim the right to privacy are crying wolf -- they'll talk about their marriage or the kid or their colonoscopy or whathaveyou in every interview but if a subject comes up they don't like they'll suddenly invoke their love of privacy. Really but you just said...?). But not Jodie. She's actually meant it. (Any more pliable or more people-pleasing actress than Jodie, would have been entirely undone and defined by the John Hinckley Jr story but in her absolute refusal to engage, it became a footnote).

I don't mean to equate a bizarre peripheral scandal that intruded on someone's life to their personal sexual orientation but when I draw the nonsensical squiggly lines between the two and her other peculiarly stubborn ways (see also: Mel Gibson), a clear portrait of the fierce actress begins to emerge. All things have a shadow side and her sense of entitlement to herself, damn all the rest, which may have saved her in many ways over the years, has done nothing to make life easier for other gay people, strangers and loved ones alike. But last night, she stumbled beautifully towards neutral ground and shared space. No one can claim that Jodie Foster didn't stay Jodie Foster last night. She clung as stubbornly as ever to that guarded sense of Self but with her one free hand she reached out to loved ones, publicly acknowledged their gift to her life, and layed an open hand right there on the world's table for everyone to see. Our move.

Here's to the next 50, indeed.

 

if you liked this piece, why not like The Film Experience on facebook?

previously on our Jodie's 50th birthday celebration
: "Do you have a boyfriend?" Jodie at 17; "You wanna get high on Ripple?" Jodie in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore; Playing Dress Up Jodie in Bugsy Malone; Sex & Sensibility Jodie in Maverick; "Acting shouldn't be your own form of therapy" Jodie at 25;  Jodie is Wrong on the mandatory price of fame

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Reader Comments (79)

It got so scary that I thought she would not only come out, but also reveal Mel Gibson is her sperm donor. Because that's the only reason they're friends. He saved her, and now she can't escape him.

Here am I doing what she dislikes so deeply.

Sorry, Jodie.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The speech itself reads as being very coherent and put-together but its like in that way a script is solid but the "performance" is off. Not that I mean to suggest that Jodie is acting, but she was obviously nervous, moved, emotional in parts and I think that ostensible incoherence in delivery made it that much more effective and moving. It was real and it was honest and it felt natural. And in that way it's difficult, I think, to say if you liked or didn't like it - it just *was* and that's the best thing it could have been.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

I was moved to tears by the speech. Also, Nathaniel, this is by far the best piece I've read on Jodie's speech last night, and I've read a lot of them today.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

I personally felt a lot of hypocrisy throughout the speech but was moved by her tribute to her Mother, as someone who's lost loved ones to alzheimers, I thought the line 'I know you are in them blue eyes somewhere and there are so many things you won't understand tonight' was articulate, beautiful and true.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

That whole speech was such staggering, engrossing, iconic TV. It ranged from charming to strained to gutsy to uncomfortable to amusing to solemn to What is she SAYING? to Jodie Foster is AMAZING, at times within a matter of seconds. I've never seen anything like it and after about a day or so to process it, I still feel both equally moved and conflicted about it. It was both the most disordered address I've ever seen and somehow to most perfect one as well. Regardless of all this, her tribute to her mother was exceptionally moving. So, so eloquent and beautiful.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

I think this is gonna resonate so much that If she had a great role she would win a third Oscar next year.

In the end, everything we're goingo to remember is that she is great, great, great.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I hated that audio drop-out because it really seemed like something that was missed that would make the whole, weird thing make sense.
When I was watching it I was like, "Why are you acting like you're being forced to talk about your sexuality right now?" And also, "Is someone making you star in a reality show?"
The transcript reads SO much better, and coherently, than it played on TV, for some reason.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

It was an incredible speech, much improved on a second viewing. She did seem kind of manic in the beginning but I don't think she was drunk. She seemed fine answering questions right after. My guess was nerves/adrenaline. The speech itself was loaded with Jodie type rhetoric (vagueness masked by literal and figurative language) and very much delivered with anti-Jodie type mannerisms. She's usually more mellow and soft-spoken.

This is slightly off topic, but all of the critiquing social commentary that I've seen has been coming from white gay men. Some of it honestly has colors of misogyny. Feels kind of odd that white gay males are setting the talking points for a lesbian. Has Anybody seen anything from any lesbians or people of color.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenteraleX

I liked elements of the speech but she was most human talking about her boys and her mother. She doesn't want to come out, she never has, we get it. Why that caused so much angst for her at the Golden Globes of all places we will never know. Maybe now she will feel emboldened to tell stories depicting all kinds of love. She was herself as you say, and that takes guts to deliver something real and personal. But the early shout outs were weird and she seemed manic. Do not get the Mel Gibson attachment. At all. I wish her well.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efYg0vQyPGA

She said "Seriously, I hope you're not disappointed that there won't be a big coming out speech tonight [...]"

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryoonah

This is the greatest write-up I've read from you Nathaniel. This is a speech that was slightly uncomfortable to watch at first, an she seemed tipsy, but when you read over her words, you realize it's incredible! She was thanking the people that mattered to her without caring what people thought. The press will of course focus on the sexuality comments, but the most moving part and the best part of the speech was when she was speaking to her mother who has dementia. Imagine the complicated past they must have had. Her mother must have urged her to stay in the closet for her career. Now her mother's mind is going and she will probably die soon.

This was the most honest award show moment ever from one of our most private, reclusive stars. She did things her way and was not going to bow to the demands of people in her community or the press, but at the same time acknowledge the people who mean a lot to her without shame.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMim

Also, rambling as her speech was, it was nowhere near as incoherent as the clip montage that preceded it.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Jodie Foster is my idol again

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNic-no

"Jodie Foster was here, I still am, and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely."

Those sound like the words of an anguished teenager, not a 50-year old, Ivy-League educated woman who has been in the entertainment industry for 40+ years. Jodie Foster is not an innocent. She's had 30 years (as an adult) to make peace with the conflicts of a public life and her privacy.

That's 30 years to remove herself from the public eye. No one forced her to make movies or live in Los Angeles or give interviews or all of the things that come with a career in the movies. If she wanted to be an actress out of the spotlight, she could have moved to Moose Jaw and done community theater.

How can this smart, accomplished, lovely woman still be this conflicted about her sexuality. Frankly, society is moving past her sexuality and her angst about it. Making a positive brief declaration about it - even five years ago - may have been relevant, but the country is evolving and they live in 2013. She is still back in 1983 nervous about who will find out and what it means to be labeled.

I don't have any issues with what she said because ultimately, it's all meaningless. I just wished she hadn't said it all with her jaw clenched and so much resentment in her voice. I hoped she’d have gained some wisdom by now, but maybe it's impossible to ever really grow up all the way in Hollywood.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGregN

This, right here:

“But, you know, more than anyone else, I share my most special memories with members of the crew. Blood-shaking friendships, brothers and sisters. We made movies together, and you can’t get more intimate than that.”

Loved. It!

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

That was come great compellevision last night...I was totally swept up and I didn't even understand what was going on in her speech until about 2/3 through it. It was beautiful.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Eh -- let me dissent, as a Hispanic gay man. These kinds speeches at awards ceremonies are often held up as brave, like Jessica Chastain rewriting ZDT as a feminist story (the truth: "Women can be felons just like men!"). It reminded me of Frank Ocean's bit, also posited as a "coming out." If she was out to relatives and friends, was her speech a coming out? Serious question.

Moreover, I disliked the self-righteousness. She spoke as if the exploitation to which a child actor is exposed -- as grotesque as it is to all concerned -- gave her moral ballast.

So, at best, I'm ambivalent, especially when companion Mel Gibson was at her side.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred

Bravo, Nathaniel.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

I say Jodie Foster's personal life is hers and she has NO responsibility to share it with anybody.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

As the dust settles we'll be left with one thing: OUR VERY FIRST OUT MOVIESTAR, AN AMERICAN FILM ICON NO LESS. Can we focus on that? That's sad and incredible and not all Jodie's fault. It just speaks to the problems within the film industry where if you're not white and male, you're at a disadvantage.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenteraleX

Brandz - so why did she go there at all? She didn't need to. It wasn't 60 minutes, it was the golden globes. If she wanted to come out, she should have done it with SOME pride. Instead she behaved as if it was being dragged out of her. She didn't even have to accept the damned award. I find her approach to it as a joke (I'm single) particularly offensive.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermikey67

Frankly, I don't even think she deserved the Lifetime Achievement Award at all. What has she done, in say, the last 15 years or so? I can't answer why she' half' went there. I also can't answer why she hangs out with Mel Gibson. She's human?

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

@brandz

Meryl Streep has the Kennedy Center Honor and some other honor where she was the first artist in the art of acting to receive the fellowship — how come Jodie doesn't deserve it?

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Nathaniel..

Sorry, but I disagree with you vehemently ... this speech was totally self-serrving and quite a "performance".. there is no way this speech should have been given... she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her lifetime achievement in the Arts ... not because she has been a "secret" gay woman ...everyone has known she was gay for years ... so what?

the sight of Mel Gibson staring with his mouth wide open as if he did not even know where he was diminished the whole bit ... the audience seemed very cool to her piece except when she mentioned her sons and mother.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

@brandz I totally agree with you that Jodie does not really deserve the award in the first place... a blogger who hates Streep ( but constantly mentions her .. as another blogger indicated many moons ago ) does not even know the number of "first" awards Streep has received .. all you have to do is google Meryl and the pages fill with her awards!

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

@3rtful

I'd put Streep up against Foster any day. Again, what has Jodie Foster done in the last 15 years or so?

I think the bigger point of Foster's speech was privacy, not whether she is gay or not.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I have to be one of the very few dissenters.

First of all, it was very rambly and boring.

Secondly, I thought it was out of touch.

This article from Andrew Sullivan sums up my feelings on the Jodie Foster speech very well, which is surprising since I usually don't agree with him. http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2013/01/jodie-foster-steps-out-of-the-glass-closet.html

This one is even better.
http://www.hollywood.com/news/Jodie_Foster_Coming_Out_Golden_Globe_Gay_Opinion/48147928

I thought it was hypocritical, self-serving, arrogant, and condescending to the LGBTQ community. I guess it's possible that maybe Foster is programmed by her experiences to think that being gay requires some form of dignified seclusion, which makes me more sad than angry. But I suspect that this is a publicity grab more than anything.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Riveting. You just *knew* something special was happening right before your eyes.
Also, this has to be one of your best articles Nat.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

GregN - Honestly, no. I don't think so. I don't know where you live that in 2013 we are all so blase about sexuality, because just this past week I had to read about GOP discussing legitimacy of rape and about thousands of French people marching against gay marriage, so as a young woman, not even factoring sexuality in there, I feel, in 2013, that there are A LOT of people that concerned about what I do with my body and my sexuality that shouldn't be at all. And they are very vocal about it, and about how they are in favor of making the life of a lot of women and homosexual people harder.

So I don't think society is anywhere close to moving past her sexuality or her angst about it. And I don't think what she said is meaningless at all. I think the fact that she just went ahead and basically said "Yeah, I'm gay, but I still feel strongly that it is nobody's business" it's actually a pretty big deal.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertee

I shared my 2cents worth on Facebook tonight ...

My Reaction to 8 Reactions following Jodie Foster's Speech at the Golden Globes + My Letter to Jodie

Thought I'd include a short bit here that is at the core of my surprisingly strong reaction:
...
"Is this really happening right now?"
Wow! I'm not sure if any of us truly realize how important that speech was to the LGBT community. I have a new hero. So I am just going to address her now...

Hats off to you Ms. Foster!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unapologetic, heartfelt, and humorous acceptance speech. It was felt around the world. The last few years we've heard more and more of the brilliant minds at work behind the camera thank their same-sex partners at award shows. Which has inspired many hoot, hollers, and shots in living rooms everywhere, but your speech was different. I didn't realize how long I've been waiting to hear a "Movie Star" express their love and gratitude for a partner of the same gender. It was validating and inspiring in a way I never expected. I think you knocked the door to Hollywood's closet off its hinges and I hope a few more will come behind you and knock it down completely...

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJT

Shades of Mary Cheney. Maybe her next career is with the GOP.

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Lifetime Achievement Award was not the proper place to vent!

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Watching it felt awkward like she wasn't landing the punchlines she thought she had, but you're right that it reads much better. It's fascinating these turns of events.

And if must be said that she was looking fiiine. I hope the directorial focus she implies comes to fruition. Wouldn't it be ace to see a lesbian best director nominee?

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Weird, the audio didn't go out here in Europe.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMYS

I really didn't get what Jodie Foster's acceptance speech was supposed to signify. I never liked "outing" stories when the public figure in question isn't ready for doing that, but for someone who values her privacy so much (and condeming the cult of celebrity in the process), I don't see how doing a drunken public display like this isn't hypocritical? She's a multi-millionaire, Ivy-League educated, 2X Academy Award winning actress and director, you know? You made your sexuality the conversation when you've valued not "going there" for decades now with the public. You're certainly not Honey Boo Boo, but it's still disingenuous to me. I didn't get the impression that she was "retiring" (the "next 50 years" comment seemed to betray that notion), but something very bizarre was going on there, and I think she's going to feel very embarrassed about that display in the near future when it's played ad nauseam. Hell, she might even feel that way the day after. I know I feel that way for her already.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiam

Wow lots of bitter pots calling the kettle black in here. Such judgemental people. You'd swear she murdered your mothers or something.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralex

Alex -- this happens. Jodie is a lightning rod. I've always thought she was something of a self-rationalizing coward for not coming out. Since she was never the classic romantic lead but still a HUGE star so she owuld have made a huge difference (i mean look at the world Post - Ellen ! ) But last night I feel I understood her better and I thought her speech was moving. I think she understands -- and bristles -- that the world has been moving, not to more open pronouncements of sexuality at all but to entirely UNprivate ways of living in every sense. She must hate twitter, facebook, and all the rest.

January 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Tim you are wrong to assume she thinks being gay means you must be in seclusion. She was saying as any actor who has been in the spotlight all her life might value their privacy to maintain their sanity. She wasn't putting down other people who are open with their lives. A lot of the commentators and bloggers today aren't getting that she was just saying "that's not me." Wasn't arrogant or self-righteous at all.


You really can't please everybody. Next thing you know in the future people will complain that she doesn't take her girlfriend down the red carpet. She can't live her life for you. She's living it for herself. It's wrong to condemn her just because she won't be a spokesperson for the community. She thanks her partner at award shows like any straight actor and promotes her films, not her personal life. That's what Daniel Day Lewis does. Actors should be private to be believable onscreen. The people condemning her speech need to get off their high horses. She doesn't owe you anything but a performance.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

@ Alex: And are you any better than the "haters"? No, you aren't. Foster aired her dirty laundry out there for millions, and people have every right to feel and respond how they choose to toward it and her. And yes, it had quite the hypocritical air to it. If you don't like the criticisms, you certainly don't have to read them and whine.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Mimi, you bring up a great point. Daniel Day-Lewis is not a flamboyant celebrity. He lives a life very much out of the spotlight, but the big difference is that I know quite a bit about his personal life. I know the names of his wife, of his former girlfriends and partners and I know the name of his children. I know lots about his life because no one, not even him, would think twice about asking him about those things and he would never think twice about answering. So how is it a gross invasion of her privacy to ask her the same questions? "Who do you love?" "Who is important to you?" "What's your family like?" But more importantly, what is so shameful about the answer?

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

I thought it was a beautiful speech. The part about her mom made me cry and made me really miss my own mom.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I guess the part I don't get is why now? No one's forcing Jodie to act. Or direct. Or be a celebrity in the first place. Or accept the Cecil B. DeMille (either as a "lifetime achievement" award or a publicity stunt). Or address her sexuality in any matter. Who was clamouring for this to happen? She's more than set for life both personally and financially. If she hates the cult of celebrity so much (and I can't entirely blame her for that), then why choose such a public venue like this to do whatever the hell that speech was? Sorry, but that's hypocritical. Also, cheaply reducing issues with her speech to being a "hater" is both insulting and pretty reductive. Isn't there room on this forum for critical skepticism as well as rah-rahing?

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiam

Liam she is a director and an actor why shouldn't she accept a lifetime achievement award after you know making movies for more than 4 decades now ? And when you get an award like that you want to acknowledge the people that matter in your life, in this case her ex partner and children and so of course that meant 'coming out' and so of course it was going to be news, so she was addressing that it shouldn't matter. The idea that because she chose to be an actor and is famous somehow means she has an obligation to us as the public is ridiculous to me,, she has always been famous and always been reclusive and guarded about her private life and why shouldn't she? Like someone else who posted earlir said, all I expect from her and pretty much any actor I love and respect is a great film performance that's what I pay the ticket price for a film to see.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

I like how many different kinds of reactions the speech provoked. Personally, I loved it. I was just like Anne Hathaway when it was over. But I can see why people would mind it. It certainly was culturally interesting.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I don't get why it's so divisive. It was HER time, they were honoring her, she could've talked about sheep in Northern Russia had she wanted to.

She's not one of my favourite actresses, even though I admire her craft and obvious talent, I've never been able to feel passionate about her. But wow, that was A speech for the ages, with its flaws and all, I think future generations will find it inspiratonal.

I hate this dissatisfaction with everything, if movie stars come out, the reaction is I don't care, or common, everyone knew, there was no need for that.
If they don't, we say they're being hypocrites. We want them to come out at the moment we think is right (whatever is going on with their lives doesn't matter for us, as long as they're wealthy the have to accept everything), in the way we want them to come out, and possibly that they become role models for other people, even for us. Wow.
I wish straight celebrities were judged so harshly by other straight people this constantly, not for scandals but for not doing something, for being who they are. If only because that could make them see what others go through.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Well said iggy ;)

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

I don't get why people are always harping on Jodie Foster for still being friends with and defending Mel Gibson. None of you really KNOW Mel Gibson personally. Jodie does and for whatever reason we may not know, she loves and cares for him and publicly stands by him. Jodie is obviously an intelligent person, and based what I know about her, also a good person so I don't think she'd be defending Mel if Mel was actually this evil homophobic misogynist anti-Semite most of us think of him as.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

yoonah -- Yes, that's what she said. I didn't miss the audio at all.

I honestly don't understand the praises. She was super late and pretty awkward.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Someone on Twitter compared the speech to The Master, but a day later I think it's more like Margaret: longer than it needed to be and full of threads that don't clearly connect, but ultimately a powerful and beautiful and extremely personal statement. The more it stays with me, the happier I am for Jodie.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Look, I still sensed a cringeworthy amount of self-rationalising and barely suppressed shame in that particular section of the speech. The whole 'privacy' excuse felt incredibly convenient.

On that note, where is David Hyde Pierce's reality show? Also Melanie Lynskey's and Heather Matarazzo's? Since they've been out for ages, I'm sure they despise privacy and, just like all openly gay people, are equal to Honey Boo-Boo. The more I think about the things she said, the angrier they make me.

Most of the speech felt very over-rehearsed too - so many rushed wisecracks.

The closing section about her mother however, was extremely moving.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

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