"The people had to meet a couple of criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them. Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level." Jann Wenner (co-founder of "Rolling Stone" magazine) discusses why there are no women featured in his new book, "The Masters". It bears noting that English is not Mr. Wenner's native tongue, which explains the awkward phrase "as articulate enough". Shortly after making this statement, Wenner was removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
Every once in a while, I get a hankeringand, if there's one thing you know about me, my hankerings must be hankered. I was driving by an illuminated Krispy Kreme sign on US1 in Fort Lauderdale and decided to treat myself to a hot, original glazed donut. Just oneI do have some self-control.
The voice in the speaker asked if I'd like another for half-price. No thank you, said I. When I got to the window, a woman approached me at a glacial pace. I produced a $20 bill, and she backed away offended. "Smaller?" she asked.
Nothat's all I had.
She then peered at it and complained that it had a tear (it did in fact have a half-inch tear). She shook her head. I asked to speak to a manager. She slammed the window and walked awaywith my donut! I probably didn't need it anyway, but still felt deeply offended.
I arrived home to find an e-mail from Art in Seattle waiting for meand you know it's serious if I'm addressing an "Ask Billy" question so early in a column.
"I'm sure you may have legal reasons for not publishing anything of a factual nature about Hugh Jackman, but it seems the gossip has existed for most of his career. Now that he's separating, will the real Hugh come out (so to speak)? Or is there another party involved?"
In case you missed it, here is the statement issued by the Jackmans: "We have been blessed to have almost 3 decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage. Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth. Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love and kindness. We greatly appreciate your understanding in respecting our privacy as our family navigates this transition in all of our lives."
That's a statement which says virtually nothing. I haven't heard such an abundance of nothing since that non-coming-out speech Jodie Foster made at the 2013 Golden Globes. The Jackmans added, "This is the sole statement either of us will make." That goes on the assumption that they actually said anything.
Since they're not saying anything, allow me to add my two cents (which would have come in handy at Krispy Kreme). I've spent some time with Hugh and Deb, and I've not seen a couple more devoted to each otherif not in a hot, romantic way, then certainly as dear, loving friends. She's a "handsome" womanmore a Camilla than a Diana, if you catch my drift. More likely to muck out the stalls than play polo.
And, obviously, gay rumors are de rigueur when you are as good-looking and genial as Jackman. The couple always made light of the whispers, while firmly denying them. "If he was gay, fine, he would say he's gay," said Deb a few years back. She added that if Hugh were gay, "He'd be dating Brad Pitt or whatever...not that Brad's gay." See, Deb, this is how rumors get started!
Why make this non-statement now? There are two possibilities: 1) A story is about to break; or B) There's another person involved. OK, Brad, the ball's in your court.
Then there's that Jonas divorce. No, not Nick. This is Joethe one who looks like he's undressing everyone with his eyes (not that I'm complaining). He's divorcing Sophie Turner, although I've noted that he's still sporting some jewelry on his so-called ring finger. Who knowsmaybe he dug out that old purity ring.
Once again, we have a couple claiming that the split is amicablealthough I dunno how "amicable" it is when there is alleged Ringcam footage! Where, oh where, are those non-amicable splits? When the wife would call her ex a piece of shit? O the husband would call the wife a cheating whore? Ah, the good ol' days.
I'm not particularly interested in Robin Roberts' marriage. Naturally, we wish them well. I was nonetheless amused to hear that former co-hosts Amy Robach and TJ Holmes were not invited to the nuptialsespecially since Robin and Amy always purported to be very close. One insider claims, "Amy is furious about it. She and Robin were far more than work colleagues, they shared a deep friendship." Not so deep, apparently.
I am very interested in the upcoming wedding of Antoni Porowski and...well, some other hot guy who doesn't wear a shirt. Reportedly, the sexy Queer Eye had a bachelor party and only invited one of his co-hosts. Daytime talk host Karamo Brown told Andy Cohen that Tan France was the only Queer Eye to make the cut. Brown was philosophical about the snub. "When it comes to events like that, family things, weddings, it costs money, so I don't take offense to it." He is hopeful that all the Queer Eyes would be invited to the wedding. "But if we were not, I would be OK."
Speaking of daytime talk shows, everyone's in a tizzy because Drew Barrymore is being picketed by SAG and WGA, but The View isn't. Let me explain the difference.
ABC puts The View under the purview of both the news and entertainment divisions. As such, they are not performers, but personalities (like news anchors, for instance). Secondly, while The View employs writers, none have been used since the strike. All the cohosts are doing their own writingvs. The Drew Barrymore Show which, I am told, has employed (dare I say) "scabs." Still, the buck stops with Barrymore, who defended returning to work by stating, "I own this choice." By the way, let's nip this bit in the budyes, Sherri Shepherd and Bill Maher are poised to also return to the airwaves. Since they are both comedians, they will be writing their own material.
Getting back to Drew, her people have been taking things to the next level. While picketing in front of her studio, the WGA is handing out buttons and other literature. Last week, two members of the audience were asked to leave before the taping began. Why? Because they were wearing the WGA pins! They offered to remove the offending accessories, but they were already tagged for ousting. What did the ejected audience members do? They joined the picket line! This is like the best story I've heard all week! In fact, one of the people said, "It has changed my perspective on her and the show in general. I've been completely alarmed and disheartened by this whole process." YES!
It only got worse for Drew. She was abruptly dropped as host of an awards show in light of all the negative press. And those awards were being given out by the National Book Foundation! Oh, the indignityto be dropped by books! Imagine how much more insulting it would be if she read!
Drew released a video, tearfully defending herself. This prompted Bradley Whitford to say, "Drew Barrymore would like you to know that undermining union solidarity at the most crucial moment in Hollywood labor history makes her the victim. This has been, like, a super-tough week for her."
Enter Rosie O'Donnell, telling it like it is: "Stop taping the show. Stop asking audiences to cross the picket line. Then ask someone to help you craft three declarative sentences. They should follow along these lines: I made an error. I apologize to the WGA for disrespecting the work of professional writers. I apologize to all union members who are withstanding real hardship as I live a life of luxury."
And just like that...Drew broke. "I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until after the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry soon." OK, four sentences.
When Drew has no words and the Jackmans have no further statement, we've definitely come to the end of another column. I'd like to share a few words on the passing of actor Billy Miller. He was adorable and the perfect combination of silly and sexy. Of course, that same combination can also be found on www.BillyMasters.comthe site that lets the pictures (and videos) do the talking. If you simply must hear from me directly, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I actually am served a Krispy Kreme! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.