** See Rosie O’Donnell’s response to this article at the bottom of this page.**
Rosie O’Donnell wants to buy Honey Boo Boo a house. No, I’m not kidding.
In a new video posted on PeopleTV, O’Donnell goes into great detail about her feelings on the family behind the train-wreck television that is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The show follows a little girl and her larger-than-life family of hillbillies who are proud to show America the road-kill they eat, the mud they roll in and the Go-Go juice that gets little Honey Boo Boo through her hectic pageant life. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo airs on, wait for it, The Learning Channel.
In the new video mentioned above, Rosie O’Donnell appears to be sitting on a porch as she tells the camera why she’s such a staunch supporter of the backwoods pageant clan. “I’m a fan of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I love Mama June, I love Sugar Bear, I love Chubs. I love Smoochie. SMOOCHIE! I love them all.”
O’Donnell continues, opining, “I think that little girl, Honey Boo Boo, is like Shirley Temple. She has a presence and an intellect that goes way beyond her years. Some of the stuff that she says and that she comes up with…I don’t know. I’d love to meet them, and buy them a house.”
My message to O’Donnell? First, Alana is a cute little girl, but Shirley Temple she ain’t. (For what it’s worth, I think some of those endearing one-line zingers Boo Boo pops off with are likely the work of 40-year-old TLC production staffers, but hey, that’s just me going off nearly every other TLC reality series ever made.)
Second, if you’d like to buy someone a house, I know a lot of families who need it who would be happy to accept it, mine included. With all the money seven-year-old Alana Thompson and her ever-growing family are making from their show, reportedly at least $15,000 and up to $20,000 per appearing family member per episode, they can likely now afford any home they’d like. And here begins the “open letter” portion of this article, a complete and lucid departure from most every journalistic standard I could ever hope to adhere to, but which I feel necessary to make my point in this instance.
(Feel free to tweet me if you don’t like what I have to say, or if you do! This is decidedly an opinion piece, and you have the right to yours every bit as much as I do. I’d love to hear it, and may use it in relation to this story.)
Dear Rosie O’Donnell: Are You Freaking Kidding Me?!
In the past few years, my family and I have survived the foreclosure of our home despite making agreed-upon payments to the mortgage company on time every month, sinking thousands into a car that died anyway, dealing with my husband’s crippling on-the-job injury that has prevented him from returning to work since January and working through the recent deaths of beloved family and friends, including my father, all while trying to still pay all my bills and raise my little boy (not to mention three rescue cats and a dog) on what a freelance writer earns…well.
It’s just a tad insulting that people who appear to do little more than procreate constantly, play dress-up, eat too many Cheetos and mix up batches of Go-Go juice in their bathtub like it’s baby meth are the first folks that come to mind when you’re going down the “who deserves a new house for free?” checklist in your head. Besides the fact that these people are no longer needy, they are also celebrated simply for being on television, no different from any reality star. Reality stars who earn very decent money all on their own.
It’s your money, Rosie; you worked hard for it. You’re obviously entitled to spend it any way you choose, and I know you have been involved in many great charity projects over the years. I don’t doubt your willingness to lend a hand to those in need or even question your typical ability to determine who those needy are. However, this particular announcement by you confounds me.
It’s one thing to be amused by or even endeared to a family on a TLC reality show. However, if you’re in the market to make the life of some down-on-their-luck American family a little easier, I’d just like to suggest you sleep on it before declaring to a struggling nation that the most deserving people you can think of gifting with a new home are Honey Boo Boo and her kin, who now make more in a year than most hard-working, truly in-need families can even fathom.
Dear reader: I pledge that some semblance of journalistic integrity and my ability to keep my personal gripes out of my work will return with my next article, so subscribe above for email alerts to new stories now! Also, follow me on Twitter @imagin8ion.
Rosie O’Donnell responded to me directly via Twitter concerning this story. In one of her messages, O’Donnell tweeted, “There [are] many deserving people in the country – too many in need – and each of us decides how and who to help.” While I agree with her completely on this point both in my personal thought and practice (for example, I certainly support some charities and not others, because I can’t afford to give to everyone or I feel certain causes are more dear to my heart), I feel her very use of the term “people in need” emphasizes my point.
While several of O’Donnell’s followers backed her up, favoriting and retweeting her responses to me, Twitter user @Relocatable, seemed to agree with my thinking. “Deciding to buy a home for a wealthy family is a slap in the face to homeless families everywhere.”
Frankly, Rosie O’Donnell can give diamond rings to Kim Kardashian if she so chooses – it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it really doesn’t affect me.