Susan Olsen aka Cindy Brady peels her cables and the world reacts.
Because she was once a beloved member of that white-bread, wholesomely unrealistic 1970s television family phenomenon known as “The Brady Bunch”, former child actress-turned-radio pundit Susan Olsen, who played lispy pig-tailed Cindy Brady on the show, lit up social media after she was fired following the revelation of her PM diatribe to openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting.
Olsen co-hosted LA Talk Radio’s “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” segment. On Wednesday, December 7, she interviewed Acord-Whiting. After the show, Acord-Whiting went on Facebook to lambaste Olsen. He wrote: “It is wildly irresponsible for LA Talk Radio to allow a Trump fanatic to co-host one of their programs, where she can spew her idiotic lies unchecked. (Being a liberal and a patriot are mutually exclusive? Hillary is causing the protests & hate crimes? The Koran is a political tract.) As much as I love [co-host] Sheena Metal, I think LA Talk Radio needs to give ‘Cindy Brady’ her walking papers. I will not listen to or appear on any shows there from this point forward until she’s gone. This isn’t just disagreeing on, say, tax plans or foreign policy. Susan Olsen spreads outrageous misinformation & it is dangerous and unprofessional.”
Fair enough. In response, Olsen fired back at him in a PM which he then made public:
Ouch. Well. She lost her job. As she should. This isn’t a free speech issue, though she did host an allegedly political show and she PM’ed him, so her message was allegedly private. (Note to all: if you PM venom on Facebook, be aware, it ain’t private). Nevertheless, given our current environment, Acord-Whiting was perfectly within his rights to expose this example of a disturbed individual releasing her ugly because her political beliefs had tarnished her professional demeanor and he upbraided her for it. If she’d just called him out for not telling her in person what he thought, that might have been okay. But she used the pejorative “faggot.” And Trump’s favorite expletive: “pussy.” She showed herself to be in dire need of meds, if nothing else.
LA Talk Radio promptly sacked her. That’s not surprising. If a host goes off on an invited guest like this, she gets handed her walking papers. The media, which evidently doesn’t have enough to fill their 24/7 news cycle, despite all of our president elect’s abominations, took to the airwaves in glee. Nothing like a nearly forgotten child star getting her freak on to send “journalists” into a frenzy of bottom feeding.
She’s hardly relevant anymore. Let’s be honest: who cares what Susan Olsen thinks? Except that Mr Acord-Whiting was on the unfortunate receiving end of her thoughts. And her TV father, actor Robert Reed, died of AIDS after a lifetime of lurking in the closet, a tragedy she knew about. And her TV mom, actress Florence Henderson, a woman of reported grace and compassion, died recently, so we have Bradys on our mind. Or, some people do.
But what has proved most interesting — in an OMG-is-that-a-car-crash? sort of way — was the resultant hoopla on social media. In the wake of Olsen’s meltdown, support for the LGBQT community and Acord-Whiting rallied, but so did support for, if not Olsen in particular (though there have been a few random “God bless her”), then for her right to spew such toxicity.
Top News on Facebook (do they realize what “top” means to us liberal queer leftists?) posted this in Olsen’s defense: “Still be aware that the left is not going away and still tries to punish others with whom they disagree. When you get into the story you realize that apparently it is ok for liberals to criticize others, but don’t you dare say anything bad about them. It wasn’t a homophobic rant. It was being pissed off at someone who insulted you. The left will still try to stifle free speech. It is a trick the left uses. They insult you to try to get a response and then blame you for the response. The fear from business is that they will be protested if they don’t give into the lefts threats and demands, so it is easier just to fire the person.”
Yep. You read that right. It’s not a homophobic rant. It’s all a leftist liberal conspiracy to silence hatred. At least, they understand some of it. Cold comfort, yet there we have it.
Meanwhile, public posters offered up mutilations of the English language such as this gem: “ so this queer got all but hurt and demanded someone’s life be ruined typical liberal well i tell this thing he is a crybaby piece of garbage and to all you little freak libs the lies have been showed concerning your small presence in this country and now it’s time we the people take back our country and you libitards can go find another country to ruin, but good luck because it looks as though the rest of the world is tired of your shit as well”
Frankly, this particular ‘libitard’ is more ‘but hurt’ by the inexcusable lack of proper grammar or punctuation.
Olsen’s co-host, openly bisexual and intersex Sheena Metal, decided we were all waiting to hear from her (we weren’t) and posted: “. . . I have known Susan for over seven years. She has been one of my best friends. We’ve co-hosted a radio show together since 2011 . . . Despite our political differences, which we have both been very open about, Susan has stuck by me . . . She has perpetually been a kind and loving soul . . . There were many things that led up to Susan’s inflammatory remarks of two days ago, many of which I am sure she will discuss publicly herself, when she is ready. However, none of those things made what she said “right” or “okay”, by any means or for any reason . . . I understand the challenges that have befallen the LGBTQIA people in our country and across the world, since the dawn of man. Gay people have lost their families, homes, churches, reputations and, sometimes, their lives, simply for being who they are and loving who they love . . . That being said, I will tell you, that in our seven years of friendship, I have never heard Susan say anything homophobic or derogatory about the LGBTQIA community. . . At this point, I just feel terrible for everyone and anyone who has had their heart hurt by this upheaval . . . My hope is that, as this craziness blows over, and it will, we can all move forward from this, gay and straight, Democrat and Republican, with a better understanding of each other and a renewed intensive urgency, to put this Country back together, in the name of peace and love and understanding and community . . .” And more in this vein, concluding with three heart emojis.
While we in said community appreciate Metal’s sentiments of solidarity and sympathy for us, excuse us if we spare no empathy for Olsen herself. Because the truth is, we should never tolerate this kind of garden-variety gutter smack from anyone. We’ve known since the dawn of man that people can be nice to our face and call us an aberration of nature behind our back. One has never precluded the other. And words can turn into actions; when a public figure incites hatred toward another, we know all too well what can happen. Like Mr Acord-Whiting, Metal has now seen how Olsen reacts to a gay man with the guts to publicly challenge her bigotry. And Metal is right: it’s not okay under any circumstances.
Where does this leave the rest of us? Shaking our heads, no doubt, at the vitriol this election has unleashed. When we feel free to say out loud whatever we think because we’re “protected by the First Amendment”, we’re in a very sorry state, indeed. I don’t think the lady who sells me my razors at Walgreens knows how to do her make-up, but I’d never dream of telling her that, in public or on Facebook or anywhere else. It’s basic human courtesy. You don’t just spew whatever you happen to think, much less if you’re a public personality, as Olsen arguably is, with a responsibility to those whom you invite to your show and those who heed your opinions. Unless you’re Kelly Ann Conway, you understand that in order to maintain a professional reputation, you must exercise appropriate restraint. If we all just decided to let our inner monsters out to roam, what would our society look like?
Pretty much what it looks like right now. And Mrs Brady would be appalled.