Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Blake Lively’s Derogatory Slur Infested Elle Feature Proves How Mean Spirited Hollywood Publicists Will Be To Get Their Clients Free Publicity, Yuck
Being from California, I would watch Gossip Girl because I wanted to learn about NY pop culture, so I was sad to hear one of the actresses, Blake Lively, say such insensitive and marginalizing comments in Elle’s March issue. Furthermore, I pause to consider if her publicist arranged this provocative rant. If so, oppressed minorities do not appreciate being used and ridiculed just for starlets to gain press. As a former publicist, I would never do something like this, but not all publicists have consideration for endangered minorities who are working for acceptance and human rights.
I volunteer for MAGNET- Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People. Not too long ago MAGNET organized a phone call campaign when CW, the network Lively works for, allowed the same slur Lively used, “tra**y”, to be used on the reality show “High Society”. Our campaign helped CW make the decision to edit out the offensive slur. There's a strong chance Lively, and definitely her publicist, were aware of their networks run in with the derogatory word.
After meeting her a couple times, my impression is that she is a kind and talented person. Maybe she does not know how offensive the word is. I am more disappointed with her PR team because they are the professionals, and everyone in the PR business knows by now the controversy associated with the dehumanizing slur.
A plea to publicists who advise their clients on sound bites and quotes is let’s please show some professionalism, if not compassion and respect for people who were born with birth challenges by not suggesting derogatory words to our clients. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are harming.
Moving forward, I do hope Blake acknowledges the pain, alienation, and even violence associated with that word, and apologizes.