3. She’s too loud.
Though this was one of the more common complaints about Rosie, I think it’s just funny. Was Rosie actually louder — I’m talking decibels here — than her co-hosts? If so, shouldn’t we blame the sound guy?
Of course, the naysayers really mean "loud-mouthed," because everyone on The View has yelled at one time or another. The real problem is that Rosie refused to let things go, back down or make nice. But the truth is that when she was at her most loud-mouthed and boorish, she was mocking Donald Trump.
2. She’s a lousy spokesperson and an easy target.
As the recent spate of comments on the AfterEllen.com blog proves, Rosie’s "sisters" are no less polarized than the Nielsen crowd. Many of us have valued her for her visibility not as the gay voice but as a gay voice. But others say she gives "us" a bad name.
I think there’s a larger point here: There is no "us." Even if Rosie were to try to speak for a group, she’d be a mouthpiece without a movement.
During the Don Imus scandal, Rosie wondered why there was no reaction from the women’s movement. Al Sharpton spoke up, she noted, but where was the modern-day Gloria Steinem? Unfortunately, there really is no modern-day women’s movement or gay movement to speak of or for — so the spokesperson point is moot. And if it’s good that we’re diverse and complicated and have too many perspectives to form a unified movement, then the answer is that more voices are necessary, not a single, perfect representative.
The homophobes and Fox pundits are really to blame for this one. They’ve forced Rosie to stand for the gay community. That’s because they don’t really have many options: Who else is so visibly out? And the conservative cabal will keep using Rosie to prove their points until she shuts up altogether. Then they’ll just find somebody else.
1. She’s too real.
It all comes down to this. Rosie is too real to fit the standard celebrity molds. She’s both a mess and a saint, and that confounds the hype machine. She’s overweight; she loves Broadway; she’s against the war; she’s worried about autism; she’s prone to malapropism; she’s too tall for those standard-issue chairs. Shortening the chair legs made her fit in visually, but she was still a misfit on all other counts.
Some have called her insecure and uncomfortable in her own skin, and Joy pointed out that Rosie both loves and hates attention. That’s because, to quote Harold and Maude, consistency is not really a human trait, and Rosie is human above all else.
Her reaction to the split-screen snafu seemed petulant and unreasonable to many, but to her, it was clear: She’d had enough. Once the Queen of Nice, Rosie has become the Queen of Instinct, and that guarantees a difficult career in an industry that favors image over impulse.
Rosie figured it out as she went along, and she eventually figured out The View wasn’t the right place for her. I’m not sure where she belongs, but I’m glad she lets us see even the clunkiest misstep as she follows her convoluted path. Her wanderings are vastly more engaging than the tentative, sedate discussions of paparazzi and porn, which is what the first post-Rosie View gave us. (You could almost hear the collective lunging for the remote.)
I’ll tune in for whatever Rosie does next, because I’d rather be wincing at Rosie’s latest gaffe than yawning at someone else’s tepid chatter. For nine short, scintillating months, The View had vision. Now it just has a void.