Thursday, March 3, 2011
Thumbs Down: Bridget Screws Birney
First off let me say I LOVED Family Ties (Yo Mallory!!!) and Meredith Baxter was wonderful as Elyse Keaton. (Although didn't you always think those rumors of her being jealous of Fox had some validity...).
Baxter is a good actress and a beautiful woman but something about her current talk show spree (almost as extensive as Charlie's) bothers me. It is not that I don't believe her, I do believe her story to an extent but...
She's a lesbian, cool, I was as happy as the next guy when she came out last year on The Today Show. Now however she has a book to promote, a book to sell, money to make. So... the lead in most of her interviews is the abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of her husband from 1974 through 1989, actor David Birney. Again it is not that I am doubting it...completely, but the story literally REEKS of pushing something sensational simply to sell a book.
Baxter admits her lack of self esteem played into the relationship and the abuse described though not acceptable is also not extreme. Now don't hate me, I loath abuse of any kind, but given the marriage ended over 20 years ago, given they have three children together I find it sort of... well 'skeezy' (it's a word), Baxter is using it now to profit off of. David Birney has denied the claim and given we have only heard her side I question how the impact on her three children compares to the current attention it is getting her.
I suppose it could be argued it helps explain how she became the woman she is and like all celebrities, she can 'claim' it is there to help others in the same situation. Really though, if Baxter were not pushing the sales of her current book the story really helps no one. Through Baxter's eyes, Birney comes off like an complete ass. Maybe he is.
Abuse is never OK, but neither are stories, real or not, used by celebrities for profit or for public sympathy. I am sure another former sit com star, and her family might agree, right Roseanne?