Mike Huckabee’s frantic back and forth on his remarks about President Obama’s upbringing (Kenya, Indonesia — Mars?!) and his clucking over pregnant and unwed Oscar-winner Natalie Portman have been very amusing. Not quite as amusing as the Charlie Sheen Show, but pretty close. I was especially tickled by Mike’s dragging in the Mau Mau uprising in relation of Obama. Oh, Mr. Huckabee, who could be silly enough to misinterpret your meanings?
I’m not going to survey the entire landscape of Huckabee’s quotes, or his insistence he was misquoted and – natch — a victim of the liberal media. I am going to focus on this one: “People see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet…” Stop right there.
Mr. Huckabee, Natalie Portman is not a “starlet.” She is a star. She just nabbed an Oscar. (Not that I think she deserved it, but you all know that.) See, back in the day — my day — we knew what a starlet was. She was a young actress, well-known perhaps, but not yet a big name, or a box-office draw. She was a star in training, not blazing, just a hopeful twinkle on the Hollywood horizon. Lindsay Lohan was a starlet, became (very briefly) a star and is now a sad study in how it can all go wrong.
However, over the past decade or so, the word “starlet” has somehow become twisted. I hear it used about past legendary movie females, and I hear it used about today’s younger actresses. Julia Roberts is not a starlet, yet not long ago I came across a magazine piece that described her as such. The late Jane Russell was not a starlet. Elizabeth Taylor is not a starlet! I don’t know how it happened, but this miss-use of the word has to cease. It is grotesque.
Mike Huckabee, you ignorant slut — as Dan Akroyd used to say to Jane Curtin — Natalie Portman is a star. You can get on your high horse all you like about her unmarried state and the baby she is carrying, but the lady is a genuine star of the first magnitude. If you think she is “glamorizing” unwed motherhood to thousands of susceptible, poor, uneducated teenage girls, that is your right to think so. And to say it. (I remember when Vanessa Redgrave was leading us all to perdition with her unmarried pregnancies. Oh, and Goldie Hawn, too. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.)
But just get it right, Mike — she’s a star. And a lovely human being.
But perhaps if Natalie was the daughter of a politician who couldn’t complete a term in office, a daughter who also publicly carried and bore a child without benefit of wedlock, it wouldn’t look so awful to you?