September 24, 2009, - 12:18 pm
The big story in the mainstream entertainment media is that has-been, drug-addict actress Mackenzie Phillips–most famous for her role on ’70s TV sit-com, “One Day at a Time”–now claims that she and her father, “The Mamas and the Papas” singer John Phillips had an incestuous relationship for ten years, while she was an adult.
I don’t really care about the story or this has-been loser who is trying to sell books (her aptly titled book is “High on Arrival”) and make money. But what I do care about is that this beyond-tawdry story is all over broadcast TV and not in the safe harbor hours. It’s repulsive. First, Ms. Phillips was on Oprah, then, “Inside Edition” and “Entertainment Tonight,” and this morning, NBC’s “Today” Show, which is supposed to be a “news” operation.
With stuff like this on TV after school and in the morning, while kids are home or on their way to and from school, I can understand why some parents don’t allow any TV in their homes. You can hear the questions. “Mommy, Mommy, what’s incest?” “Mommy, Mommy, is daddy going to have sex with me like that lady’s daddy did? And what’s sex?” “Mommy, Mommy, are daddy and I going to make a baby, like that lady did?” “Can Daddy teach me to shoot up, too? Can we shoot up Sweet Tarts?”
Phillips revealed that she only ended her affair (at age 29) with her father because she became pregnant and wasn’t sure whether the father of the fetus was her own father or her boyfriend. So, she claims, her father paid for her abortion. Oh, and dad taught her to shoot up drugs and they were stoners and addicts together. Ah, the beauty of strong Hollywood father/daughter relationships. For once, Oprah does a show displaying fathers in their daughters lives (she usually portrays dads as deadbeats and masters of abuse and abandonment), and this is the “example” she picks. Figures.
Yet another great example of St. Oprah’s “change your life TV.” Someone please tell me how “I slept with my dad and we made a baby” is any different than what’s on Springer or Maury.
This is the sickening stuff that is all over regular TV. Not Skinemax, HBO, or Showtime, not even the Spice Channel or porn on demand. This is after-school and morning TV. And evening TV, too–in case your kid missed the other broadcasts of Mackenzie Phillips “I slept with and shot up with daddy” revelations.
Whether or not the claims are true, I couldn’t care less. We already knew that Hollywood, the entertainment industry, the celebrities, the beautiful people were actually very ugly with no values. And still are. They’re shallow beings with no soul who are part of an accepted cult. They worship at the altar of Sony and Warner Brothers and NBC/Universal and J Records, all of which stand for nothing. And the drug culture they embraced and helped pimp on America does lead to this kind of behavior . . . as those of us who support the drug war have been saying. This is the boundless, limitless behavior of Lalaland. This girl and her father had all the money and fancy mansions and accoutrements of the good life anyone could want, and yet they don’t have a shred of the class you’d find in a random American working in rural middle America, struggling to survive on a farm or in a factory.
Why must we be subjected to these revelations by an aging woman who’s almost 50? Why is this woman doing this now and making these revelations about a her druggie dad, years after he’s dead and can’t defend himself? Well, she snorted up all her earnings on her now decades-old show and has been repeatedly caught and arrested for her addiction to and possession of drugs, including up to a year ago. And she needs cash. She should be using that cash for a drug treatment center. “Buy my book!” Plus, no-one cares about her in Hollywood, and she hasn’t had anything but a bit role in years. She needs attention.
But not too much attention to take away from any Mamas and Papas royalties she might have had coming her way from dear old dead druggie Dad. Maybe that’s why this sick woman is also saying how she understood the incest and thinks he was a good guy, anyway. That’s the ticket. Because in Hollywood, in liberal America, we can’t be judgmental. Even of incest. Because, you know, what might not be right for us, might be perfectly fine for others, and who are we to say how others should live their lives. “Don’t judge. In some cultures, that’s perfectly acceptable.” Blecch.
Ironically, in its day, her star vehicle, “One Day at a Time,” was about this “don’t judge” tolerance BS. It was shocking for its time. In those days, women didn’t get divorced and raise sexually active daughters who were home alone while she worked . . . except on that show, which pushed this as cool on American pop culture. And it succeeded. How lovely–and apropos–that off-screen, it’s “liberated” teen star began sleeping with daddy. The ultimate in throwing off those “awful,” “constraining” traditions and values of the vilified ’50s.
It’s not like we didn’t know that John Phillips–like the rest of his hippie, ’60s and ’70s drug-induced music industry bedmates–was a sleazebag. Multiple wives, multiple girlfriends, multiple families he left and neglected–that’s his legacy. And the drugs. The guy was scum. So, whether or not he and his nearly-as-scummy daughter slept together doesn’t make them any worse than we already knew they were.
Sadly, in our day and age of Oprah and Springer confessionals, the conventional wisdom is that it makes them better, cooler. And that’s the disgusting part. That’s what we’ve been seeing on TV in the last two days.
And that’s the saddest commentary on this whole thing. And it’s a commentary about us, not them.
Still, other words are most appropriate here, and no-one on TV seems to know how to utter them, so I will:
Shut Up, Mackenzie Phillips! Have a little class and shut the heck up.
Tags: abortion, High on Arrival, HOprah Watch, incest, John Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, One Day at a Time, Oprah, sex, The Mamas and the Papas