Monday, September 26, 2011

Bravo's Patti Stanger Insults // Offends Both Gay and Jewish Men

Looks like I picked the wrong night to read a book.  I should have stayed up last night and watched the season premier of "Watch What Happens Live" on Bravo instead (though doesn't it seem like the last season just ended just a few weeks ago?).  Bravo honcho and WWHL host Andy Cohen brought "Millionaire Matchmaker" star Patti Stanger onto the show to provide dating advice to his audience.  Very quickly, she began shooting out very broad generalizations and assertions about both gay men and Jewish men:
Taking calls from viewers, Stanger repeatedly packaged gay and Jewish stereotypes as insight in a segment that offended viewers and made host Andy Cohen visibly uncomfortable. Things started to get uncomfortable when a gay man called in asking a question about maintaining an open long-term relationship. Stanger said, "In the gay world, it will always be open," and continued, "I've tried to curb you people." She then referenced a gay sex site. Andy Cohen recoiled in shock. "I'm down for the monogamy," he said, pushing back on her comments. She immediately burst out laughing. "When was the last time you had a boyfriend?" she asked, incredulously. Another caller hit on similar themes, and got a similar response from Stanger. He called in saying that he was looking for a committed relationship in L.A., but was having trouble finding people with the same priorities. "You're very handsome," she said, "I thought you were straight." She then clarified that he wasn't "queeny," as Cohen made a funny face that expressed his discomfort.
Stanger later warned a female caller off from Jewish men, insisting that "they lie."

Since then, I've seen Stanger's comments referenced on blogs and there were some pretty negative reactions on Sirius OutQ this afternoon. There is even a hashtag movement, #CancelStanger, trending on Twitter since her appearance last night.

Stanger was initially oblivious to fans' reaction, tweeting, "Love that I was trending last night between Packers & Sisterwives!"  She seems to have moderated her response a bit since then, choosing to generalize with LA gays as opposed to all gays: "...It's true LA gays toughest nuts to crack to monogamy!"  Shortly afterward, she issued a gentler explanation ("Attn male Gays: I support you & my comment on WWHL was to LA gay who can't find commitment.") followed by a broader apology four hours later: "So sorry - didn't mean to offend anyone. Love you all. XO".

This entire mess got me thinking about this summer's "Who's your Bravo Peeps?" challenge.  Maybe I should have invited Patti Stanger to my summer camp outing.  Maybe then she would learn that there are gay couples outside of LA who actually care about monogamy and fidelity.


Anonymous said...

Love Patti, upfront and truthful. It is ok Patti gays get offended of any and everything. The reason for that is because they are out of their mind and body.

Jon said...

Truthfully, I wasn't terribly insulted by Stanger's comments, Anonymous. Your's on the other hand...

Either way, thanks for commenting.

Jon said...

I was thinking about your comment earlier today, Anonymous, and thought that I would give you a little more serious answer regarding Patti's upfront truthiness.

On WWHL, Stanger actually dismissed and challenged Cohen assertion that he was "down for the monogamy". On this end, my husband and I are both "down for the monogamy". We know other gay and bi guys who are "down for the monogamy". Maybe it's the gay guys she knows. Maybe it's the clients that she serves. After all, they are coming to her because they are having trouble finding relationship matches. But Stanger has quite a bit of nerve to assert that gay men can't -- nay, won't -- commit to anything but open relationships. It's untrue and she really just needs to stop doubling-down on that line of thinking. IMHO.