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JOY BEHAR SHOW
Sandra Bullock`s Adoption Issues; The Pill 50 Years Later
Aired May 6, 2010 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, should white people adopt black babies? Should black people adopt white babies, and why are all the lesbians in my neighborhood adopting Chinese babies?
Then, the pill turns 50 years old today while men`s refusal to take responsibility for birth control turns 300,096.
And court any love says she`s great in bed because homely people try harder. Hey, Alan Greenspan, call me
That and more in a bit.
As America`s most famous mom du jour, Sandra Bullock is getting ready to celebrate her first Mother`s Day, but there`s controversy. Some in the African-American community are objecting to Sandra`s interracial adoption.
Here to talk about it are syndicated advice columnist for the "Chicago Tribune" Amy Dickinson, who is raising two adopted children of different races; also, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson adoption institute and owner of "Adoption Nation", Adam Pertman; and social commentator and columnist for "Black Voices", Lola Adesioye. Right? Did I say it right?
LOLA ADESIOYE, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR, "BLACK VOICES": Yes, you did.
BEHAR: Ok. Welcome to the show.
Lola, you wrote an article on this issue and you bring up the question of whether a black child is an accessory for celebrities. I found that an interesting comment; what did you exactly mean by that?
ADESIOYE: I don`t think those were my exact words, but the question is I think when we see, you know, celebrities on the cover of magazines whether it`s Angelina Jolie or Madonna who has gone to Malawi to get her baby, now Sandra Bullock -- it`s like this is interesting. What is this about?
It seems to be a trend, and is it about, you know, rescuing kids and having them be this kind of cool thing like a new bag or a new chihuahua?
ADAM PERTMAN, EVAN B. DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE: I don`t think so. I think celebrities adopt children like everybody else adopts children. Is there a trend? There is a trend.
A lot of Americans are adopting trans-racially and have been for 15, 20 years. The difference is that when my next door neighbor does it, there`s no TV cameras, there`s no "People magazine". And when a celebrity does it, suddenly it`s a thing and it`s a, you know, equivalent of a handbag.
I don`t think so. I think people do this because they want to have families and they want to give kids a home.
BEHAR: Ok. Right.
ADESIOYE: In some ways --
AMY DICKINSON, COLUMNIST, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE": Let me jump in.
BEHAR: Ok. Go ahead. Let her jump in and then you can comment. Go ahead.
DICKINSON: Ok. Because this really first started right after the Korean War when Americans started adopting Asian -- Korean children and bringing them to this country so this has been going on for quite a long time, but I agree. Most adoptive parents do so, you know, out of just the desire to form a family, however they do it, and then the celebrity does it and it seems like this whole big trend. I don`t think it is.
BEHAR: Why do you think there`s so much criticism coming from let`s say, you know, right now from Lola, they`re saying that they are accessories? Why would she say something like that? Amy?
DICKINSON: Well, I understand that -- actually, and in my case I do have two -- I am raising two adopted children from different races, one Asian and one from the Dominican Republic. And I would say, I`d also written about this and reported about this several years ago, and I -- I think there are issues. There are problems. It has to be a very, very thoughtfully done, carefully done thing.
And in my reporting on trans-racial adoption I talked to older adopted adults from -- who were raised by other racial, you know, groups.
DICKINSON: And they had real challenges. It`s very challenging.
BEHAR: What`s -- what makes it difficult, Lola, do you think?
ADESIOYE: I mean, first of all, I just want to be clear. I`m actually not being critical like the lady said. I think it`s a very complex issue. And I think this is one that has to be considered thoughtfully.
So I think to say, for example, it doesn`t matter, all kids just need love. I think that`s naive and I think it`s also not necessarily right to say well, they should only be adopted by people of their own race.
So I think it`s a complex issue, but I think it`s a lot to do with identity. It`s a lot to do with, you know, your roots, your heritage, your culture and, you know, I know as a black person who grew up with a lot of white people -- I didn`t have black parents -- I grew up in very, very white area. You know, I --
BEHAR: Where was that?
ADESIOYE: In London.
BEHAR: In London.
ADESIOYE: I was partly educated, I went to a university that had a tiny, tiny black population. I have to actually go out and read books and look for myself to find a sense of who I was.
BEHAR: So you think Sandra Bullock`s baby is going to have a cultural issue like that?
ADESIOYE: Yes. I mean, and I think hopefully she`s considered that, you know, and I think that it`s definitely those things do come into play.
BEHAR: Yes. But Adam -- go ahead, say it.
PERTMAN: We`ve done research on exactly this, on identity and adoption, on trans-racial adoption, and the answer is, of course, it`s complicated. Any time you have a family that`s not sort of your stereotype, which does really exist.
PERTMAN: You`re going to have complexities. Single-parent families, gay-led families, trans-racial families, you`re going to have complexities. These families do what`s incumbent on the parents, as we understand this better and better, is to understand that there are going to be issues. It doesn`t mean you don`t do it any more than in a biological family.
PERTMAN: You don`t do it. But it means that you to educate yourself so that you deal with issues of race and racism that absolutely will come up in this child`s life. And it`s incumbent on the professionals who dealt with her.
PERTMAN: And on her within her family to understand that.
BEHAR: Ok. But Sandra Bullock, who is now the poster child for this type of thing right now, is taking some flack.
I mean, this woman Tariq Alite (ph), who`s a radio host in the United States, she said the adoption was, quote, "A PR move to get her image back on track." Is that fair, Lola?
ADESIOYE: I mean I think that`s a bit ridiculous. It takes a long time to adopt a child.
ADESIOYE: and I don`t think anyone is thinking, wow, this will look great for my image. And if they are, then they really shouldn`t have been able to adopt the child.
BEHAR: Also the other thing about it is that she adopted the child before all of this fallout.
ADESIOYE: Exactly. Yes. It`s been about four years in the process.
PERTMAN: It takes years to do. So, so much for celebrities getting to the front of the line.
BEHAR: Oh, I`m sure that some of them can get to the front of the line. Let`s just not be naive, Adam.
PERTMAN: This took years to accomplish, and so anybody that thinks that she`s that clever, whether she wanted to be a mom, whether it`s a good thing, anybody that thinks she`s that clever doesn`t understand the process very well.
BEHAR: Ok. She spent -- Sandra Bullock spent a lot of time in New Orleans after the Katrina incident, ok. Here`s what she told "People" magazine about adopting her baby from that city.
She said, "We began the process of adoption about four years ago," -- just like you said -- "never thinking about what the child would look like, whether it was a girl or a boy, what background. It didn`t matter."
I think she`s being sincere. What do you think has gone -- she`s facing going forward though?
PERTMAN: She`s facing a lifetime in which she has to understand that her -- she`s not just a white person who adopted a black kid -- a black child. She is part of now of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic family, and she has to treat it in that way just as respectfully of that kid`s culture as she would if she married someone of a different race.
DICKINSON: Can I jump in for one second.
BEHAR: Go ahead. Sure, Amy. Jump in.
DICKINSON: Ok. Because Adam said -- he made a very good point. What I learned in my reporting and certainly in my life now is that it`s vital not to deny the reality of it.
DICKINSON: When I talk to adult adoptees who grew up, one adult, African-American grew up in rural Pennsylvania, completely white community. She said when I went to my mother and I said I`m different. My mother looked at me and said, "No, you`re not. You`re my daughter." That`s a total denial of the reality.
DICKINSON: And she told me that it was very painful for her, you know. Adopted people struggle, have identity struggles anyway. She said it was very, very painful for her because she realized that her mother was so vulnerable she couldn`t ever even bring it up.
BEHAR: Yes. What should she have said?
DICKINSON: And now we know --
BEHAR: What should the mother have said?
DICKINSON: Oh, you say, "Yes, your skin is dark and mine is white. Let`s talk about that." It`s an ongoing conversation, and it should happen through an entire lifetime.
PERTMAN: It`s more than that. It`s really more than that. It`s not what should she have said, it`s what should she have done? You have to treat the family as a complete unit. You have to understand that your child -- one of our research studies on identity and adoption showed that most of the trans-racially adopted children now as adults --
PERTMAN: While they were kids either wanted to be white or thought they were. Now, who is that good for? So -- and clearly not comfortable in their own skin, so it`s --
BEHAR: You`re talking about African-American children?
PERTMAN: These were Asian and African-American children. That doesn`t mean you don`t --
BEHAR: Yes. They thought they were white?
PERTMAN: That`s right, because they wanted to look like their parents.
BEHAR: How does that happen? What do you mean they thought they were white?
DICKINSON: Joy, let me jump in.
ADESIOYE: It`s important -- I think it`s important again to be realistic. When I hear Sandra Bullock saying, "I didn`t think about race and, you know, she said I want him to just grow up not thinking it`s a thing." It`s not a thing. It doesn`t have to be a negative thing.
PERTMAN: That`s right.
ADESIOYE: But when I walk down the street and people see me as black.
ADESIOYE: For her or for anyone to deny that reality is actually damaging to a person. And so I think it`s very important, you know, that when the issue of race is brought up, it`s an emotionally sensitive issue and people get well, you know, we`re just humans and that`s all fine, but we have to deal with the reality of the situation.
BEHAR: Reality is your friend, I think, pretty much if you pay attention to it.
BEHAR: I noticed that when other celebrities adopt Asian children, for instance, Meg Ryan from China and Katherine Heigl from Korea, they don`t get as much negative feedback as when you adopt an African- American child. Why do you think that is, Lola?
ADESIOYE: I don`t think also -- I mean this goes to the thing about the whole, you know, publicity. I`m sure that celebrities adopt children all the time. But the ones we seem to see are the, "Hey, the baby`s from Malawi." And hey -- then it does feed into the idea that like, "What is this?" You know. Are you parading that you brought this thing home from an exotic location?
BEHAR: Well, there is a question. Why not adopt a child from this country. There is that question all the time with celebrities. Why do they have to go to Africa to adopt a child? You must know that there are tons of children in this country.
PERTMAN: Tons. Tens of thousands; but the fact is that there are roughly three to four times as many adoptions from foster care of kids from this country as there are from abroad so it really does happen much more.
The difference with the celebrities is when they go, there are cameras. There are cameras when they go shopping, there are cameras when they give birth or there are cameras when they adopt. And so suddenly we infuse ourselves with this knowledge of what they do when it`s just an aberration. Just like the Russian kid who got returned to Russia.
PERTMAN: An aberration, and suddenly we think we`ve learned so much about it.
BEHAR: Well, you know what, we wish Sandra Bullock all the luck really.
BEHAR: Which I think that she did a very nice thing. You agree, right, Lola?
ADESIOYE: Yes definitely. She`s going to be a great mom to the child.
BEHAR: She`ll be good. Yes.
Sometimes it looks like that though. Ok. Thank you very much.
PERTMAN: My pleasure.
BEHAR: Ok. The pill is turning 50 and Hilary Swank will be here to celebrate the anniversary next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up a little later on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, Bret Michaels`s doctor updates us on the singer`s remarkable recovery.
And `70s action star and feminist icon Pam Grier drops by to talk about her amazing career.
Now back to Joy.
BEHAR: Good news, it`s the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill so to all of you parents with 51-year-olds you can`t stand, sorry.
To help me celebrate are Gloria Steinem, activist, journalist and one of the most important figures in the history of women`s liberation; and Hilary Swank, Academy award-winning actress and producer.
Welcome to the show, you guys.
HILARY SWANK, ACTRESS AND PRODUCER: Thank you.
GLORIA STEINEM, ACTIVIST AND JOURNALIST: Thank you.
BEHAR: Isn`t it -- you`re too young. You don`t remember before we had the birth control pills, Hilary. You don`t remember before abortion was legal.
BEHAR: Do you?
SWANK: No, I don`t.
BEHAR: So what are you exactly here to celebrate?
STEINEM: This is called ageism.
SWANK: You know, I`m here to celebrate the empowerment of women really.
SWANK: You know, because the Step-Up Women`s Network and Bayer, they`re making this thing -- created this thing called "Make Your Mark" and, you know, where women can write in their empowering stories. It goes on to -- on to the web site 50yearsofthepill.com. You go on and turn this essay in and three women can win a grant for $5,000 to help pursue their dreams.
BEHAR: Isn`t that nice.
SWANK: Yes. I just feel like I was given a great gift by my mom to say that I could do anything I wanted in life so it`s nice to just be able to just remind people of that.
BEHAR: You know, someone once said if you get a good mother you`ve won the lottery.
SWANK: I totally concur with that.
BEHAR: It`s so true, isn`t it.
SWANK: The best gift I was ever given was given by my mother.
BEHAR: But you know, Gloria, we have had some back sliding going on.
STEINEM: Big time. Big time.
BEHAR: We were talking during the break. Oklahoma is trying to force women to look at their sonograms before they just say go ahead with the abortion, and teen pregnancy is on the rise, biggest rise in ten years, all of a sudden.
Bristol Palin is going around talking about abstinence even though, you know, as I always say the moose is out of barn already. She`s already given birth to a baby out of wedlock and now she`s talking about abstinence. What do you make of all of that?
STEINEM: Well, in that sense with Bristol, I mean, I think it`s now, you know, she`s well-equipped to talk about abstinence because --
BEHAR: She knows.
STEINEM: She is dealing with the price of it, but obviously we have been sliding backwards because part of the reason that we have this enormous unwanted pregnancy rate among girls bigger than in any other democracy in the whole world is because they don`t know about the pill. They don`t know about other birth control methods. We`ve had abstinence- only education, hello.
STEINEM: -- which doesn`t work, which increases the number of abortions, which increases the number of unwanted pregnancies. So, yes, we have the pill, but we don`t have access to it in all the methods that contribute to having reproductive freedom.
BEHAR: Right. 63 percent of young women say they know little or nothing about birth control. So you think the abstinence education is to blame for that?
STEINEM: Yes. It`s perfectly clear. I mean you can look at studies. That it increased abortion and increased unwanted pregnancy; and you had to have abstinence-only education or you didn`t get federal funds. This is the heritage, you know, so.
Actually 20 states were so angry that they rejected federal funds so that they could have real sex education.
STEINEM: That`s how bad it is, and this is the only democracy in the world in which it`s not just routine, you know, that sex education is part of education in general.
STEINEM: And that contraception is available and often free.
BEHAR: I never had sex education in school. Did you get it in school?
BEHAR: You did. At least they got it.
STEINEM: No, no. There are -- you know, it exists, and it`s just that we compare so poorly to Canada, to European countries, that, you know, treat this as part of life it is.
BEHAR: I mean, I remember when I was a kid in hygiene we used to have animated pictures of sperm going towards eggs, and you`d see it, like, and there was like music and everything. What is this? I had no understanding what they were talking about, you know.
You played many women, Hilary, who forged their own paths. You`ve done "Million Dollar Baby" and you`ve played Amelia Earhart which I really enjoyed. Do you pick those parts on purpose?
SWANK: You know, I mean when I look back and look at the trajectory of the choices I`ve made I think there`s no doubt that I`m inspired by these women. A lot of the movies I`ve played are bio picks, stories about real women. One that you didn`t mention, Alice Paul, one of our suffragettes who helped women get the right to vote.
And like Alice and Gloria, you know, they are blazing these trails for women, my generation certainly to really help shed light on things that we really have to be grateful for.
BEHAR: Right. Do you think that young girls today take for granted, Gloria, all the things that we worked for and struggled for?
STEINEM: I hope so.
BEHAR: You think they take it for granted.
STEINEM: I hope so. I mean Susan B. Anthony said our job is not to make young women grateful; it`s to make them ungrateful. You know, I want them to go forward. Gratitude never radicalized anybody, hello.
BEHAR: That is so sweet.
STEINEM: We have to get mad on our behalf. We didn`t walk around saying thank you so much for the vote. We got mad because we were being treated unequally. And they are, too, so they are very mad that they are not getting sex education, that in pharmacies they don`t even have to have their birth control prescriptions filled because the pharmacist can say no.
STEINEM: You know, that it`s not covered by insurance.
BEHAR: They should be outraged.
STEINEM: That prescription birth control is often not covered by insurance and Viagra is covered. You can`t make this stuff up
BEHAR: I know you can`t. That`s true.
Hilary, do you think that young women are grateful enough to Gloria and my generation?
SWANK: I have to say, I think that we should be more grateful, if anything just remember what women have done for us, you know, to -- to help us live today.
BEHAR: But what you said is so -- is touching almost, like we don`t want you to be grateful.
BEHAR: We`ve got to take a break, ok? Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be back with Hilary and Gloria in a minute.
BEHAR: I`m back with legendary feminist Gloria Steinem and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank.
So what were we saying, that girls today are -- don`t have to be grateful. But my concern is if you`re not grateful or you`re not aware of what was done you might feel like, "Ok, I can just lose it. I don`t care. They are never going to roll back Roe V. Wade," there`s kind of a feeling like that
STEINEM: Well, that is a problem and we do need to know our history, I agree. But the point is to move forward, so we get radicalized so to speak or activated on what we ourselves experience.
I did, too. So young women are, you know, mad about all kinds of things, and they are also concerned about reproductive freedom in general, including the right to have abortion. But what they have experienced is the lack of sex education or the lack of ability to -- to get contraception or it costs too much or, you know, I mean, they are angry about -- about what they have experienced which makes sense.
BEHAR: Yes. I see your point.
What`s your take on these young actresses who can`t get enough surgery? Do you think that is a back slide, Gloria?
STEINEM: Well, you know, I would just like to say to anybody who is contemplating it that it`s really hard to think about what you`re saying when it`s like a bad toupee.
STEINEM: So I`m --
BEHAR: Make sure your mouth can move.
SWANK: I think the harder thing --
STEINEM: People may have to do it to work. I`m not here to criticize them.
SWANK: What Gloria and were talking about earlier is actually the fact that, you know, I think that people, you know, women especially can be objectified so young girls especially are looking at an idea of what they should look like.
SWANK: And also being told this is what you have to look like to get a job in the movies because this is what everyone looks like.
SWANK: So it`s difficult. It`s a challenge, you know, and I think the more that we can talk about it the more we realize that that`s not what we look like. And it`s find your true authentic self and shine in it.
BEHAR: That`s right. You know -- go ahead.
STEINEM: Well, it`s just valuable that we have the Georgia O`Keeffe. Can you imagine Georgia O`Keeffe having a facelift, I don`t think so.
BEHAR: Golda Meir looked exactly like Lyndon Johnson, for example. Exactly. Did you ever see a picture of her?
BEHAR: She is the spitting image of Lyndon.
STEINEM: I`ll look again and I`ll see.
A friend of mine was fiercely defending me against the idea that I had a facelift. She said no, no, no, I know Gloria didn`t have a facelift. I saw her the other day and she looked terrible.
BEHAR: Nice, nice talk. What do you think is the next thing that we all have to work on as women? What`s the next thing?
STEINEM: Ah, gosh, that`s so hard. There`s so many next things, right?
SWANK: I think just kind of stems from what we were just talking about. I think we really need look within and know what`s right for us, you know, specifically for us and live our most true authentic lives rather than saying I want to be her or he makes more money than me, you know. Tend your garden. Who are you?
BEHAR: Who are you?
BEHAR: That was a thing your mother taught you.
BEHAR: You know, it`s Mother`s Day Sunday. Glenn Beck says that Mother`s Day is a fake holiday. I think he`s a fake.
STEINEM: Glenn Beck would feel worse about Mother`s Day if he understood that it was a radical pacifist holiday in its origins in which women said no more are our children going to fight against each other?
STEINEM: That was the origin of Mother`s Day.
BEHAR: Maybe he needs to do a little history lesson for himself.
STEINEM: He does.
BEHAR: Thank you so much, you guys, for coming back.
SWANK: Thank you.
STEINEM: Thanks for having us.
BEHAR: I so enjoy seeing you both.
Up next, I`ll talk to Bret Michaels`s doctor to get an update on his health so stick around.
BEHAR: Well, we have good news. Bret Michaels has been released from the hospital. Let`s find out what he can expect during his recovery. With me for the latest on his condition is Bret`s doctor and neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institution Dr. Joseph Zabramski. Hello, doctor.
DR. JOSEPH ZABRAMSKI, BRET MICHAELS` DOCTOR: Hello.
BEHAR: Well we were all relieved and surprised when we heard Bret was released from the hospital. Tell us about his consider.
ZABRAMSKI: Well, presently he`s in stable condition and improving daily.
BEHAR: That`s good. Well, what was the recovery process going to be like? Do you expect him to make a full recovery or what?
ZABRAMSKI: Yes, I do expect him to make a full recovery at this point in time. He is -- presently he`s suffering from a lot of pain, headache pain and back pain, but neurologically he`s awake, alert. He`s able to walk and talk normally, but whenever he tries to get up and move about or do anything he starts to get severe pain.
ZABRAMSKI: And this is a result of something we call chemical meningitis, the blood that leaked around his brain is now dissolving, and as this blood breaks up it releases toxins that are very irritating to the brain and spinal cord.
BEHAR: That`s terrible. Why does somebody have to endure any kind of pain these days?
ZABRAMSKI: Well, we are giving him pain medications, and normally for someone with these symptoms we would use steroids to help relieve the discomfort, stop the inflammation, but as you`re aware, Mr. Michael`s is a diabetic and giving steroids to a diabetic can result in markedly elevated glucose levels.
BEHAR: I me.
ZABRAMSKI: It becomes almost impossible to control their glucose.
BEHAR: It`s very complicated could. Could this happen to him again?
ZABRAMSKI: You know, I don`t think that he is at any higher risk for this happening again than for anyone in the general population, including yourself.
BEHAR: Really? Let me talk about the prognosis just for a second. I mean, he was on the "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE" show with Donald Trump. The finality - the final, finale rather, is May 23rd. Is he going to make it there, do you think?
ZABRAMSKI: Well, you know, he wants to do that, and he`s a very determined man. Right now I have recommended against it, but, you know, we`ll be re-evaluating him weekly.
BEHAR: Well, thank you so much, doctor, for bringing us up to date on Bret`s condition.
ZABRAMSKI: Thank you, a pleasure to talk about such a nice outcome.
BEHAR: Yes. He really is a nice guy. Everybody in the business seems to like him very much, and hopefully he`ll be back on stage singing soon.
ZABRAMSKI: I hope so.
ZABRAMSKI: Thank you.
BEHAR: Well, I`ll tell who you was on stage sing and dancing last night, Katie Holmes, and she was joined by her husband Tom Cruise who doesn`t sing and dance, but so what, who cares. He`s Tom Cruise. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
KATIE HOLMES: Don`t you know you can`t win you`re no exception to the rule, I`m irresistible
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Riveting. OK. Let`s talk about this with Andy Borowitz of theborowitz.com and comedian Beck Schwartz and "Celebrity" journalist Ben Widdicombe. OK, on a scale of one to ten, how cringe worthy is that?
ANDY BOROWITZ, BOROWITZREPORTCOM: They should show that to the dudes at Guantanamo to make them talk. You know that`s just a really ugly piece of footage. But you know, I think there`s a method to Tom`s madness here because, you know, for years there have been these rumors swirling about him that he`s a good dancer.
BOROWITZ: And I think he`s trying to dispel that.
BEHAR: Well he`s doing a very good job, I think.
BEHAR: In "Risky Business," didn`t he slide and dance.
BEN WIDDICOMBE, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: He was wonderful.
BEX SCHWARTZ, COMEDIAN: Yes without his pants on he can dance.
BEHAR: But this is supposed to be a sketch and it`s supposed to be funny.
WIDDICOMBE: Clearly does not have a musical theater bone in his body.
BEHAR: No. He doesn`t.
WITTICOMBE: Don`t care about those rumors.
SCHWARTZ: Speaking of bones, he was looking away every time he got it like, you know, the skirt was razzing up there, don`t want to see that.
BEHAR: Oh, he didn`t want to appear like a pervert to looking up his dress.
SCHWARTZ: Right but it is his wife though.
BEHAR: Oh it is his wife but in public it`s kind of weird, isn`t it?
SCHWARTZ: This is true.
BEHAR: To be you know - but do you think he`s a better dancer than let`s say Kate Gosselin, Andy? I mean, come on
BOROWITZ: Yes, I think he`s definitely in that stratum. I think they are sort of similar. What do you think about the difference, is she, Katie Holmes a better dancer than Tom Cruise? That`s another question to ask.
BEHAR: What do you say?
BOROWITZ: I don`t know. I felt both of them -- terrifying I guess is the word I would use.
BEHAR: You`re grasping for it.
BOROWITZ: It`s a terrifying spectacle.
BEHAR: By the way, I like your new look. Who died?
BOROWITZ: Well this is -- actually my career. I`m on -- I`m on -- no, no, no. I`m on PBS now. I have a new PBS show called "NEED TO KNOW" on Friday nights -
BOROWITZ: And this is how we roll at PBS, with all the funny men, Jim Lehrer, the guys on "ANTIQUES ROAD SHOW."
BEHAR: Stop, it I`m dying here. I`m dying here. Let`s just go back to this for one second because Hugh Jackman and Catherine - what`s her name -
BEHAR: I always call her Beta Zeta, she was in the audience with Hugh, and they were judging this. How do you think they thought of this? What do you think they thought of this routine?
SCHWARTZ: The choreography was divine. She shoves him across the floor. Tony winning.
WITTICOMBE: And both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hugh Jackman are very accomplished Broadway themselves. They`ve got huge Broadway shows.
WITTICOMBE: Katie Holmes has been on really but they didn`t have to dance, which we can see why --
BOROWITZ: Hugh Jackman can dance with the huge retractable claws of his, which is very impressive I think.
BEHAR: He is unbelievably talented.
BOROWITZ: He is.
BEHAR: Hugh Jackman, did you ever see the thing that he did on Peter --
WITTICOMBE: "The Boy From Oz."
BEHAR: "The Boy From Oz,"
BOROWITZ: Peter Allen.
BEHAR: Peter Allen that`s it, ok.
BOROWITZ: Yes, yes.
BEHAR: Here`s another story now, a statement I saw today from Courtney Love, I just think it`s incredible. Quote, "I was never pretty. Pretty girls just lie there. Us girls would grew up a little more homely have to try a little harder. That`s why pretty girls never threaten me." Now she`s saying ugly people are good in bed. That would explain Julia Roberts` attraction to Lyle Lovett, no?
SCHWARTZ: Whoa, whoa. What is that saying about Lyle?
BEHAR: Well I like Lyle as a musician.
BEHAR: Really you find him sexy?
BEHAR: Interesting taste. - Julia.
SCHWARTZ: Don`t you find him attractive?
BOROWITZ: Let me say, Courtney Love talking about having sex is going to do more for the abstinence movement than the Jonas Brothers. I mean this could be huge. She should go around to high schools talking about sex. Those kids will be virgins until they are 30, I mean seriously, but you know the thing about her too. Courtney in fairness, a few years ago, am I right about this, she was trying to be the pretty girl, getting all glammed up.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, yes, yes.
BOROWITZ: -- like Kiley Minogue.
BEHAR: Yes -
BOROWITZ: And now she`s, I think -
BOROWITZ: Well if you`re Australian, you would know. But now she`s like trying to be oh, I was always ugly, and I`m an ugly girl you know.
BEHAR: But you know Ben or Bex, what she is saying basically is you try harder in bed. She might have a point.
SCHAWARTZ: I guess but her point about pretty girls just lie there, I mean like if you`re just lying there, I think you`re doing it wrong.
BEHAR: You think? I wish someone would have told me that.
BOROWITZ: You know actually -
BEHAR: Now they tell me.
SCHWARTZ: All right, Joy.
BOROWITZ: I can`t comment because we don`t have sex on PBS.
BEHAR: No, that`s true. That`s true, the clarity.
BOROWITZ: We have those nature videos like badgers have sex but not people.
SCHWARTZ: Badger sex is hot.
BEHAR: What do you think about it? Do you think that people are better in bed if they are homely?
WITTICOMBE: You know I love, the French tell a joke about the English, the man up in front of the magistrate charged with necrophilia and he says, I didn`t know she was dead, your honor, I thought she was English.
BOROWITZ: You know people like that -- Kiley Minogue.
BEHAR: Kiley Minogue, oh, yes, who is she again?
BOROWITZ: She`s always telling that one.
BEHAR: OK do we have time for one more story? OK the GOP has launched a sex themed attack ad against Ohio democratic senate candidate and lieutenant governor Lee Fisher. Take a look. Oy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE FISHER, SENATE CANDIDATE AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: I`m the lieutenant governor. I focus on economic development. I admit my job at lieutenant governor has kept me pretty busy, kept me pretty busy. Job creation and saving jobs are our number one priority.
BEHAR: OK. They took the still from a documentary that this guy made. He happens to be shirtless, kind of an older guy, and they put it in this thing and put all this porn music around it. Is that a low blow even for the GOP? Come on.
BOROWITZ: You know, Lee Fisher, this is true. He is from my home town.
BOROWITZ: He`s from Shaker Heights, Ohio.
BEHAR: Oh really.
BOROWITZ: I`m an Ohio voter. I think he has an opportunity here if he does like an ad, and he says vote for me and I`ll put my shirt back on. This could be awesome for him.
BEHAR: Don`t you think this could backfire on the Republican party?
SCHWARTZ: Sure but I would vote for him because I find that spot a little bit arousing.
BEHAR: You do?
SCHWARTZ: I like the music.
WITTICOMBE: It makes it fun and interesting. I think it will totally backfire.
BEHAR: Really and he`s not that attractive.
BOROWITZ: But you know what he tries harder in bed.
BEHAR: Yes, exactly. That`s what we like about him.
BOROWITZ: That`s the important thing.
BEHAR: Thank you everybody, very much, and now you can always catch Andy Borowitz on the new PBS series "NEED TO KNOW" in this new outfit. Up next, the cool and classy Pam Grier.
BEHAR: In the `70s, nobody looked better kicking butt and cleaning up the city than she did. Granted she was doing it in the movies like "COFFEE" "FRIDAY FOSTER" and "SHEEBA BABY" but she became a feminist icon. Take a look at her in action in "FOXY BROWN."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When foxy brown comes to town, all the brothers gather round because she can really shake them down. Foxy lady. Foxy Lady
Pam Grier, that one-chick hit squad is back to do a job on the mob as Foxy Brown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Here with me now to talk about her fascinating life and her new memoir "Foxy, My Life in Three Acts" is the legendary Pam Grier. Welcome to the show, Pam. So nice to see you again.
PAM GRIER, ACTRESS: Joy, thank you for having me.
BEHAR: You know, the movies that you made in the `70s were called black -- what were they called.
GRIER: Blacksploitation, a mouthful.
BEHAR: Blacksploitation, it is a very hard word to say but it kind of has a negative connotation, doesn`t it?
GRIER: It does from a certain perspective. There are quite a few of the films done before I had made my first film which was "COFFEE" by males, blacks saying formula -
GRIER: You know, pimps and hos, good versus evil.
BEHAR: Like the "Shaft" movies.
GRIER: They were done by men, they were done by men but when the women stepped into the club it`s black exploitation.
GRIER: And a lot of us women, we`ve come up to a point maybe because I stepped into that role I wasn`t supposed to.
BEHAR: I see. So in certain -- you really were a pioneer in the field for women. Did you know at that time that you were a feminist icon? Did you get that?
GRIER: Eventually, yes. I didn`t know it. It wasn`t a plan. However, growing up with my mom and my aunt who my mom was coffee, my aunt was foxy brown. They were denied so much as women, you know, for education.
BEHAR: from the deep south.
GRIER: South, Midwest, everywhere. Women period. My grandmother, college education, just equality and when the man was in theater at the house, they had to mow the lawn, do things that men did. And my grandfather, always wanted the girls to not be a victim. I want you to learn how to hunt, fish, put up a tent, bring in the boat, drive the tractor, I don`t want you to be left out and be a victim. He stressed that so much.
BEHAR: So the women in the family were really strong role models for you.
GRIER: And maybe as a Midwestern aspect for women in the Midwest. I don`t know.
BEHAR: It was in my neighborhood, too, in Brooklyn. They did all of it.
GRIER: Brooklyn, Wyoming, same thing.
BEHAR: Didn`t matter where were you.
BEHAR: The women were strong now but they real he to be a little stronger.
GRIER: Had to be and still be feminine and still let the man be the hunter gatherer.
BEHAR: Yes, and yet I was reading in your book that you had some very troubling, troubling times when you were a child. I mean, you were raped when you were 6 years old, and then again at 18.
BEHAR: Tell me, who did that to you.
GRIER: Children, really --
BEHAR: They were children?
GRIER: When I was 6 and really teens perhaps. I don`t think they knew what they were doing. I think they were emulating behavior because men had an entitlement of abusing women for many, many years, and I think that was a learned behavior and then in a -- and it traumatized me, and I couldn`t tell the family because I -- I knew that the men in my family would be so outraged.
BEHAR: These teenaged boys.
GRIER: Teenage boys.
BEHAR: Did you know them? Were they in the family? Who were they?
GRIER: Distant relatives and neighborhood boys.
BEHAR: And they just --
GRIER: And I don`t think many of them are alive today.
BEHAR: How did they have access to you?
GRIER: They called me up to a room in the projects where my aunt was living, and I thought we were going to have a sock fight.
BEHAR: Well, you were a child.
GRIER: Yes, come on, because they were -- the older kids were the babysitters so I thought we would have a sock fight like we always did so it led to a horrible incident, traumatized me and thank god, someone stopped it, and then from then on I became this very, very quiet child.
BEHAR: Except you developed a stutter.
GRIER: Yes, I did, and I still have it.
BEHAR: You still have a stutter?
GRIER: I have a mechanism that I can control it, but when I become afraid or I regress to a moment, I -- my stutter comes back.
BEHAR: So you didn`t have a stutter before this rape?
GRIER: No. And people think you get over it. You don`t. There are many things that when they happen, things happen to you, it can remain with you for life, and one of the reasons why I wanted to write this book was to show that I see behavior being passed on from generation to generation to generation, and there is access to therapy, and I hate to see that --
BEHAR: Is that how -- did you go to therapy? Tell us about that for a minute. What kind of therapy did you have?
GRIER: Well, I did have the second rape in college.
BEHAR: That was a date rape?
GRIER: A family friend, date rape. Very traumatic, very surprising, very disappointing, and I know my family would have been just devastated.
GRIER: And women keep those secrets because they think I, you know, I was flirting, maybe I was the cause, the impetus for it, and then the third one was an attempt.
BEHAR: an attempted rape.
GRIER: Attempted when I was working in Los Angeles, and at that moment, at that time, something happened. Something snapped in me where I fought for my life. I went back to work.
BEHAR: How old were you then?
GRIER: I was about 19.
GRIER: 18, 19, and I walked back down Sunset Boulevard to my job, one of my three jobs.
BEHAR: After it happened.
GRIER: Hair disarray, clothes torn, and I fought it, I fought it off, and from then on I changed.
BEHAR: You made a decision at that point.
GRIER: I changed, and I knew. There were times later when I had therapy because I had trust issues.
GRIER: And I wanted to be able to trust people. I didn`t want to go through life being someone who had so much baggage.
BEHAR: Well, you know, if the word survivor applied to anybody, it`s to you, but I have -- I have to take a break, but when we come back, we`ll talk some more with Pam Grier so don`t go away. I want to talk some more.
BEHAR: I`m back with the fabulous Pam Grier. You know let`s talk about some of the men, because you had a serious relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was Lou Alcindor in those days, right?
BEHAR: I remember that. And you didn`t marry him. He wanted to marry you.
BEHAR: And he wanted you to convert to Islam which you were not up for, right?
GRIER: Well, it`s not that I was not up for I thoroughly admire certain parts of Islam. It is -- well, it`s not a generic religion or dogma, it`s monolithic but it has diversity.
GRIER: It`s moderate and conservative and fundamental and could be radical. And he hadn`t made a plan for him, he had just embraced it and wanted me to quickly embrace it. And I didn`t have enough time. I loved him dearly, he`s my first love. And --
BEHAR: Didn`t he give you like, you know, if you don`t marry me, I`m marrying someone else.
GRIER: Yes. He gave me an ultimatum. I was stunned because he was going to marry someone that afternoon if I didn`t -- excuse me, were you seeing someone?
BEHAR: Did he think it was basketball game?
GRIER: Yes and I understood where he was coming from but I didn`t have enough time.
GRIER: And I really loved him. We`re best friends today because he respected my position and I respected his.
BEHAR: OK there was also Richard Prior and Freddie Prince, two guys talented, very talented. Richard Prior in particular was quite brilliant.
GRIER: Yes he was.
BEHAR: And it didn`t work out, too many drugs, I guess, right?
GRIER: He tried. He thought because of my lifestyle and not being around drugs and influence, that he could go cold turkey. And I committed. When I commit to someone and they ask me, I really commit. And he wanted me to help him. Just too many people involved from his past. And it was very competitive.
BEHAR: Did you think you could save him and Freddie, too?
GRIER: No. Because I didn`t move in with Richard. He wanted me to.
BEHAR: But what attract you`d to him? You had Freddie who was in trouble also--
GRIER: Not when I first met them. Freddie had a legacy of drugs. It lasted three to six months. I made him laugh. I put his injured horse in the back seat of his jaguar, to save it, so he knew I wasn`t materialist after his money, after fur coats.
BEHAR: You made him laugh. So that`s an aphrodisiacs probably to make him laugh.
GRIER: Yes and I did. He trusted me. Knew I wasn`t after his frame. And Freddie, I want you to dress and your hair and this and that. And but he played games, he started to play games.
BEHAR: He had a bad end.
GRIER: Yes horrible. But he wanted to always get me pregnant. I just didn`t think that was a game of why are we going through this and because of that immaturity that suddenly appeared, I decided, we`ll be friends. There`s one thing no one wants to hear is, can we just be friends?
BEHAR: Yes those are the words you don`t want to hear. Now I understand your book, a terrific memoir, by the way -
GRIER: Thank you.
BEHAR: They want to make a film out of it. So before we go, who will play Pam Grier? Who do you want? You? Halle Berry? I like Halle for the part.
GRIER: Halle would be fantastic.
GRIER: For it.
BEHAR: She`s a terrific actress too.
GRIER: She`s brilliant. She`s just brilliant.
BEHAR: Well I`m going to go watch it anyway. Thank you, Pam, so much for joining me. Her book is called "FOXY: My Life in Three Acts." Good night, everybody.