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11/14/2006

Is it 'so nice to have' Dolly 'back where she belongs'?

by Jeremy Hooper

 Focalpoint Nov2003 Images ChanningCarol Channing's publicist, Harlan Boll, is jumping to the defense of his iconic client, claiming that the reporter who recently quoted the "Hello Dolly" star as making anti-gay comments actually took her words out of context. Boll says in a statement to Frontiers magazine (as posted on the blog of Frontiers' Arts & Entertainment editor, Japhy Grant):

Is [sic] a sad statement on our community when they so quickly choose to believe bad things about people without checking the facts. Especially when they are about individuals to whom we have received nothing but support over the years. In this case the less than accurate interview done with Carol Channing comprised of a series of half quotes and twisted statements.

The reporter misquoted Tim Rowe and me (Harlan Boll) and clearly misquoted Carol.

He says he is quoting from a transcript which he doesnt have. He was asking questions of Carol that were clearly traps. She initially thought she was doing an interview with The Springfield News. I hadnt told her I had switched the two and when the reporter started asking questions about her gay friends, she thought it was going to be one of those interviews where she would have to defend her friends, but when she realized it was a gay trade, her defenses were already up and confusion ensued.

...The guy was clearly trying to bash an Icon and make a name for himself. Sadly these people with ulterior motives exist and have since before Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. I suppose this gentleman has a great future at the National Enquirer.

FYI - what she actually said when asked about gay marriage was that she wasnt necessarily pro gay marriage, because why would we want the government involved in our business and most of her gay friends were in agreement - this include myself. She thought civil unions and civil rights were more important, but "if this is what gay men really want then its their business and I dont care, they can take care of themselves."

With reference to the Bible - she said about gay marriage "You know what the Bible says about it ... Nothing." The interviewer failed to add that last comment in the quote to the interview.

Hmm...does a certain reporter have some 'splainin' to do, or is a publicist just trying to protect his client's career? We see reasons to believe and to question both sides, so we're gonna stay the hell out of this one until the reporter has had a chance to rebut the publicist's assertions. In the meantime, we will allow animated versions of La Channing back into our life, even if we aren't fully ready to accept the real thing:

Carol Channing's Publicist Responds to Anti-Gay Charges [Modern Romantic]

***UPDATE: Brian DeWitt, associate editor of Gay People's Chronicle, has issued the following statement in response to the publicist's claims:

Carol Channing's publicist is doing his job: protecting his client. However, his personal attacks on our reporter are completely unwarranted.

Kaizaad Kotwal set out to interview Ms. Channing about her show in Springfield, Ohio. He was also very startled at her responses.

Mr. Kotwal identified himself to Ms. Channing's handlers as being from the Gay People's Chronicle, and his questions were quite straightforward. The entirety of the interview was published in the article.

Knowing that Carol Channing is 85 years old and has been touring extensively for decades, it's understandable that she might be a little confused; she might have been tired.

However, what Kaizaad Kotwal wrote is the truth of what was said.

Ms. Channing's publicist misrepresents Kotwal in his press release, and misrepresents the response of the people at the theater in Springfield.

***UPDATE, 11/17: Doghouse not good for career, Channing works to get self out [G-A-Y]

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