Why Everyone Has A Kate Gosselin In Their Lives



Wow, you really can’t move for Kate Gosselin coverage this week. Between competing on Dancing With The Stars, a whirlwind appearance on the Today show, the announcement of TLC’s new reality series Twist of Kate and of course the tabloid frenzy surrounding her increasingly bitter divorce from Jon – it was Kate coverage on overload.

Now Kate isn’t really the sort of ‘celebrity’ who’s normally on my radar. I don’t watch Dancing With The Stars (I have friends working on the series – but I’m afraid I’m more of an Idol type guy) and frankly I don’t really give a toss about the latest back and forth between Jon and Kate. But in today’s tabloid culture, with Kate’s tear stained face staring out from US and People magazine – you have to admit she’s pretty darn famous these days. And like a lot of people out there – Kate’s success bugs me. But not for the conventional reasons…

Now I know all the stories – some of which I’ve heard from very reliable first hand sources. Kate is demanding, rude, cold and prickly. But let’s face it she wasn’t exactly a bundle of laughs on Jon and Kate Plus 8 either! Women in particular really seem to loathe Kate Gosselin – and normally this would make me want to jump in and defend her (I hate to see people being bullied). But as much as I really, really want to like Kate there’s just something horribly unfair about her situation that goes beyond just Kate and speaks to something in our society as a whole.

Over the Christmas holidays I read Kathy Griffin’s autobiography ‘Official Book Club Selection’. I’m a huge Kathy fan and it’s a great, juicy read but what really stuck with me was how incredibly, unbelievably hard Kathy worked to get where she is today. She played all the very worst comedy clubs, the early hour slots, the demeaning bit parts. And she didn’t just do it for a few months. She did it for over a decade. That woman really paid her dues.

Kathy must have had moments where she questioned whether all her hard work would pay off. Long nights where she thought about jacking it all in and opting for a more conventional, 9-5 job. It would have been the easy way out. But she stuck with it. And bless her – it all worked out wonderfully in the end. Love her or hate her (and Kathy is nothing if not polarizing) – you can’t deny the woman deserves her success.

So I understand why Kathy loves to take the piss out of Kate, or Heidi and Spencer, or Snooki. These are people who did nothing for their success. They didn’t pay their dues. Heck they barely paid for their own dinners. They had a fast track to fame and are milking it for all its worth. And as someone who’s made a lot of reality shows over the years I’ve even ‘launched’ a few of these people myself. But the older I get and the more I see of the industry, the more my nagging sense of unfairness comes into play.

I consider myself a very blessed and lucky person and I’ve had some amazing breaks in my career. But I also know how hard I’ve worked and how much I’ve paid my own dues. For me there’s nothing more frustrating than when I see 25-year-old kids calling themselves Executive Producers. Or the likes of Tyra Banks talking about how she ‘Created’ Top Model. Really Tyra? Did you actually sit down, write the proposal, format the show and come up with all the elements that made the show a success. I don’t think so…

Fast tracking is frustrating because it just feels so unfair for all those people out there working their butts off to make it happen. When overnight stars are doing Broadway and West End Shows, hosting their own series or launching fashion lines it’s an insult to all the actors, presenters and designers out there who trained for years to do just that role.

And it’s not just the arts or media. We all know the guy in the office who schmoozed his way into the top job. Or the boss’s son who’s instantly promoted above his far more qualified colleagues. Or the pretty girl who uses her looks to leapfrog the ranks. In one way or another – they’re all Kate Gosselin.

On the flip side, we’re all dealt different cards and when given a lucky break who wouldn’t try and run with their success? The Jersey Shore gang all seems to realize they got lucky and appear genuinely happy for their sudden fame. Idol star Adam Lambert has an amazing voice and bags of talent – but yes he got a lucky break. Still it’s great to see how humble he’s remained and to hear him after performing this week say ‘I owe everything to this show.’ Even Heidi and Spencer seem to be in on the gag.

But Kate – poor, victimized, unfortunate Kate – well she loves to play the victim doesn’t she? And for me that’s where Kate really loses. Late last year Kate really had a chance at redemption. After coming across as cold and mean on Plus 8, suddenly Jon’s public image disintegrated in a blur of bad decisions, slutty girlfriends and questionable friendships (Michael Lohan – really?) Kate was the underdog, the victim and people really wanted to take her side. But she’s her own worst enemy and quickly lost that public support. In many ways Dancing With The Stars has been a disastrous PR move – because in the case of Kate, less exposure is definitely more…

But at the end of the day people will forgive you for being a bitch. They’ll forgive you for being rude, cold and demanding. Heck, Madonna’s been a superstar for 25 years and she isn’t exactly cute and cuddly. But ungrateful – that’s what sticks in a lot of people’s throats. And until Kate stops playing the victim and appreciating her good fortune she’ll never turn around her image…

But what do you think? What are your feelings on Kate Gosselin? Does her success infuriate you – and why? Please weigh in – we’d love to hear your thoughts…