Ten years ago Rosie O’Donnell occupied a recurring seat at The View’s table. She was bold and brash, and seemed to make headlines daily for her thoughts and opinions. Then one day a man known as Donald Trump was the topic of discussion. The panel light heartedly joked about his Miss USA pageant, multiple affairs, and slew of bankruptcies. All of which were, and are, public knowledge. Rosie flipped her hair to one side and mimicked Trump making the audience erupt into laughter.
“Here comes a lawsuit get ready, this is gonna be good,” Rosie joked as she looked into the camera. Little did she or anyone else know what was coming next.
Donald Trump lost his composure and took to the media calling Rosie “dumb,” “a loser,” and “a fat pig.” Those are only a few examples. It seemed like every night he was on either Inside Edition or CNN to flat out bully Rosie. This story is a story that has gone on for ten years. A decade. Donald Trump has attacked Rosie O’Donnell’s career, appearance, personal life, health, and character for a decade. We have all listened to these attacks, and have witnessed every insult this man hurled her way. What I find shocking and sad is that America let it happen.
Rosie O’Donnell has adopted multiple children, opened up a Broadway school for underprivileged kids, and donated millions of dollars to multiple charities. She has been an advocate for children, women’s rights, and a strong voice on LGBT issues. To me, Rosie O’Donnell is a pillar of the LGBT community and a stand up citizen.
She is someone who I believe has paved the way for LGBT visibility in Hollywood and in the public eye. So when Rosie O’Donnell was berated and bullied by Donald Trump, why did no one come to her defense? Why was there no social outcry from the LGBT community, or from women’s groups? Why did the media continue to have him on the air to publicly shame her? Where were her famous friends who could have banned together to collectively chastise Donald Trump and declare to their followers that what he was doing was wrong? America failed Rosie.
Not just one specific group or person — we all did.
My biggest concern is that I’m not sure we learned the first time around that the language this man used, and continues to use, is divisive and irresponsible. We stood shocked during election season as he said horrible things about women, Mexicans, and people with disabilities. Why was this so shocking when it happened already? We watched this play out over the last ten years with his verbal assault on Rosie O’Donnell. What makes it okay for him to continue to bully her? Is it because she’s a lesbian? Is it because she isn’t a blond bomb shell like Megyn Kelly? Ten years ago Rosie O’Donnell showed us who Donald Trump was. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed.
This man became our president while no one thought he had and shot in hell. We all sat by and thought that after the election he would just disappear. But unfortunately for us, the LGBT community, he is not going anywhere. He moved straight into the white house and we are forced to listen to the hatred he continues to spew. So how do we hold him accountable? How do we as a group not allow him to do to someone else what he’s done to Rosie?
It’s clear — our community needs to stick together and defend one another from those who want to see us hurt. We owe it to ourselves and the community. Rosie O’Donnell, I got your back.