Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Keepin' It Real

Current mood: weary of the pretense

News and Politics

"The Closet," the Controversy -- and Cruise

Friday March 17 8:49 PM ET

By Joal Ryan (on Yahoo! News)

Wednesday night on South Park, Robert Redford got zinged, and Chef urged one and all to "suck on my chocolate salty balls."

The controversial part was what didn't air: A closet.

"Trapped in the Closet," a South Park episode featuring a literally closeted Tom Cruise and a primer on Scientology, was abruptly pulled from Comedy Central's schedule, and replaced with a nearly eight-year-old chestnut spoofing the Sundance Film Festival.

The network wouldn't confirm or comment Friday on why "Trapped in the Closet" was shelved in favor of the 1998 episode "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls."

Cruise's rep, however, did comment: "This has nothing to do with us," publicist Arnold Robinson said Friday.

Cruise, a Scientologist who has staunchly defended his religion and an avowed heterosexual who has successfully sued people and publications that have suggested he is in the metaphorical closet, was pegged as the culprit in the South Park switcheroo in a report Thursday on HollywoodInterrupted.com.

The blog reported that the star "threatened" to sit out the publicity cycle for Mission: Impossible 3--presumably meaning no interviews, no photo-ops, no Oprah couch--if "Trapped in a Closet" aired again on Comedy Central.


That's got to be a crowded closet, what with Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Whitney Houston, Kevin Spacey and so many other celebrities *allegedly* jammed in together cheek (and sometimes butt cheek) by jowl .

Not to mention Michael Jackson and the ghost of Luther Vandross, who takes up a lot less room now. Staying in the closet was probably what killed him.

After all the gay sports stars have squeezed in, there's just enough room for a plus-sized talk show hostess I dare not name. Her big-and-tall boyfriend can't fit, unfortunately.

* a weasel word - but a necessary one, for legal reasons.

(Deeplip, who likes gays just fine, but has a problem with fake heterosexuals.)

UPDATE: God does have a sense of humor. Just as I typed the last couple of lines of this post, the radio station I'm listening to started to play Ashford & Simpson