I only had to spend a few minutes at a press conference with Carrie Prejean to be able to predict she would be fired as Miss California. She was in breach of her contract as Miss California in early May, as I pointed out then. Here is my comment in its entirety, which I made in response to a post at Gay Patriot — I have boldfaced my prediction:
I attended the NOM press conference yesterday and sat just a few feet away from the podium when Ms. Prejean spoke from prepared remarks. She is not in a class with Ann Coulter either for brains or beauty. My impression of her personality is that the more people get to know her, the harder it’s going to be for her to get a date or find employment.
I think it is vital to keep reminding people that Ms. Prejean’s original answer at the pageant stated gays have the choice to marry. We do not. It is important that we emphasize Prejean had her facts wrong.
My impression of the leaders of NOM is that they have worked out that we are reaching people’s hearts and sense of fairness because it is noble and good to want to be married and devote yourself to building a life with your spouse. So they are losing on those grounds. Thus they have latched onto Ms. Prejean as flame bait. They will have her do enraging things, then denounce anyone who responds to her angrily. It’s a perfect set-up.
How should we respond? What I see changing people to favor marriage equality are two things: (1) knowing someone who is gay or lesbian; and (2), loving that person enough to want them to have equal rights.
So I hope our gay and lesbian rights organizations – and bloggers – work to get as many of us as possible to come out, and to stay on the message that we have to be loving because that is that transformative power for achieving equality.
Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian, May 1, 2009
In May, Donald Trump, owner of the Miss USA Pageant, backed Ms. Prejean’s right to her opinion on gay marriage and ruled that the semi-nude photos she failed to mention in her pageant contract were not so revealing that she should lose her crown. After being treated so generously, Ms. Prejean now is asking people to believe her spin on why she was fired instead of Donald Trump’s statement to TMZ:
Trump told us Carrie refused to appear at around 30 events on behalf of Miss California USA. He says Prejean was contractually bound to appear and she just wouldn’t do it. He doesn’t think her attitude has anything to do with her politics.
Trump said: “To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else — she treated like s**t.”
I doubt that the National Organization for Marriage will be interested in Ms. Prejean for very much longer since she no longer has her crown and lost it by her own actions. After posing as a martyr for her integrity, it turns out that she committed career suicide through her lack of integrity. But, if NOM does continue to work with her — and they have some serious integrity issues of their own — I predict she will make them sorry sooner rather than later. I feel certain she has no idea what she did that was wrong. The School of Hard Knocks is in session for this young woman and it is not going to be pretty.
Update: I just came across the allegation published here in the New York Daily News on May 22 that Carrie Prejean’s mother had a lesbian affair that ended shortly before Ms. Prejean won her crown as Miss California. In her famous reply to Perez Hilton, she stated her parents taught her traditional values. If it turns out her mother is a lesbian, and Ms. Prejean knew it, then she was stating she believes her own mother should not have marriage equality AND she misrepresented her own parents for personal gain. Ick.
Update, 6/11: Big Hollywood has a piece headlined as coming from Ms. Prejean’s attorney asserting she had been in compliance with her contract, but which is by-lined “Carrie Prejean.” Whoever wrote it asks:
If you need any further evidence of who is in bad faith: A radio host, Billy Bush says he is the person who informed Carrie she was fired. What kind of employer alerts the media before they speak to their employee?
Well, my guess is that it’s the kind of employer who can’t get his employee to return his calls or e-mails or show up for her job.
Update, 6/11: Fox News has a transcript of e-mails dated May 29 between Carrie Prejean and her boss, Keith Lewis, the Miss California pageant director. The time her parents and church spent training her to oppose gay marriage equality would have been better invested in teaching her some manners — see for yourself, here.
Also today at Fox News, “Pop Tarts” has these comments from Ms. Prejean’s former modeling agent, Francine Champagne, who fired Prejean before she took her controversial stand against gay marriage equality at the Miss USA pageant in April for pretty much the same reasons that Donald Trump did yesterday:
However Pop Tarts has learned that this isn’t the first time Prejean has been given the flick. Her former agent, Francine Champagne at Visions Model Management Los Angeles, released Carrie from her contract just over a year ago under claims she was “problematic.”
“It gets a little sticky and there are so many things that I would rather not discuss but there are certain specifications that we have to be a model and she was not keeping her commitment,” Champagne told Tarts. “I just felt like she was a little nutty and I’d rather not represent someone with that mind frame and I just think she is a problem, and I did not feel that she was of the utmost professionalism and she did not follow through on her side of the bargain so therefore we decided to cut our losses and let her go.”
Champagne also said that Prejean failed to act her age.
“She’s definitely a handful, she needs a lot of attention, she is a little bit bossy, her mother gets involved whereas she’s an adult, and she doesn’t need her mom to be calling us. At this point in time, we’re a professional agency that deals with professionals and if they are under 18, absolutely we deal with the parents, but once they’re 18 or over, we should be dealing directly with talent, not with their parents,” Champagne added. “She definitely had the potential to work well, she’s a very beautiful girl, but her personality and her uptightness gets in the way and it’s definitely a personality conflict with this business and her. She will not really bode well in this industry because she is too controlling and uptight and bossy. There are a lot of issues there with her and she’s not really an easy person to get along with.”
Carrie did not respond to a request for comment.
Whoever gets Ms. Prejean to talk on camera for just three minutes without a script and posts the unedited tape on YouTube will give the world a first-hand experience of why she was fired. I wonder how long before NOM ditches her, too?
Update, 6/11/09: Katherine Thomson at HuffPo has a transcript of an interview today with Keith Lewis, executive director of the Miss California USA pageant; the new Miss California, Tami Farrell, who is a former Miss Teen USA and very familiar with carrying out the contractual duties of a beauty queen; and CBS’s “Early Morning” show co-anchor, Julie Chen. Lewis told Chen that he is not in direct communication with Carrie Prejean because the pageant’s attorney is communicating with her attorney. Then he added, “Her attorney is also the general counsel for the National Organization for Marriage, which was kind of what created this controversy, when she went out and began doing some public appearances for them.” So, it may be longer than I thought before NOM parts company with Prejean. But until they do, I expect they are going to feel like the kidnappers in “The Ransom of Red Chief,” which, if you don’t know how funny that will be, you can find out here. Also, I wonder — did NOM’s attorney deliberately set Prejean up to get fired?