I would like formally apologize to all celebrity publicists : I had no idea how much you do. Generally speaking, I always thought being a celebrity publicist was a job a chimp could handle: stick by the celebrity’s side, bang on things and make a lot of noise whenver the star is talking. But now that it’s been revealed that Britney Spears was publicist-less during her Dateline Interview with Matt Lauer, I realize I grossly underestimated publicists’ enormous contributions to society. The interview was a shocking example of what we could be exposed to on a regular basis, if publicists were nevermore.
Think of all they do: When a celebrity considers wearing a sheer maternity shirt, they’re there with a camisole. When a celebrity is chewing gum or wiping their nose with the back of their hand on camera, they’re there with the tissues. And when a celebrity responds to child endangerment accusations with the excuse “we’re country,” a celebrity publicist is there to explain that “we’re country” means “I had an abusive childhood.”
Witnessing the stark reality of Britney’s interview, I realized how protected I had been for so long from the wretched truth of my favorite stars. For all we know, Gwyenth Paltrow could shop at Wet Seal, Nicole Kidman could be a man, and Jennifer Love Hewitt could have cursed once and guiltily punished herself by ripping out a patch of her own hair.
But, thanks to publicists, we’ll never know. While Britney’s press-on eyelashes and bubbalicious smacking may have been traumatic for us viewers, we learned a valuable lesson about the importance of PR. I hearby declare June 19 Celebrity Publicist Appreciation Day, for those unsung heroes who work to keep American celebrities seeming relatively normal.
* Tom Cruise’s publicist sister notwithstanding.