(Warning: This post contains pottymouth references to feminine hygiene products.)
I’m a little late to the party on the whole Criss Angel/Perez Hilton flap, but for those who can’t get enough of this stuff, here’s a few points possibly overlooked.
Cirque, always the gracious and classy company, took the heat and apologized for Angel calling bitchy gossip blogger Hilton a “douchebag asshole” from the stage. You would expect no less from our very PC and very cool corporate citizen. Here’s the statement from senior director Renée-Claude Ménard:
“Cirque du Soleil does not condone disrespectful behavior towards any audience member at any time. Cirque management will address such behavior privately with any of its artists to ensure it will not happen again.
Along with our partner, MGMMIRAGE, Cirque du Soleil wishes to extend an apology to any audience member that may have been offended by Criss Angel’s inappropriate and disrespectful remarks at Friday night’s performance of Believe.”
Well and good. But here’s more to consider:
1. Who was offended?
I wouldn’t take my 9-year-old to “Believe.” I don’t think she needs to see bunnies in bondage gear, or Angel calling his stage assistant “a bitch” or, most offensive of all, Larry King cackling maniacally on a giant video screen.
The show has an age limit that children have to be 5. But a disclaimer for ticket buyers also says, “Show content may not be suitable for individuals under the age of 12, parental guidance is recommended.” You’re getting some language at any performance, even without the bonus tirade.
2. He had it coming.
Angel is about as original an insult comic as he is a magician. (Maybe he should go to the George Wallace show and pick up some “Yo mama” jokes). He was just being a middle-school kid calling Hilton the same name the blogger had called him.
Hilton claimed he went to “Believe” with an open mind, but in fact it takes little searching on his Web site to see that when Holly Madison moved out of the Playboy mansion in September 2008, Hilton opined, “Apparently Holly wants to spend more time with that douchebag magician, Criss Angel.”
Or that when the show opened last October, Hilton noted, “Even large publications have bashed the shiteous show.”
After Angel tried to embarrass him, Hilton supposedly said, "Thanks for the free tickets." Free tickets? So Hilton knew the Angel and/or Cirque people were aware he was in the house, but it didn’t stop him from trashing the show on Twitter… while it was still going on.
You can question Angel’s wisdom for taking the bait and letting Hilton garner even more publicity, but you cannot call Hilton a credible reviewer unfairly singled out for a beat-down. Sorry Renée-Claude, but Hilton isn’t a typical "audience member" if he was at work during the show.
(Memo to the producers of “Supernatural,” who titled an episode “Criss Angel is a Douchebag.” If you go, pay cash for your tickets and don’t tell anyone you’re there.)
3. Shut off the damn BlackBerry already.
Maybe it’s Hilton who should apologize, to the people sitting around him while he was Tweeting away at how bad the show was … while they were still trying to watch it. You can’t go to a movie or a live production anymore without seeing flying thumbs highlighted by the glow of little video screens.
People complained to the high heavens when they had to check their phones and electronic devices for “Believe” previews. I sympathize they were bored by the show, but nonetheless found it a welcome break from camera-phone flashing. I wish the policy would be widely adopted around town.