Singing legend Barbra Streisand said a lot of questionable things in a recent interview with Variety. Things like…
- She says she felt she was miscast in Gene Kelly’s bomb of an adaptation of “Hello Dolly!” for the screen. (As everyone noticed, anyone but Carol Channing would have been miscast.) She says “she tried to get out of it,” thus absolving herself from responsibility from the film some believe killed the big-budget movie musical.
Nobody put a gun to her head: stars say “no” to projects all the time.
- “By the way, who was called the father of film?” she asks. “D.W. Griffith. He made his first film in 1908. But a secretary named Alice Guy in 1896 started making films because she worked for Gaumont studios. She made the first film, and she’s not given credit.”
Google is your friend, Babs. The first commercial films are generally credited to the Lumière brothers‘ who had their short films screened in Paris in 1895 . Nobody has ever claimed Griffith made the first film; some credit him with making the first film with any art to it. But Barbra likes narratives better than facts.
- She thinks Hillary won.
“I really believe she won the election,” Streisand says. “I’ve talked to senators from Michigan and Wisconsin. I do believe, like I believed during Bush, they were playing with those voter machines.”
Yes, Barbra’s a politics-addled idiot these days.
- She blames Trump for the Parkland shooting.
“I think even that shooter was affected because Trump brings out the violence in people. He says, ‘It’s OK — rally, lock her up.’”
None of these cretinous and irresponsible statements bothered anyone too much, though–Barbra has been taking like this most of her life. She also said that she was never sexually harassed in Hollywood. Amazing! This revelation, however, set off ethics alarms: Two of her three Coton de Tulear dogs were cloned from cells taken from the mouth and stomach of her beloved 14-year-old dog Samantha, who died in 2017. The third dog is a distant cousin. The two clones cost $50,000.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that—instead, it creates a new and different dog who has only the physical characteristics of the original. Animals’ personalities, quirks, and very ‘essence’ simply cannot be replicated, and when you consider that millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned, you realize that cloning adds to the homeless-animal population crisis. And because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged and tormented for every birth that actually occurs—so that’s not fair to them, despite the best intentions. We feel Barbra’s grief at losing her beloved dog but would also love to have talked her out of cloning.”
Hey, as long as they don’t clone Barbra…but I digress.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz as the week runs out is this…
Is Streisand cloning her dogs unethical, or just stupid?
Oh, let’s have a poll before I say anything else…
If PETA could show that many dogs died in pain to produce Miss Scarlet and Miss Violet, I’d concede that they had a point. I don’t know that, and I don’t trust PETA any more than I trust a card-player named Slim. It is true that many wonderful dogs need homes, but Streisand isn’t ethically obligated to want one of them: she wanted duplicates of her lost companion, not a rescued dachshund. If she adopted one rescue, she would be selfish in PETA’s eyes for not adopting two, or ten, or a hundred. (PETA, you know, kills dogs given into its care.)
Is it a waste of money? The Ethics Alarms position is that people have a right to spend money they have earned the way they choose to spend it. Spending $50,000 to clone dogs is no more unethical than giving it to the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s Barbra’s money, and nobody else can tell her how to spend it, or waste it, according to what they think is important.
For people without children, and many people with them, pets are the equivalent of children. Barbara paid $50,000 to ease her grief, and I won’t call that unethical.
I’ll call it stupid, but with sympathy.