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Is Rosie O’Donnell’s sexuality to blame for her show’s demise?

The Daily Beast’s Ramin Setoodeh has published a story (which reads more like a three page lynching) on what he calls “Rosie O’Donnell’s disastrous Oprah Winfrey Network experience.” Ramin gives a detailed glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes (they should’ve filmed that if they wanted a ratings boost), which can be summed up by one staffer who is quoted as saying, “It was a fucking hell-hole.” The story divulges Rosie’s alleged fights with publicists, clashes with the show’s director (who achieved success for his long-time work on The Oprah Winfrey Show), and her firing of the bandleader, who joined the show after working on Saturday Night Live and was soon let go for not being able to play Broadway songs off the cuff when Rosie named them on live TV.

“I just think you can’t develop chemistry and get to know somebody without spending time with them,” said the axed bandleader, Katreese Barnes. “I didn’t spend enough time with her for her to know who I am, because my work speaks for itself. I’m not upset that I don’t know Into the Woods by heart. A little heads-up would have been nice.” 

In his piece Ramin attempts to pinpoint the exact undoing of The Rosie Show, even laying blame on her sexuality. He writes:

There was another tricky problem. Market research had indicated that even the show’s gay-friendly audience was tiring of all the gay references and hearing O’Donnell talk about being a lesbian, but O’Donnell disregarded that critique. On a recent Friday night, she advertised on Twitter that she was doing a special where she talked about being gay in America. The show ended up being an interview with Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, and it featured clips of Rosie talking to her staff about coming out. During another episode, she implied on TV that one of the younger staff members was gay, when he had never talked about his sexual orientation. The incident left him upset and embarrassed. 

Check out the full article here.

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