TV Star: THE OSBOURNES' AMA Hosting Stint Was Insult To My Intelligence

The following item appeared in yesterday's edition of Cleveland's The Plain Dealer:

"Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton took a stand Monday night at the 30th annual American Music Awards. The Bay Village native stood up and walked out of the Shrine Auditorium, disgusted by what she described as "an onslaught of lewd jokes and off-color remarks."

A two-time Emmy winner for her portrayal of Debra Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond", Heaton was at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles to introduce a prerecorded retrospective of executive producer Dick Clark's annual music bash. But the sitcom star grew increasingly upset with the raw and raunchy comments made by presenters, performers and the hosts for the evening, the Osbournes.

"I'm no prude, but this was such a vulgar and disgusting show," Heaton said yesterday morning after seeing her four sons off to school and before leaving for the Burbank studio where "Everybody Loves Raymond" is taped.

Known for her candor in a town where stars routinely are warned to modify and suppress opinions, Heaton rarely shies away from speaking her mind, even when her views don't conform with the Hollywood company line.

"I arrived a little late and was seated in the audience," Heaton said. "I was going to present what's called a video package - a look at 30 years of the American Music Awards. Well, what was passing for humor basically ranged from stupid to vulgar, and I just thought, 'I'm not going to be part of this.' So I walked out and said, 'Get me my car. I'm leaving.' "

A prerecorded audio clip introduced the retrospective after Heaton bolted the Shrine Auditorium.

She was not alone in noticing the harder edge to this year's American Music Awards. Show-business industry publications and reporters covering the event noted that the Osbournes and other performers kept the ABC network censors working overtime.

Print advertisements for the live awards event showed a roaring Ozzy Osbourne saying, "I'll be bleeped!" He was - often.

"The entire evening became about bleeping," said Heaton, the sister of Plain Dealer reporter Michael Heaton and the daughter of retired Plain Dealer columnist Chuck Heaton. "It was as if they were trying to become more like the MTV awards. But it's one thing if this kind of stuff is on MTV at 10 at night. It's quite another if it's on ABC at 8 o'clock. I don't know what Dick Clark was thinking."

Low points for Heaton included one performer's graphic references to three-way sex and Sharon Osbourne's joke about what she called Mariah Carey's "fake" endowments.

"I really didn't know what I was getting into," Heaton said. "I mean, there was Ryan Seacrest pulling open his co-presenter's shirt, then noticing there was a 12-year-old girl in the front row. And he says, 'Don't worry, honey, you'll have a pair of these soon.' And everybody went crazy. It felt like I was in the Roman Colosseum. As far as I'm concerned, it was an affront to anyone with a shred of dignity, self-respect and intelligence."

Heaton says she is not expecting any repercussions from the decision and certainly isn't expecting a "you'll never present in this town again" backlash.

"And if there is," she said, "who cares?

"When I was waiting for my car, one of the security people came up to me and said, 'I just want you to know how much I admire what you're doing.' So I wasn't the only one who felt this way. The camera coordinator for the awards was our camera coordinator from 'Raymond'. And when I walked on the set the next day, he started applauding."


Posted in: News


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).