Comedian Steve Martin tweeted a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher yesterday, then deleted it after a feminist firestorm erupted. There does not appear to be a screen shot I can find, but the exact wording of the tweet is said to be this; “When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well.”
It goes without saying deleting the tweet did not solve Martin's problem. The tweet is still causing a stir within feminist circles. The heart of the matter is Martin's recognition of Fisher's physical appearance before acknowledging her writing talent. Martin's perceived error in judgment was so offensive, he bowed to pressure and sent his comment down the memory hole.
It is difficult to know where to begin discussing the matter. I will break it down into three points.
One, I understand Fisher faced a difficult time creating an identity of geek sex object. In terms of Princess Leia, sh is probably best remembered as the bikini clad slave girl chained to a giant slug while cavorting about for a bunch of puppets. One does not have to travel too far within science fiction circles to learn what I just described is a frequent fantasy of male science fiction fans. Fisher spoke of any number of fans approaching her to reveal she was an object of their sexual fantasies. I can imagine how creepy that is as well as how much she would rather be remembered for just about anything else.
Yes, Fisher was a talented writer. But she was not known as a talented writer when martin was a young man. He was merely acknowledging what he recognized first and complimenting Fisher on what he learned about her later. I am certain a talent like martin, who began his career strumming the banjo with a fake arrow through his head and eventually graduated to critiquing art for major magazines, was empathetic when drafting his tweet. He meant it as complimentary. No harm, no foul.
Two, physical appearance we notice most often about people when we first meet. We do not find out other interesting things until later. It is really that bad to recognize the pleasant outward appearance of someone? It is not like martin was being suggestive in his tweet. Have we reached a point now in which we must ignore some positive attributes of a person n favor of others? Because Martin never dismissed Fisher wit and intelligence when talking about Fisher's beauty, but he apparently was expected to ignore her beauty when talking about her wit and intelligence.
Finally, I am disappointed Martin deleted the tweet instead of standing his ground against his critics. One is usually motivated to become a comedian because of a recognition there is something wrong with the world and poking fun at the problem will compel others to think about it. Identity polities has long since reached absurd status in our culture and is therefore ripe for mockery. As a venerable comedian, Martin out to be at the forefront of sending up our cultural silliness. But he is sadly bowing to the politically correct police. It is sad martin is no longer a wild and crazy guy.