In one of the best pieces ever published on The Daily Beast, Jodie Foster takes a public stand in support of Kristen Stewart, something no other famous person has done. Her essay is not just about Stewart but about herself, and what kind of savage beast we the public have morphed into.  We are No Name in Spirited Away, seemingly harmless; we love our celebrities until that moment comes where we must eat them alive. And before long, we are eating everything in sight until we can barely walk. It is repulsive to watch if you are my age and you remember a time when it was not like this.  “They can take it,” you might think. “After all, no one asked them to be famous.” It isn’t about them; it’s about us. We have sunk to a collective low. Even as Foster writes so eloquently about the topic of destruction of self – the commenters immediately jump in “you are absolving her of her SIN!!!!” They not only miss the point completely, and see themselves as the moral authority on what is right and what is wrong, but they use it as yet another opportunity to devour every living piece that’s left.  Really? No other cause worth fighting for? I have a long list if you’re interested.


My mother had a saying that she doled out after every small injustice, every heartbreak, every moment of abject suffering.  “This Too Shall Pass.” God, I hated that phrase. It always seemed so banal and out of touch, like she was telling me my pain was irrelevant. Now it just seems quaint, but oddly true … Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and–finally–the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.

Still hungry? I’m sure there are plenty more wide-eyed starlets out there waiting. They better watch themselves. They better not become hated by the hungry beast. Sometimes it isn’t even anything they’ve done. Sometimes it’s just because it was their turn.

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  • Manuel

    What a fantastic written article! An insight of the way Foster thinks and has struggled all thess years to keep her privacy. Jodie Foster has nothing to lose and keeps being intelligent and brave. Brava brava Foster

  • Dan

    Great article by Foster, who has had to deal with this stuff for decades.

  • This is in keeping with Foster’s character. She has shown her willingness in the past to stand in solidarity with costars/friends. Mel Gibson was even more reviled than Stewart for his actions and she stuck with him (twice). Although in this case, Stewart wasn’t shown to be aggressively hostile and crazy. So, a public piece isn’t surprising. Also, she’s not as concerned about public perception and keeping herself relevant for the sake of relevancy as other celebrities. Choosing not to do that awful Hannibal comes to mind.

    Still, her choice to post in The Daily Beast … don’t they have one foot in the grave?

  • rufussondheim

    I am not sympathetic with anything Foster does. Yeah, I agree that privacy is a fair thing for a celebrity to want, but I don’t think privacy includes sexual orientation. To me sexual orientation is a very public trait of a person. When marriages are in the newspaper, it’s no longer private. When a minority sexual orientation is kept private, it’s shame, it’s an endorsement of inferiority, it’s a very public statement that some people are not worthy of respect. We should not laud Foster, we should shame her just as she has shamed herself.

  • phantom

    The most important part of the piece:

    Actors who become celebrities are supposed to be grateful for the public interest. After all, they’re getting paid. Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self.

  • Rufus certainly wants to open a different can of worms.

    I’ve always supported an actor’s choice to stay in the glass closet. (Even gross John Travolta) I may not agree with it, but who is it for me to say what they do with their life.

    Foster has been infamously private about her life, especially in light of the fact that a man declared that he tried to assassinate a president in her name. I don’t begrudge her any detail about herself she wants to keep to herself.

  • rufus, your comment is insulting. Why should Jodie Foster have publicly came out? Sexual orientation is nobody’s business and that extends across the spectrum. Should straight people come out as straight? If Jodie ought to have been required to publicly declare that she is a lesbian (or otherwise), surely all other figures in the public eye ought to be required to do the same, whether gay, straight or otherwise.

    To me, coming out is like an admission of guilt, an act of absolution, so that the general public can stop punishing them via gossip and rumour-mongering. It shouldn’t have to be like that. Assuming that people are straight until proven gay and requiring gay people to admit to their status is discriminatory.

  • Jake

    Didn’t Foster also cheat on her girlfriend/spouse or whatever she was? I wish Sasha would stop with this stuff already. What Swewart did was wrong and no matter how much you wish you could change things, it will ALWAYS be wrong.

  • Falstaff

    It’s about time that someone with a profile higher than your average fanboy or fangirl spoke up in support of the poor kid. Yeah she screwed up, and brought a shit storm down on herself as well as on everyone and everything she cared about. All because, one day her vaunted BS detector shorted out and she kissed another man. Pardon me for not seeing the hanging offense there. The only person she has to answer to for that is Robert Pattinson, and she’s already done that. Enough is enough. No more.

  • rufussondheim

    Straight people don’t have to come out. It’s the default sexual orientation. Everyone assumes you are straight. If you aren’t coming out as gay, then you are letting everyone assume you are straight. The converse is laughably untrue.

    I hold the firm belief that if everyone who is gay came out of the closet (both famous and obscure) than homophobia would be shamed into non-existance and, then, maybe kids would stop killing themselves.

    It’s not an issue of privacy, it’s an issue of morality. It’s about people not being selfish and about doing the right thing. Jodie Foster is Unworthy of Our Love.

    Oh, my GOD! I’ve never seen that last link before, but it’s the most awful interpretation of a song in the history of music.

  • steve50

    “a different can of worms”

    Uh, same can – different opener. I’m with you on the privacy thing, though. Actors are paid for their onscreen performances, not their offscreen lives. As Cinesnatch stated, Foster has good readon to remain private and not set herself up as a role model.

    Americans are so hung up on sex, which I’m certain is caused by mixing microwaved food with watching Big Brother. It’s just sex – it happens.

  • Mohammed

    I admire Jodie Foster for her willingness to stand up for the people she cares about. She’s had the intelligence to stand outside the celebrity arena and guard her privacy, as she should. Kristen Stewart did not. She had an affair with a married man in open space. How can one ask for privacy after that ?

  • Straight people don’t have to come out. It’s the default sexual orientation.

    Default? Like normal? So am I abnormal? Or do you mean default as in that state to which one returns after a period of abnormality? It’s not default for me. I’m of the opinion that the vast majority of people are, at least, a little big bisexual.

    Everyone assumes you are straight. If you aren’t coming out as gay, then you are letting everyone assume you are straight.

    Jodie Foster isn’t straight. She hasn’t publicly come out, though; do you assume she’s straight? It doesn’t seem that way. Regardless, people should not assume. It’s their assumptions that can cause so much pain. Or perhaps be willing to assume a variety of things – some people thought I was gay before they found out that I wasn’t.

  • @ Jake

    Wrong? It’s none of your business to pass judgement on anyone else’s life. Allow Kristen and those directly affected by this matter to make up their own minds about that. You go deal with your own life and make sure that you never put a foot out of line, because remember, it’ll ALWAYS BE WRONG!!!

  • Straight people don’t have to come out. It’s the default sexual orientation.

    1. failure to act; inaction or neglect
    2. failure to fulfill an obligation
    3. failure to arrive in time for a scheduled match

    Through lack of initiative or carelessness or bad luck, a lot of straight people simply missed matching up with the person with whom they could have been gay.

    Don’t worry. Your regional gay recruitment team can reschedule you.

  • vvs

    awwww look at Jodie Foster trying to keep her relevance by speaking on a pop culture issue.

    I highly doubt Stewart gives a fuck about your advice.

  • Beau

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Seriously though. Jodie Foster is out. She’s been out to her friends and family for 30 years.

    She didn’t go on Oprah to announce it. But everybody important to her has known for decades. She’s been out since the early 80s when she was still a kid — she partied with her lesbian friends at the Odyssey club, a predominantly gay juice bar (18+, no alcohol) which used to be a block or two down the street from the Beverly Center in West Hollywood. Being gay or bi was never a secret for her.

    Jodie Foster spoke out publicly without any fanfare at an awards event in 2007, thanking her longterm life partner Cydney Bernard.

  • julian the emperor

    Yet, you have actively been lashing out at Rupert Sanders, Sasha. Why is he not worthy of inclusion on your list of famous people who should be allowed to guard their privacy? Or be allowed not to feel ashamed for their private mistakes just because they’re famous?

    Double standards, hypocrisy etc. have a field day at AD at the moment.

    I don’t agree with Rufus on Jodie, though. I don’t care about her opinions on KS, but I also don’t give a flying fuck whether she’s into men, women or both (or none).

  • The word ‘sin’ reviles me.

  • rufussondheim

    I had no idea Jodie Foster was “out.” Maybe Sasha should write more gossip essays. How else can I keep up on these things?

    I’m not saying we need the gay gestapo forcing men to admit they wouldn’t mind watching Ryan Gosling fuck their wives, I’m merely saying that gay people, collectively, shouldn’t hide or be ashamed of their sexual orientation. I would hope that this is something everyone should agree on.

    My position, which for some reason is controversial here, is that I don’t think we should respect public figures who are openly gay in their private lives but paint a very different picture in public. I thought Jodie Foster was in this subset of people. But according to Ryan, she is not. Hooray for her.

    Hooray for us.

  • But according to Ryan, she is not. Hooray for her.

    I have files on everybody.

  • rufussondheim

    On a side note, I have become disillusioned with online dictionaries, none of which I consulted had “defualt” usable as an adjective, a way in which it can clearly be used. I weep for those who use online dictionaries. Pretty soon we’ll all be using Newspeak.

  • I can’t find any reason to assume that your opinion on gay celebrities is controversial here, rufus. I agree with you. I think that celebrities who portray themselves in the public eye as straight despite not actually being straight are promoting homosexuality via their actions. But those who do not portray themselves as straight should not be required to iterate their sexual status.

    We should not laud Foster, we should shame her just as she has shamed herself…Jodie Foster is Unworthy of Our Love.

    I don’t mind that you were unaware of Jodie Foster’s public and/or private position regarding her sexuality, but I’m uncomfortable with you making unkind statements like those ^^^

  • Online Dictionaries are Unworthy of Our Love.

    I use online dictionaries all the time. Their content seems as reputable to me as the dictionaries written on trees.

  • rufussondheim

    On a huge tangent…

    I’ve followed Tony Horton’s facebook page for a couple of years now, enough to know that he’s a progressive and that he used Paul Ryan’s love of the P90X program as self-promotion. I was curious as to what Tony Horton would say publicly about the VP nomination. So far he’s said nothing.

  • rufussondheim

    I used to think so too, Paddy. Until today.

  • rufussondheim — I playfully deflated ‘default’ before I even knew it was your comment. I was riffing on what PaddyM said.

    My favorite dictionary, online or offline, is American Heritage. It covers the meaning you intended.

    a. Computers A particular setting or value for a variable that is assigned automatically by an operating system and remains in effect unless canceled or overridden by the operator: changed the default for the page margins.
    b. A situation or condition that obtains in the absence of active intervention.

    American Heritage has the best Android app dictionary I know of, too.

  • rufussondheim

    oh, I found the definition I wanted to, but it was listed under noun.

    It’s clearly an adjective as it describes the condition or state. I just wanted a dictionary that understands the concept of “part of speech”

    OK, I am going to have to test the two dictionaries that came with my Kindle. They are big important dictionaries.

    I am currently in my bedroom where I casually left my Kindle.

    OK, I am back.

    Now I am looking it up on my Kindle

    Oh my God! My Kindle dictionaries are even worse!

    I am destined to be stupid forever.

  • Now Amazon is just rubbing your nose in it:

    I asked Amazon Customer Support. They inform me that “We’ll not be able to change the default dictionary on the kindle fire.”

  • rufussondheim


  • Kate

    First, sorry for my english, but I have been thinking a lot about what happened here with Kristen and I have never show my opinion, anyway: I think this scandal shows how unfair the girls/women are treat in this affaires.
    Does Brad Pitt or Arnold Schwarzenegger were treated as Kristen Stewart? No, never. They even were given “rewards” (movies, only some jokes at their expenses and awards) and we are talking about married men!! in Pitt´s case it was all about Angelina and Jennifer, hey they even blamed Jennifer because “she didn´t want to have kids”.
    There is obviously a Kristen fault, there is no doubt about it, but the consequences that she has received are excessive. And why? Only because a) she´s a girl b) she star in Twilight, one of the most hated franchises c) She has never been “friendly” with the press. I feel as this is a “revenge” or a witch-hunt.

    (Add the part where in Hollywood, its easier for a man to have a comeback. Just look Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr)

    I´m not a Twilight fan nor someone who is trying to justify Kristen´s actions, but I think its unfair how everybody its pointed at her.

  • Bryce Forestieri



  • Bryce Forestieri

    @rufussondheim WHY DON’T YOU GO SUCK A DICK?


  • I know a lot of you have mixed feelings about how we’ve been covering this story. But I gotta say, whether you approve or disapprove, just talking it through brings out the best of the smart readers.

    For example, VVS, I know you have great taste and a sensitive attitude. We might not agree about this issue but that doesn’t change what I know about your open-minded mental agility. Same goes for everybody else who’s locking horns on different sides of the fence this week.

    It’s good to talk it out, I think.

    (hey, it’s not as if none of you know how to hijack a discussion. Any one of you could turn this page into a debate about Heidegger and Malick with a few taps on your keyboards. You write about whatever you want in whatever topic you choose to visit. This week is no different than any other.)

  • Bryce, please adjust your irony detector. It’s you who needs recalibrating.

  • Thanks Kate.

    (Never be shy about your English around here. You expressed your feelings perfectly.)

  • Bryce Forestieri

    LOL irony detected, just reacting to all of his comments. im queer too
    promise not to insult anyone tho…

  • rufussondheim

    In a world where online dictionaries assign parts-of-speech designations randomly, I have defaulted to the opinion TMZ has assigned me. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

    Me llamo rufussondheim y apruebo este mensaje.

  • Jerry

    You know I once had a lot of respect for Jodie Foster. Now she goes around being a professional apologist for a racist, antisemetic, chocker and abuser of the mother of his child and now a grown woman caught cheating with a married man in broad daylight. Celebrities have a love hate relationship with the paparazzi. They love them for giving them publicity when they are coming up or losing relevancy and hate them when they arrive at the peak of fame and riches. These celebrities are guilty of calling the paps to photograph them ‘when it’s to their benefit’.

    If this is really about Fosters fight against the paps, she could have written this piece a few years ago when the Twilight trio were being stalked the most. This is nothing but a continuing apology tour for one Ms. Kristen Stewart by her people. Love the pic of her as a kid with Jodie (there are multiple pics of her as an adult with Jodie Foster including at the academy awards), we are after all trying to be manipulated into seeing her as just a kid who got taken advantage by a dirty old man who pulled up his white ice cream fan up to her elementary school. Brilliant P.R.

  • smoothcriminal

    UGH, when will people stop assuming that if a gay man/woman doesn’t run around with a rainbow flag painted on their face at all times that they are HIDING their sexuality out of shame?

    Do you ever think that maybe they are just living their normal lives without giving a shit about all the people who think that your choices are full and constant disclosure or isolation? They shouldn’t have to tell anyone anything about their orientation because it does not matter one bit to any random fan what their orientation is. If James Franco came out as gay or remained in the “default straight position” would it really change anyones lives? Nope, so who gives a shit.

  • rufussondheim

    You overlook all the ways straight people discuss their straightness without ever discussing their straightness. Read any lengthy article about a straight actor and you will no doubt come across at least one reference about them being straight. But it won’t be an “I am straight” it will be a comment about his wife or who he is dating or about how attractive his costar is or something like that.

    Gay people (as was written at length about by EW earlier this year) are starting to play that game, and I applaud them for it.

  • Kurt

    Surprisingly enough, I seem to be in the minority who have actually warmed up to Stewart following the scandal. I consider it to be highly unfair that she has been labelled as a petty ‘temptress’, and had all the blame thrown on her by the media.

  • Kane

    Men have gotten the same flack as women when it comes to cheating. Arnold got some but the fact it happened so long ago probably softened the blow. Brad Pitt got a bit of crap but truthfully I’ll agree that Jennifer Aniston got the short end of the stick even though she did nothing wrong. Jesse James, Clinton, John Edwards…are they in Hollywood? No but they are celebrities. Like Tiger Woods. And we all remember how much hell they caught. But the Woodman, Hugh Grant…come on they all got shit. I do agree sexism exists in Hollywood but it has gotten better. Ask Kathryn Bigelow. Sexism or not there is one way to avoid all that bad publicity, don’t cheat.

    And nice post, Ryan. I’ve been coming here for so long it’s a daily routine. It’s sad I never really posted until now but this isn’t just about Kristen Stewart. It’s about how we discuss our values. I may not always agree with you and Sasha but I’m happy as hell that for every handful of “leave Kristen alone” comments there is a thoughtful, “let’s not forget what we’re doing here” comment. I’m happy to see you are able to understand our morals and values in the face of an argument.

  • Lainey made a good point today by offering the comparable Meg Ryan/Russell Crowe scenario, which bolsters Sasha’s case a litte. Both were celebrities in front of the camera, and, after their affair the married Ryan (Rupert Sanders comparatively speaking) went down in flames and single Crowe (the Kristen Stewart surrogate) won an Oscar a year later (ironically, his ill physically aggressive cost him his second oscar the following year). Dennis Quaid was no Robert Pattinson, in fact, possibly quite the other direction. Yet, Ryan, a woman, paid for her mistake dearly, just like Stewart is.

    But, time will tell. If she completes Lie Down in Darkness and gets awards traction, then, this will be forgotten. We may even know sooner, when On the Road finally opens. My instinct is that she’ll be fine, especially considering that her escandalo happened at such at early age. If she had been in her late 20s to 30s, I’m thinking society would be less forgiving, unfortunately.

    But, misogyny still exists and we have a ways to go.

  • Dan

    I don’t know why it seems relevant to me, but it does. Not once before in my life has something like this interested me this much. Perhaps it’s because, somewhere deep down inside, I always want celebrities to break the hell out of the careful mystique that, contrary to what we in fact know about them, holds such sway in the media. It gets easier as stars get older, I’m sure. Cronenberg was quite open the last couple days about the need for big stars like Mortensen and Pattinson to get films financed, hinting no doubt that the star factory itself is in some ways to blame for these over-reactions, and Rob and Kristen are, in some ways, victims of THAT just as much. At least, I think that’s what David was suggesting, and I certainly believe that. I’ve never been star-struck in my life, but I know a sham when I see it, and this media circus was beginning to look like a posse. So, while we have seen this before, we haven’t seen it in quite this way, for all the reasons I stated in Sasha’s initial post. I hope more celebrities come to Kristen’s defense.

  • Matt

    Amid all the nonsense surrounding this (nobody should care about it; she apologised to the cuckold via a press release; the director got the Snow White sequel gig but she didn’t)… I think one of the more startling things is: this may very well be a feminist issue; but the PR machine working for her is working to ensure her audience doesn’t abandon her. And her audience is primarily (I’d guess 90%) girls and women.

    Is this whole thing about double standards and sexism? Perhaps. But it’s from women, by women, in women’s magazines, websites, radio and TV shows. If famous people have a right to privacy (which they absolutely do), they can’t complain about its absence when they air their dirty laundry via a press release to People magazine.

    It’s unsettling. It seemed opportunistic and a desperate act to preserve the coffers coming in from the second part of the fourth vampire romance film. The whole thing lacks a certain quiet dignity.

  • Reform the Academy

    Hmm, she’s gone from looking like a boy to a stoner…neither are much attractive. And she can’t act either. Kstew should do us all a favor and leave the business. I’m sure she’s made more then enough off Twilight…

  • Kelly

    Perhaps I can shed some light on your parts of speech conundrum, rufus.

    Consider the following sentence: It is the default.
    Now consider this sentence: It is the default sexuality.

    In the first sentence, “default” is truly a noun, and in the second sentence “default” serves as a modifier, more specifically an adjective.

    Now I’m going to go on a huge assumption here and assume the following scenario:
    The Powers That Be who write, construct, and/or edit dictionaries likely list any number of words as a noun or verb FIRST with adjectives, adverbs, etc. in secondary positions. The reasoning here is that nouns and verbs have more structural importance within languages than modifiers such as adverbs, adjectives, articles, prepositions, blah blah blah.

    Here are two practical examples to further my point.
    1. You’ve just met a foreigner who says to you, “I go store.” You will likely come to the conclusion they mean “I am going to the store.”

    2. A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, people used to pay per letter/word for telegrams… in which case they would use “Flight canceled. Arrive JFK Tues. 7PM” instead of “My flight from LA was canceled and I will be landing at JFK international airport on Tuesday at 7pm. See you then!”

    Just a thought…

  • rufussondheim

    I understand your point. Most common usage is listed first. But these listings don’t even suggest that it’s acceptable to use default as an adjective. It clearly is.

    What I find most problematic is the present problem concerning the word “concerning.” It’s more and more frequently used as an adjective when the only correct usage of the word is as a preposition. When people use it as an adjective “I find it concerning…” I want to scream at them. But it’s become so common that people don’t even question it, you see news anchors using it improperly now!

    I can point out that there’s no listing for it as an adjective in the dictionaries. But now, heaven forfend, a smart foe can point out that default isn’t in the dictionary as an adjective either.

    I am beginning to identify with the old men who scream “Get Off Of My Lawn!”

  • Get Off Of My Lexicawn!”

  • rufussondheim

    That’s clever enough to be in a New Yorker cartoon. Sadly, only three people will understand it.

  • Tirza

    Cinesnatch, it wasnt really a good comparison. Dennis Quaid cheated on Meg Ryan for years. Yet for some strange reason the media decided to keep that fact quiet and instead blamed Meg for her relationship with Crowe which happened after she quit out cheater Quaid. It is a mystery to me why Quaid got off so easy. Heck, hes still cheating today, just ask his current wife, but the media just keeps on giving him a free pass for it. As a result I do have to say I refuse to watch any of his movies and I won’t watch his upcoming tv show. I hate guys who do that and then lie about it, pretending as if they are innocent while their wife gets blasted wrongly.

    Love that Jodie Foster stood up for Kristen. The whole thing is just total double standard and sexist what is happening to her. I hope she stays strong and just focusses on her career. She was way too young anyway for a relationship like that.

  • Look at her eyes she’s definitely stoned

  • rufussondheim

    The reason no one cares about Dennis Quaid cheating is that no one cares about Dennis Quaid.

  • keifer

    Pesronally, I couldn’t give a shit about Kristen Stewart’s latest directorial blow job.

    This is NOT important stuff!

    Jodie Foster and their ilk are taking their public personas much too seriously.

    Just get on it with it.

  • Libertad

    Love conquers everything… When true love is in our hearts, nothing else matters and we can get past any obstacles both big and small. If Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson truly love each other, they should forget about friends, family, and the media, sit down and just talk. That way they can decide whether or not to stay together based on how THEY feel. Remember the good times. There would not be any good times without the bad. This mistake could help you learn how to value what you have and never again jeopardize it. now, Kirsten, i do not blame you, i blame the producer who’s name i do not know or care to know. He is an idiot, he should have not taken advantage of you the way he did. You were his employee. He disrespected you in the work and personal level. Shame on him, not just on you. Please learn from this and never do it again. Remember that this world is a macho world, no matter what we females accomplish we will always be under them because that is how society wants it. Look at yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath, and never forget to smile at yourself. What is done is done and nothing will take it back, live your life to the fullest respect yourself so others will respect you. And now something in Spanish and i will translate, “El que este libre de pecado que tire la primera piedra” which means: if you are pure of sin, throw the first rock.

  • Joao Mattos

    I love Jodie Foster for so many reason, and one is that she a friend of her friends. The way she supports Gibson and Stewart is really touching. If I ever had a daughter I wish Jodie Foster could be a role model for her.

  • rufussondheim

    Libertad, glad you translated that Spanish saying. I would have translated it as, “His library was full of fish, so he drove away on pasta foot.”

    After reading your post, I am convinced you write for the Onion. Nice Job!

  • Robin Burr

    I adore Jodie Foster and I am not surprised that she has publicly come to defend Kristen Stewart. I like Kristen because of her bond w Jodie Foster. Kristen Stewart is not married, she’s only 22 and growing up in the public eye is not growing up. How dare anyone spew hatred. Jodie Foster you are amaZing!!!!

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