Tags: joan rivers | cnn | interview | walk out

Joan Rivers, Peeved at Interviewer's 'Negativity,' Walks off CNN Segment

By    |   Monday, 07 July 2014 12:55 PM

Veteran comedienne Joan Rivers walked off a CNN interview that aired Saturday after the line of questioning became too "negative" for her to put up with.

Fittingly, the always over-the-top Rivers was on tour to promote her new book, "Diary of a Mad Diva," when she tired of anchor Fredricka Whitfield's inability to have fun, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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The interview went south within minutes of its start when Whitfield began questioning the fashion critiques Rivers and her co-hosts dole out to celebrities on E!'s "Fashion Police," wondering if they weren't "very mean in some ways."

"It’s not mean, it’s not mean, it’s not mean," the 81-year-old said sternly, defending the show. "We’re one of the few shows that says 'that’s an ugly dress' . . . These ladies make $28 million a picture. You really think that Nicki Minaj cares I didn't like her dress? It’s not about them, it’s the clothing."

Whitfield then asked Rivers about her no-holds-barred brand of humor, asking her if there was any line she wouldn't cross. "Do you feel like there are boundaries, ever?" the anchor asked.

Again, Rivers defended her work, saying, "Life is very tough. And if you can make a joke to make something easier, and funny, do it."

She continued, quoting former U.K. prime minister Winston Churchill.

"Winston Churchill said if you can make someone laugh, you give them a little vacation. And maybe you take the worst thing in the world, and make it funny — it's a vacation, for a minute, from a horror."

The anchor then upped the ante, asking about the fur coat Rivers was wearing on the cover of her new book, saying that it was offensive to animal rights activists.

"Are you wearing leather shoes?" Rivers asked the interviewer. As soon as Whitfield said yes, Rivers snapped, "then shut up."

At that point, Rivers had had enough. Before walking off the interview, she ended by saying, "All you've done is negative. I've made people laugh for 50 years, I am put on Earth to make people laugh. My book is funny. I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago, I work for animal rights . . . You are not the one to interview a person who does humor! Sorry!"

The CNN host was left speechless, unsure whether the octogenarian's walk-off was a stunt or a genuine sentiment.

On Monday, Rivers made it clear it was not a stunt, releasing a statement of explanation to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I do not do, and never have done, PR 'stunts,'" she said.

"The CNN interviewer was a news reporter and not an entertainment reporter. She did not seem to understand we were talking about a comedy book and not the transcripts from the Nuremberg Trial. Every question was an accusatory one designed to put me on the defensive. She seemed to miss the point that "Diary of a Mad Diva" is simply a very funny book and as Winston Churchill said, if you can make one person laugh, even for a minute, it's like giving them a little vacation."

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Veteran comedienne Joan Rivers walked off a CNN interview that aired Saturday after the line of questioning became too "negative" for her to put up with.
joan rivers, cnn, interview, walk out
Monday, 07 July 2014 12:55 PM
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