Tracey Jackson

Jun 8 2010 | Comments


Can you imagine any one doing that? Mother Theresa – yes that Mother Theresa. Now she has had her detractors,  but  for me the good she has done far outweighs whatever issues some people might have with her.

And let’s face it her beatification has taken place and the next stop for her is more than likely sainthood. So who on earth would call her what I think is the worst thing you can call someone?

I really do and those who know me know I can swear with the best of them. But that is the big no-no word in my book; especially when it comes to saints in waiting.

This all goes back to the TV pilot Taylor and I shot last week. No, I’m not off that yet, too many enquiring minds want to know.

So I will tell you what I can.

We went to LA to shoot an unnamed pilot.  It has a working title but I’m going to shut up about that. It is being made for what shall remain an unnamed network.  But network is the operative word.  It’s not cable and it’s one of the big three we watched as kids and if you’re one of my younger readers, it’s one of the big ones and it’s not the one American Idol is on.

So we have daytime talk show, pilot, network and it was sold to us and the other guests as a show for moms; A View for moms if you will.

I was assuming parenting experts and people who knew something about the world of raising kids would be running the show.

Assumed is the operative word there.

I was also told that they loved our documentary and the producer, one of a rotation of three that had the job in the four weeks I was involved with them; three producers in four weeks should tell you something too.  But producer number one in the rotation called me crying after she had watched the film and carried on about how moved she was. I’m not saying that for any reason other than, deep emotion and response to all nuance seemed to be the controlling dynamic in our conversations.
I was told by the second producer in rotation that the hosts whoever they may be (I knew the identity of two), were as moved as the producer who had left.  And the second producer was also moved or merely reading notes left by the first producer, she wasn’t around long enough to find out.

The third producer who wanted more tapes said the entire cast, though they were waiting to finalize who they actually were, also adored the film.  Entire cast waiting to be finalized should have also been some clue.

But I was so high on the whole thing these details flew right past me.

I was having a Sally Field they like me moment and couldn’t see the truth through the hype.

We were also told we were going to be the first segment of the show, the longest segment and were being used as an example of good parenting or at least taking parenting by the horns and wrangling it straight.  We were the mom and the daughter who faced their demons, and did the right thing. We were the good guys, or so I was told.

Minus the names and addresses this is pretty much all I knew when we got out to LA. I might have been filled in on the cast at that point, I don’t remember exactly and I don’t want to say things I’m not sure of.

So that means I don’t know when I found out that shining light of parenting, that mother to end all mothers, the woman, my friends, who I found out just yesterday called Mother Theresa the c word, Sharon Osbourne, was one of the hosts of the parenting show.

Before I continue with this I want to share her feelings about our next female Saint with you.

She says, “Nobody is everything to everybody.”

“I didn’t like Mother Teresa. See? Somebody didn’t like her. Ugly old c**t in sandals.”

She said that. She really, really said that.  Would you put someone who said that on any show much less a show that deals with kids?

What honestly has Sharon Osbourne ever done except maybe get Ozzy to the Oz Fests on time and try and sober him up and pick up her kids from rehab?

On her website it credits her with inventing reality television as we know it. Apparently she helped cook up the MTV show she and her family starred in that got the whole reality TV death wheel turning.
I have to say even if I were responsible for creating reality TV and I’m not so sure she is, I would keep quiet about it.  Reality TV is to entertainment what crotchless panites are to lingerie – perhaps she had something to do with them too.

I’m not going to bring up any of the other hosts as Sharon is about all I can handle. And she is the only one who really attacked me; which bothered me quite a bit until I found out what she said about Mother Theresa. Once you hear someone said that about Mother Theresa there is very little they say you can take seriously. But I didn’t know that then.

So we arrived at the unnamed show for the undisclosed network fifteen minutes before our badly planned call time and four and a half hours before we actually got on the set. We were told we would be out by three- thirty at four- thirty we trundled up on the stage. Low blood sugar, cranky and not feeling much love from the audience who were also getting rather bored and tired.

I should have known things would not go well when they attacked one of the other guests and pretty much ambushed her. For some reason despite this I stayed in denial though I remember saying to Tay we might be in trouble here, but all these hosts are so entitled themselves I could not imagine what they would say to us. Maybe the why India question. Maybe when did you decide to take her to India?  Maybe they would ask Taylor what she felt when I left her there. I knew they would not bring up my handbag as I knew several of the people sitting up there had twenty times as many of them as I do and I could have shot that one down fast.

What I was not prepared for was taking my seat on the stage with the cameras rolling and the first person to say something was Sharon, who barked, “You’re neurotic, You’re very neurotic, no wonder…” And from that point on whatever else she said flew right past me.
If I hadn’t been so thrown off my game, which I totally was as this has not been standard practice in any of the interviews  I’ve ever done for anything, I would have snapped back “I may be neurotic, which I own, but compared to you honey I’m the Dalai Lama.”

This was before I knew she had something in for 20th century Holy icons. Heaven only knows what she has called him.

But I didn’t say it, like most retorts you wish you had retorted I didn’t think of it until I was on my way home.  Instead I mumbled something about how I knew I was and part of the point of the film was facing it and not passing it on.  But before I could finish my non-thought out thought, that was pretty much just me defending myself badly; I was cut off by one of the other hosts, as another part of their interviewing technique is not actually posing questions and responding to answers, but barking over each other to see who can get the most air time.

Blessedly our time on the show was whittled down from seventeen minutes to ten and I did regain my equilibrium enough to snap at one of the other hosts who said “Kids only need to be loved.”  and then glared at me.

I managed a mini snarl and said  “Are you accusing me of not loving my child?”  She shut up after that. I won’t name names but let’s say she was a little girl who lived in a little house that happened to be on a prairie.

This is not the way talk shows are supposed to go. But as I’ve retold this to others who do something I don’t,  which is watch TV apparently the ambush and attack, Simon Cowell, “You’re untalented and ugly”

The Donald –  “You’re fired.” “You’re fat”  “You’re going home.”

For some shows not all – as this is my first experience with this, but for the ones who don’t have enough talent to do it the right way, mean is the new nice.

“You’re a loser” has become the new “ Welcome, it’s great to have you on the show.”

“You’re neurotic has replaced, “ Hello, tell us about your film.”

And I guess calling almost saints ugly swear words gets you book deals and  TV shows and some aggressive fan base.

I will say at the end of the show as I walked off the set and refused to say good-bye to her, producer number three who clearly knew this was a bust, said “Sharon seemed to really like Taylor.”

I wanted to say of course she liked Taylor, she’s probably never met a kid that age who was sober.

So who would you say is the better mother Sharon?  You’re the expert!

Mother Theresa.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” -Mother Theresa

Mother Expert?