WASHINGTON, October 4, 2013 —Fresh on the heels of its best season premiere in three years, the October 5 edition of “Saturday Night Live” should do just as well when Miley Cyrus guest hosts tomorrow night.
A lot of people were appalled by Cyrus’s recent raunchy performance on the VMAs, but “SNL” producers were probably ecstatic about it, given the follow-on attention it is likely to garner for their show.
“SNL” has gone through some major changes this year with the loss of Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Jason Sudeikis, and the addition of six new cast members. While America gets to know the new cast, “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels is counting on established stars like Tina Fey and Miley Cyrus to do the heavy lifting.
Following Cyrus in the hosting position next week will be Bruce Willis, along with musical guest Katy Perry.
Now back to Cyrus. After naming Sinead O’Connor as one of her influences in a recent “Rolling Stone” interview, Cyrus was the recipient of some tough love from O’Connor in the form of an open letter posted on the Irish singer’s website.
According to O’Connor, the initial letter was written in “the spirit of motherliness and with love.” O’Connor wrote that she is “extremely concerned” that Miley believes it is “in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business or yourself doing the pimping.”
Sounds like good advice right? But Cyrus continued her full speed ahead train wreck by attacking O’Connor and comparing her to the troubled actress Amanda Bynes. Cyrus also tweeted a screen shot of O’Connor’s tweets from two years ago that pleaded with followers to help her find a psychiatrist.
Cyrus’ flippant disregard for the devastating effects of mental illness has angered more than a few people.
Yesterday Cyrus also tweeted, “Sinead. I don’t have time to write you an open letter cause Im hosting & performing on SNL this week. So if youd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter. :)” [sic] Cyrus’s actions have prompted two additional open letters from O’Connor. The most recent one threatens legal action if Cyrus doesn’t publicly apologize to Bynes and O’Connor.
O’Connor also hosted “SNL” over twenty years ago. In that now-infamous performance, she took advantage of the show’s live format to bring attention to the abuse children have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church. During an a cappella version of the Bob Marley song “War,” O’Connor tore a picture of the pope into pieces and angrily threw it at the camera.
This move resulted in a lifetime ban from “SNL” by Lorne Michaels, and a career that never recovered.
At the time O’Connor was vilified for her criticism of the Catholic Church. But with the revelation of each new case of the sexual abuse of children at the hands of church priests, O’Connor’s protest, in retrospect, seemed to become more relevant. It could even be argued that O’Connor was so intent on revealing the history of abuse and its cover-up by the church hierarchy that she sacrificed her career to bring it all to light.
Regardless of our opinion of O’Connor or the church, however, the battle between her and Cyrus is just another example of how the former “Hannah Montana” star has embraced notoriety and sexual exhibitionism to further her career.
How “SNL” handles the current feud between these entertainers remains to be seen, but the fallout will probably result in a bigger audience for each of them during and after tomorrow night’s show.
On the other hand, the eventual fallout for Cyrus may include a Britney Spears-style meltdown that will continue to fuel the tabloids and our current obsession with all things Miley.
Which doesn’t speak well of either Miley or us.
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