Sit DOWN, Reese Witherspoon
For years I have been telling you she's not the sweetness she's been selling you. And still people are surprised. At a recent Faculty of Celebrity Studies event, I told a story about Reese being a dick and some people were surprised, like they couldn't believe it. Because she goes to church and has a nice smile.
But it takes a special kind of asshole to drop the "Do You Know Who I Am?" line. To be able to say it out loud, intoxicated or not. Because think of what that line implies. "Do You Know Who I Am?" is a sh-tty thing to say when you not only want to belittle someone but also when you mean to threaten them. Right? It's saying they're beneath you AND that you have the power to make them suffer.
THAT is Reese Witherspoon, drunk or not.
In case you missed it, here's what went down. Variety broke the story yesterday that at 330am on Saturday morning, Witherspoon's husband, Jim Toth, who's a power player CAA agent, was pulled over in Atlanta for driving erratically. He subsequently failed a breathalyser. So he was driving drunk, essentially turning the car into a weapon and endangering civilians. While the cop was processing Toth, Witherspoon became increasingly agitated and got out of the car not once but twice and had to be told by the officer to return to her vehicle. Which is when she started mouthing off, pulling the "Do You Know Who I Am?" card and then letting the policeman know that he was going to be all over the news, as if that would somehow be a deterrent to him DOING HIS JOB and protecting citizens from harm. Click here to read the full report of the incident. It's hilarious how unimpressed the cop was by her identity and her behaviour.
Witherspoon has released a statement about her actions:
“Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said. It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”
There are those who will be placated by apologies, any apology, even if it's useless. This is a useless apology. Because instead of apologising, she's rationalising.
It was a scary situation...?!
Who charges out of the car -- TWICE -- when they're scared by a scary situation? And who pulls the "Do You Know Who I Am?" card when they're scared?! "Do You Know Who I Am?" is an aggressor's move. Ms Witherspoon wasn’t afraid. Mrs Witherspoon was INCONVENIENCED.
And where does “Do You Know Who I Am?” come from? Entitlement, of course. Celebrity Entitlement. Being spoiled. When was the last time Reese Witherspoon was made to wait? When was the last time Reese Witherspoon didn’t operate on Reese Witherspoon time? Reese Witherspoon was pissed because it was taking too long. Reese Witherspoon was pissed because it’s been a long, long time since Reese Witherspoon wasn’t given VIP treatment. Understand then that that was the thought process for Reese Witherspoon in that moment.
How much longer do I have to wait?
I’m tired. I want to go home.
To treat me like this is unacceptable.
Is that an example of Southern girl with good Southern values?
Or is that yet another example of a movie star from Hollywood who lives by a different set of rules?
To say nothing of the most egregious part of the situation --- which is that for all her Mom advocacy, she was OK with getting into a car with a driver whose blood alcohol level was 0.139 and the Georgia state limit is 0.08. At best it’s reckless. At worst it’s reprehensible.
But you know who wins now?
Probably PEOPLE Magazine. How long before we get some nice shots of inside her baby’s nursery? Or even an exclusive interview about, oh, the time she let Robert Pattinson stay at her ranch when he was sad? If you’re Reese Witherspoon, who do you sell out to save your own ass when the MiniVan Majority suddenly isn’t so impressed with it?