On July 16, legendary entertainer Rosie O’Donnell is set to host a night of comedy at the Fonda Theater benefitting the nonprofit Friendly House, which helps to rehabilitate women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction by providing housing and counseling.
LAMag recently had a chance to catch up with the comedian, actor, activist, TikToker, and longtime foil to Donald Trump about the upcoming event and the current state of the American union.
O’Donnell, a long-time critic of the right, hasn’t really been known to hold back on sharing her opinions and our conversation was no exception—particularly on the matter of the overturning of Roe v Wade; O’Donnell says this decision truly outrages her—but added that she hopes women can now find a way to unite around the issue.
“It’s a time for women to stick together. You know, for 50 years we’ve had this right to decide what happens to our own bodies and when we want to become a parent, and when we don’t. If men could get pregnant, it would be a whole different thing,” she said. “So the fact that men are trying once again to legislate what women do with their own body… is horrifying.”
If men could get pregnant, it would be a whole different thing
As a woman, a comedian, and a public figure, O’Donnell says it’s her responsibility to use her platform—and that she’s proud to be seen as a longtime foil to the former president.
“I think it’s the job of everyone who has a microphone right now, as democracy is dwindling, to stand up and speak the truth of what they feel, And for me, it’s to be adamantly opposed to every single thing he has ever done or represented,” O’Donnell told LAMag. “When people say, ‘Oh, how does it feel that you’re in this thing with Trump?’ If people are going to recognize me as the opposite of him, that’s a pretty big honor.”
And as a daytime talk show veteran, O’Donnell has taken to TikTok lately. She says it allows a more direct connection with her fans.
“I think [it] allows you to get a little more personal with people, they tell their stories… it’s fascinating for me to hear and start to interact with people on there whose lives have touched me. I don’t know, it’s the future,” she said.
Hours after the Roe reversal was announced by the Supreme Court, O’Donnell took to TikTok to share her strong opinions—particularly on one of the justices.
“Impeach Clarence Thomas. Arrest his wife,” she told her fans.
Although O’Donnell speaks seriously on many issues, she usually finds a way to add levity to the chatter. But lately, comedians have unjustly come under fire for doing just that, she says. For example, the infamous slap of Chris Rock by Will Smith after a joke the comic made at The Oscars earlier this year left her aghast.
“I thought what Will Smith did was horrifying. And I really thought that he should have been arrested at the moment he did it,” O’Donnell said. “You know, I think that it was the thing that prompted somebody to go and attack Dave Chappelle. And when we’re attacking each other physically for the words that we’re saying, we’re in deep trouble as a nation,” she said.
A lot of the anger and derision we’re seeing can be attributed to former President Trump, O’Donnell said.
“I think that a comedian’s job is to speak the unspeakable. But all the unspeakable things in the last four or five years have been spoken and done to us. And the lies that have been told… the January 6 Commission hearings, I’ve been glued to them,” she revealed. ”And I just absolutely hope that everyone in the world gets a chance to see that… [Trump] said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it? Well, he did much worse than that.”
Hopefully, she says, Americans can some day recover from the Trump presidency.
“[Trump’s] a master manipulator. And hopefully, we can break some of the spells that he has over these people and unite together as a country that once was looked upon as the greatest in the world,” she added.
For tickets to O’Donnell’s upcoming event, Stand up for Friendly House, click here.
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