“Parks and Recreation” star Rashida Jones has perhaps learned a lesson of the Internet: Seemingly offhand comments you make in an interview posted anywhere online can ping around and create a critical mass.
That’s what happened after Jones, promoting her new movie “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” made what reads like a joking reference to John Travolta‘s sexuality on a music site. The resultant online chatter moved her to apologize to Travolta on Twitter.
The background: Jones and Will McCormack, who co-wrote “Celeste and Jesse” with her, did an interview with SpinningPlatters.com that posted on Friday (Aug. 10). The conversation turned to Jones’ “obsession” with singer Frank Ocean, who recently revealed he’s gay, and then to out celebrities in general:
McCormack: There needs to be, like, a professional athlete that comes out.
Jones: And a movie star! It’s time.
McCormack: Yeah, like a big one.
Jones: A movie star. Like John Travolta? Come out! Come on. How many masseurs have to come forward? Let’s do this.
In response to another question, Jones says that if a big star were to come out, it might change the conversation about sexuality: “[W]ith someone like Frank Ocean, yes, it’s fantastic that he did what he did and his letter was so beautiful, and he’s in such close proximity to all these rappers so he’s battling homophobia just by being honest. But big stars need to come out. Ricky Martin was huge. That was big; I was really happy about that.”
After reflecting on her comments (and after her initial comments got picked up by scads of other sites), Jones apologized to Travolta via Twitter on Tuesday: “Made a thoughtless comment about John Travolta. I sincerely apologize. Nobody’s personal life is my business.”
What do you think of the situation? Did Jones handle it the right way?