Why we should cut Jason Bateman some iPhone-gate slack
Apparently no one likes a guy who cuts in line, even if he is the only responsible member of the Bluth family.
As we noted in Friday's morning mix, Jason Bateman was plucked from a line outside an L.A. Apple store last week so he could get quick and easy access to the new iPhone. The incident sparked plenty of iOutrage online, enough that Bateman was forced to defend himself on Twitter.
"There wasn't one boo. Not one hiss. The Apple guy brought me in away from the paparazzi. Period. I was content in line. I wish I'd stayed," he posted Sunday to his Twitter account.
Then Us Magazine cited several witnesses who said, actually, people were booing at Bateman, and that the paparazzi amounted to one photographer, max. Which, in turn, prompted Bateman to issue a Tweet-pology yesterday:
Correction- If there were boos, I didn't hear them. If some were mad, I didn't see them. I wish I had. If you're out there, I'm sorry.
Seeing a celebrity receive special treatment really irks people, especially when they've had to stand in line for hours -- perhaps many more hours than Bateman did -- to get access to what is readily being handed to him. I get that. If I had been in line, I might have been slightly perturbed, too.
But here's the thing, people: if you were Jason Bateman, you'd take the escort, too.
The American Dream may involve buying a nice house, being able to live comfortably and having the ability to take luxurious vacations with your loving and happy family. But you know what else it involves? Reaching a point in life where you no longer have to wait in line for things.
We're an impatient society filled with people whose Microsoft Outlook calendars are jammed with appointments and things to do. We don't like to wait. And if we're in a situation where we can avoid it, most of us will.
Or, as Whoopi Goldberg put it while jumping to Bateman's defense during Monday's episode of "The View": "If they hissed and booed, it's because those people were [ticked] off they weren't you, baby."
Was it a savvy move from a PR perspective? Probably not. The challenging thing about being famous is that one has to remember that, in even the most benign situations, you are being judged. Watching Bateman get to scoot up the Apple store line conveyed to those around him that he's not a man of the people. Understandably, that probably never occurred to him at the time. Now it surely will.
But I think if we all take a look at the man (or woman) in the mirror, we'll see that, in certain circumstances, there's a line cutter in all of us. So maybe we should be a bit more forgiving of Mr. Bateman.
Besides, if that iPhone allows him to keep in better contact with Mitch Hurwitz, thereby ensuring that the script for the "Arrested Development" movie actually gets written, isn't this all for the greater good?
| June 30, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
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