Helen Mirren Branded a “Disgrace” For BP, World Cup Comments

Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren has been branded a “disgrace” and a “traitor” for comments she made on Monday night’s Letterman about the England/U.S. World Cup match and the BP oil spill. The Daily Mail quotes her interview, in which she touched on Saturday’s match:

“…I was so relieved it was a draw.

“Because you know if Britain [sic] had beaten America, what with BP, which to my mind stands for bloody p***-poor.”

The actress was cut off by a round of applause from the American audience before continuing.

Risking a few raised eyebrows this side of the pond, she went on: “I mean I don’t think I could have come on this show. I would have been so embarrassed and mortified at being British that I think I would have had to cancel.”

The Daily Mail, of course, saw an opportunity to cause a stink with Dame Helen’s comments, deeming her “unpatriotic” and digging into her for calling the England team “Britain.” And the readers in the comments section for her article took the bait. Here’s just a sampling:

“All we are doing is protecting our reputation by standing up for our great country unlike that turncoat and traitor Helen Mirren, STRIP HER OF HER HONORS!!!”

“Helen, stay in America…we don’t want you back if this is the way you behave. The next thing we will see is her on an English program slagging the Americans off. She is two-faced and I hope she never gets an acting job again.”

“Blimey, pandering to the Yanks or what! Yuk…”

“OMG touchy bunch you are. I love Helen!!! She has a personailty and self-depreciating humor. Ya’ll could use some right about now.”

“Stupid cow. Gone right down in my estimation. Dame Muppet can be her new title.”

“Fancy people here calling Helen Mirren ‘stupid’ and a ‘prat’. Probably the best actress in her generation – and obviously a really bright woman.”

“This woman’s head is so far up her own rear that she can wear her tonsils as earrings! What an ego!”

Oh dear. Yes, Dame Helen, even though Letterman is a U.S. show, there’s this thing called the World Wide Web, and information travels rather quickly along its corridors. So to quote Whitney Houston, “Watch what the f*** you say, babygirl!”

Still, Ms. Mirren seems pretty ensconced in the U.S., with her American husband (director Taylor Hackford), her American stepsons, and her new American film role, so I doubt she’s bovvered by a few comments on a newspaper website.

In other news:

  • Rapper/mogul Diddy is in the market to buy a European soccer team, and he revealed to BBC NEWS that he almost bought England’s Crystal Palace football club: “There was somebody that had looked at it but the business of it just wasn’t the right business move for me at the time.” But he adds: “I’m always looking into different business ventures and it’s definitely one of my dreams one day to be a part of a sports franchise, especially a football team.”
  • Holy crrrrrap: Switzerland pulled off the biggest upset of the World Cup thus far with a victory over Spain. I’m sure Michael Cree will have a lot to say about this in his weekly wrap-up on Friday.(The Sun)
  • Is Britain’s Got Talent in jeopardy now that Simon Cowell is getting antsy and Piers Morgan is rumored to be leaving to replace Larry King on CNN? (Mirror)
  • Producers of the MTV remake of Skins have re-imagined its version of Maxxie – the gay character played by Mitch Hewer – as a lesbian. So basically the U.S. version has jumped the shark before it has even begun. Thanks guys! (AfterElton)
  • Doctor Who star Karen Gillan is amongst TV’s best gingers, according to The Guardian.
  • Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman are set to star in HBO’s literary love story Hemingway & Gelhorn. James Gandolfini, who was once slated to star in the film, is producing, with Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, Quills) directing. Love Clive Owen, but as Ernest Hemingway? And, of course, Ms. Kidman’s photo is in the dictionary next to the word “Meh.”(Deadline)
  • Harry Potter‘s David Yates says he’s not directing The Hobbit. But, please, someone – anyone – rescue this film from the likes of Brett Ratner.(Guardian)
  • In a lecture hosted by BAFTA, Stephen Fry called British TV “infantilized,” saying that UK networks don’t respect adult intelligence: “You’re told what is a good thing and what is a bad thing. You have a villain or a hero. In the first five minutes you have to know he’s like that because he’s got problems at home, she’s like that because she’s lost her faith, or whatever. Everything is given to you. Nothing is given time.We are so used to laughing at the Americans because they are so ‘vulgar’ and ‘stupid’, but you watch good American TV and it has maturity and surprise.”
  • Has Charlotte Church‘s breakup with Gavin Henson taken its toll on the singer/actress?(Daily Mail)
  • The Choir‘s Gareth Malone talks to The London Times (registration required) about his new show, Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne. “There is always a moment when you well up, and it is very often not the performance but in the rehearsal process. Music is beautiful and there is something deeply affecting about someone singing for the first time. But teenagers get a terrible press. We expect the very worst of them.”

  • Russell Brand said he would shag Kerry Katona if she were still zaftig. And if he weren’t engaged to Katy Perry, naturally.(The Sun)
  • A new man. For Amy Winehouse, it does a body good.(The Sun)
  • Oscar nominees Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan share a steamy snog in the new film, Never Let Me Go.(Daily Mail)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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