By Lori Perkins
While we were all gobsmacked by how the Reddit bros were toppling Wall Street with the Game Stop stock uprising, or even being charmed by the 80 year-old sex symbol Dr. Fauci just doing his job, a small article was published in the Hollywood Reporter announcing that Charmed actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano had been chosen to star in a Netflix adaptation of Nora Roberts’ Brazen Virtue.
Within an hour of this news breaking, the Karens of Romancelandia, who has made their presence loudly known at the Romance Writers of America debacle less than two years ago, came out in full force to condemn Nora Roberts on her Facebook page for allowing this leftist actress to appear in a film based on her book. The sentiments expressed were the usual “I’ll never read another one of your books again” to “I’ll never watch the film” and “I’ll burn all my Nora Roberts books” because Milano has been critical of the Trump administrations policies on immigration and the pandemic and is avidly pro-choice.
Roberts, never one to shy away from controversy, told these so-called fans where they could go on her website:
I’ve read many of the comments on Laura’s announcement of the Brazen Virtue adaption for Netflix, starring Alyssa Milano. And I’m simply and sincerely appalled.
The vitriol, the hatred, the anger, the bitterness and the demands are astounding to me.
By and large I keep politics off my pages. That’s my choice. Now many readers have dragged their own onto this page, so I’m going to state, for the record: I’m a liberal Democrat. Always have been, always will be. And as one, I’ve always believed everyone has a right to their political beliefs, and has a right to express their opinions. But I don’t have to tolerate insults and ugliness on my page.
For those who want to claim Freedom of Speech—look it up. This FB page isn’t the government. Some have comments on here using ‘liberal’ as a slur, an insult, equating it with communism. Others have used outright slurs against an actress, while claiming she should keep her opinions to herself. (No doubt those same people would be quick to assert their own First Amendment rights.)
Some will never read me again because Milano will headline this adaptation. One reader stated she intended to BURN all my books in her collection for this choice of actress.
Think about that. Burning books. Get a visual? I sure do.
Another claims she can only support ‘like-minded’ artists. Really? I only imagine the books, songs, movies I’d have missed if I felt this way and refused to read, watch, listen to those who contributed to or performed them who hold different political viewpoints from my own.
Over this past long, hard year, we’ve lost over 400,000 friends, loved ones, neighbors to COVID. We’ve been isolated from each other, and I for one yearn for the company of my pals again. I wonder, truly, why this grief, this hardship hasn’t taught so many of us we need each other. Instead, as illustrated by that comment section, it’s hardened far too many into an us and them mentality.
The viciousness I read in too many comments below hurts my heart. And realizing because I’m a liberal Democrat, many of those comments are directed at me for that reason alone is a real eye-opener.
Watch the movie when it comes out, or don’t. But lobbing nastiness at an actress or threatening me doesn’t do anything but illustrate your own limitations.