Watching the mutual support between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga reminds me of so many times in radio when that wasn’t the case for me. It’s clear that Cooper and Gaga have true affection for each. The cold, hard fact is, they’re promoting a movie, but they’re doing it with grace and admiration. When you find that in broadcasting, it’s rare, as I’m sure my radio colleagues will testify.
In my career there was the guy who feared that my presence was “dumbing down” the radio station because I was so much younger than him. (But not dumb by any means.) He would spontaneously lob “gotcha” questions to me out of the blue on the air. Not about current events. About which company owned a former bank building downtown in the decades before either one of us was born. Lame.
Then there was the co-host who demanded that I be kept away from a major morning show promotion. For charity. He didn’t want to share the spotlight. I timidly showed up anyway and drew as little attention as possible to myself. (If I had it to do over again, I would handle this particular “partnership” differently!)
And the female colleague who spread a rumour about me because she was afraid – with no evidence or reason whatsoever – that I wanted her job. It was puzzling and upsetting. She had power and I was a peon. It also hurt.
Don Fraser at CKNX in Wingham set the tone for radio partnerships for me. He was generous, supportive, encouraging and helped me grow. Later in my career, I was fortunate to have partners who knew, as I did, that we were stronger as a team than either one of us could be on our own. Paul Cook. Brian Fysher. Derek Botten. Mike Stubbs. Ken Eastwood. Great guys, huge talents. Happy to share the spotlight. Delighted in the talents of others. Those are the career stops I focus on when I need to remind myself that I accomplished something worthwhile in my career.
The morning after the beautiful Cooper/Gaga Oscar performance of Shallow, Mel B of the Spice Girls said she felt sorry for Cooper’s girlfriend during the song because Gaga was breaking the “girl code” by getting so close to Cooper. It’s called acting, and they both do it very well. When women infantilize other women – assuming Irina Shayk is a victim and incapable of making her own decisions – it just brings us all down.
Today, A Star is Born is back in more than 1,000 theatres for a special one-week run, with more footage and songs. I have to admit, I’m tempted. It was that good. The collaborative relationship and mutual respect between the leads, leaps off the screen. I suppose that’s why so many people (women?) want them to be in love in real life. Because that kind of relationship is rare.