Open Mic

A Call to Action: As the New List of Participants on 'Dancing with the Stars' Illustrates, We Are in Grave Danger of Celebrating Celebrities Whose Level of Fame Is Unacceptable

Chuck Ross Posted September 1, 2011 at 6:17 AM

When we posted our story earlier this week about who the new celebrities are for this fall’s edition of ABC's “Dancing with the Stars” (“A Thespian, a Former Lesbian and a Kardashian. Plus a Stylist, a Jurist and a Songstress. And More. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls: Meet the Celebrities Who Will Be on 'Dancing with the Stars' This Fall”), a comment left by a reader named “WriterGuy” said, in part, “Don't mean to be too snarky, but I actually had to read this twice before I was convinced this wasn't an Onion satire.”

As it happens, we picked up a copy of our favorite mock-newspaper yesterday, The Onion, and there on the front page was a satirical piece under the headline “Nation's Celebrities Not Famous Enough, Publicists Agree.” You can find it online here. Some excerpts:

" 'The current level of celebrity fame is, quite simply, unacceptable,' [a] strongly worded statement [by the publicists] read in part. 'We, as a society, must rectify this problem by paying more attention to the celebrities who occupy the public sphere, right away and without delay. Their faces need to be on more magazines covers, their names need to be spoken aloud more often, and their careers need to be more unmistakably on the rise.' "

" 'There are approximately 6 billion human beings living on this planet, and we believe each and every one of them should know not only who the nation's celebrities are, but what they are working on, what they have just finished, and what their plans after this may or may not turn out to be,' publicist Janet Thompson said. 'Additionally, the topics of what they are wearing, who they are dating, and where they are going on vacation are urgent matters about which awareness must be increased as soon as possible.' "

" 'The sad fact we are facing is that many famous people today exist below the level of household name,' publicist James Friar, also a signatory of the statement, told reporters. 'For example, there are literally billions of people out there who do not even know who Graham Bunn is. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true. And that is something we should all be ashamed of. Even a cursory glance at Graham Bunn's body of work reveals him to be an extraordinary individual.' "

"Publicists everywhere, all of whom are in total agreement about the grave conclusions reached in the collective report, stressed that the nation's actors, musicians, competitive dance show contestants, satellite-radio personalities, game show hosts, politicians, media pundits, club-scene staples, talk-show circuit regulars, authors of bestselling legal thrillers, models, infotainment providers, fashion designers, charity spokespersons, comedians, athletes, pop singers, television evangelists, porn stars with tell-all autobiographies being published soon, professional poker players, independent filmmaking auteurs, high-profile magazine editors, and magicians are all on the cusp of greater stardom and require the immediate fascination of mainstream America."

Hmm. High-profile magazine editors? The cusp of stardom?

Hey, ABC, I do a mean foxtrot …