In a rare example of journalistic integrity, CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez actually called A-list actress Charlize Theron (most famous for her Oscar-winning portrayal of serial killer Eileen Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster) on the carpet for the anti-American idiocy she proceeded to spew during their interview last Sunday.
Promoting her latest project, East of Havana, a film about Cuban rappers, Theron went on a tirade about her adopted home country that left even the broadcast veteran embarrassed. Asked about Cuba’s lack of freedom under Castro, Theron said to Sanchez, "I would argue that there's a lack of freedom in America."
Stunned, the anchor checked to make sure he understood the actress correctly. But even after Sanchez sensibly pointed out that people aren’t incarcerated for their political beliefs in the U.S., Theron stumbled on, comparing Castro's jailing of dissidents to media outlets firing reporters for failing to meet appropriate standards of objective reporting (or in television’s case, just for pulling low ratings).
Sanchez then pressed the star further, offering her every chance to recant her ridiculous statement, but the blonde refused to take the bait. (Apparently nobody bothered to tell Theron that Sanchez is of Cuban descent, and like many of his heritage, probably not as inclined to idolize the communist dictator as most of Hollywood seems to be.) “Do you think the lack of freedoms in Cuba are parallel to the lack of freedoms in the United States?” he asked. “Well, I would,” answered Theron, “I would compare those two. Yes, definitely.”
Finally Sanchez stated the obvious: “It sounds like you don't have a very high opinion of the United States.” Theron tried to claim otherwise despite her disparagements, but seconds later, completely flummoxed, the woman Harper’s Bazaar called “a smart, down-to-earth dame” fell back on the ploy so many actresses before her have resorted to. Said the South African bombshell to Sanchez, “I want to make out with you right now.”
She may be an Academy Award winner, but subtle, she ain’t.
And there is more reason to applaud Sanchez than for merely his impressive interview techniques and that is for his rare-in-his-business willingness to call them like he sees them. Rather than cover for a powerful film industry insider (and a stunning one at that) like many of his colleagues have in the past, Sanchez observed that Theron’s bizarre outburst was simply, ``A way for a beautiful woman to get a guy to change the subject.''
No doubt the sexy Ms. Theron was doubly surprised. Not only did a member of what is supposed to be the fawning entertainment media insist she back up her audacious statements, but he was then completely unmoved by her clumsy attempts to appeal to his, ummm, baser nature—and he wasn’t even from that horrible Fox network.
So kudos to you, Mr. Sanchez. You may never get the chance, but if you do, can you go after fellow Castro-lovers Steven Spielberg and Robert Redford next? If you’re lucky, neither one will offer to make out with you.