Does Patti Stanger hate everyone?

The "Millionaire Matchmaker" is known for brashness, but recent comments on gay men, women and Jews went too far

Topics: Reality TV,

Does Patti Stanger hate everyone?

It’s been a banner week for Patti Stanger, Bravo’s vaguely humanoid “Millionaire Matchmaker.” In the course of just a few days, she’s managed to offend Jews, gay men, straight men and women in general. Though it’s hard to predict what she’ll do next, I’d advise Dominicans and the blind to brace themselves.

Stanger revved up last week by telling the hosts of “New York Live” that our metropolitan women “are smart in business and dumb in love,” whereas Los Angeles women are “dumb in business and smart in love.” She then added, in a coup de grace that makes asses of both sexes, that “[Men] like [smart women] after marriage. They don’t like them before they are married. You got to dumb it down a little because men are not that bright.” To recap: Women are dumb and men are dumb, just in different ways.

But she really got rolling on Sunday’s “Watch What Happens Live,” telling a caller who’d asked about long-distance relationships that “in the gay world, it will always be open.… There is no curbing the gay man.” She then told the show’s openly gay host Andy Cohen, “I have tried to curb you people.” And when Cohen told her, “I am a gay and am down for the monogamy,” Stanger snorted derisively and replied, “When was the last time you had a boyfriend?” She also told another caller, “You’re very handsome. I thought you were straight… because [you're] not queeny. Like, do you want a queen? Yeah, I don’t think so.”

When not exhausting all her disparaging stereotypes regarding “the gays,” Stanger, who is Jewish, also informed America that “Jewish men lie,” prompting Cohen to remark, “So I’m a non-monogamous liar.”

Stanger did not gain her renown for her subtlety. Her persona is about the tough love — heavy on easily digestible generalizations, not exactly brimming with scientific fact. So she likely was aiming for a certain jokey, keepin’ it real tone. Her comments about gays and Jews, after all, came within an episode in which she also declared, “If you give a good blowjob, the man falls in love with you forever.” Which is only true if you define “forever” as “10 seconds.”



The fantasy that there’s a quick secret to figuring out love is exactly what won Stanger a television show in the first place. It’s not as if anyone’s watching Bravo, the home of “Real Housewives,” for the nuance. It’s simpler to have someone confidently spout that gay men are slutty and Jews are dishonest. And just remember that when you’re out there dating, okay? It’ll streamline the whole process!

Yet not everyone enjoys being reduced to a single insulting stereotype. After the episode aired, the hashtag #CancelStanger promptly gained Twitter steam, and Bravo’s PR team had to issue a damage-control statement that Stanger’s comments “are not representative of the network’s beliefs and opinions. We apologize for the offense it caused.”

Stanger, for her part, has spent most of the past few days steadfastly clueless. On Monday she was still tweeting “It’s true LA gays toughest nuts to crack to monogamy!” Then, perhaps considering that she might this time alienated more people than usual, she added, “Attn male Gays: I support you … my comment on WWHL was to a LA guy who can’t find commitment,” and “So sorry — didn’t mean to offend anyone. Love you all. X0″ She also sent a statement to GLAAD that read “I am so sorry. I did not mean to offend anyone with my comments last night on ‘Watch What Happens Live.’”

It would be foolhardy to suggest that the dynamics of hetero, gay and lesbian relations are identical. But that doesn’t mean they can be boiled down to offensive soundbites about dumbness or promiscuity, especially coming from the clumsy mouth of a woman who seems to possess no true wit or empathy. Kathy Griffin makes cracks about “the gays” all the time too, but she’s not pretending she can help you get married. And it’s Stanger’s abrupt, dismissive tone, her determination to hate on everybody, that goes to the core of the real problem with her. Love is a crazy thing. An often foolish enterprise. Maybe it’s not monogamous and maybe it’s not forever. Yet most of us, gay, straight and in between, seem to want it anyway. So why would anybody take advice on matters of the heart from someone who seems like she might not possess one?

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>