Black Collar Workers



Hey, how much of your life have you spent thinking about that time when Bret Michaels got hit in the face with the thingy at the Tony Awards? Probably not very much, because while it was funny as hell, you don’t care about Poison that much in the first place, the Tony Awards mean less to you than the crap you took this morning, and it was also more than two-and-a-half years ago, and a lot has happened in your life since then. Really, until I mentioned it this now, I’d bet you hadn’t thought about Bret Michaels getting hit in his stupid face since maybe 2010, when the vocalist somehow cheated death for the bazillionth time.

Luckily, Bret has decided to remind us all by filing a $50 million lawsuit against the producers of the Tony Awards and CBS, the network that aired the show. The court filing alleges that CBS “could have prevented the footage… from airing via the standard seven-second broadcast delay,” that failing to do so caused Michaels “pain and humiliation,” and that the network didn’t censor it “because the incident could lead to greater publicity and ratings for the show.” This is Michaels’ second suit against the Tonys — the first alleges that the incident was responsible for the subarachnoid brain hemorrhage he suffered in in 2010.

Sooo… yeah, I call bullshit. Here why —

If you watch the video of the incident again (and you can do so below), they actually cut away from Michaels getting unskinny bopped on the head pretty quickly. I don’t think anyone deliberately failed to censor the footage; I think seven seconds is not that much time when you’re in a television control room doing a live broadcast and there’s a million things going on and you have to make a snap decision. Don’t forget that this is the same network that accidentally allowed Janet Jackson to show the world her nipple. Hitting that censor button in time is not their forté.

Furthermore, I still think it’s highly suspect that Michaels’ bandmates ran back to the little platform at the same time, immediately following the conclusion of the song — y’know, as though they knew a giant heavy curtain was going to drop. It seems pretty clear that this whole act had been well-rehearsed, and Michaels just blew his cue because he hung around to enjoy the applause from the crowd. (And it’s funny to note that said crowd would have consisted of people like Patti LuPone and Harvey Fierstein and their representatives — people who, I’m guessing, could give two farts about Michaels or his music.) So how is it CBS’ fault if Michaels didn’t go where he was told when he was told?

Of course, Michaels’ injury DID “lead to greater publicity” for the show — but not greater ratings. By the time it happened, everyone who was gonna watch the 2009 Tony Awards was already watching — the rest of us just saw it on YouTube the next day. And ratings for the broadcast went down in 2010, so it’s not like lots of people suddenly tuned in because of Michaels’ injury. So that argument seems like bull pucky.

If getting hit with the curtain really did cause Michaels’ brain hemorrhage, then, well… actually, I’m still not sure if that’s CBS’ fault, ’cause, again, it looks like he’s the one that fucked up, not the network. (Holy shit, Bret Michaels is making me defend the station that airs 2 Broke Girls and multiple versions of NCIS. FUCK YOU, BRET MICHAELS.)

I assume that, like so many huge lawsuits, this will be settled anticlimactically, out of court.  But fuck do I know? Maybe Michaels has a case. I’m not a lawyer. But I do know that the people who produce the Tonys have all been in showbusiness since before Michaels was born, all have law degrees, are all just this side of evil, and are all super litigious. I think suing them is the legal equivalent of Michaels putting on a football helmet and challenging the New York Giants to a game.

I guess we’ll see.


[via Bring Back Glam!]


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits