Joan Rivers stormed off camera in a recent interview with CNN after she decided the anchor, Fredricka Whitfield, was being deliberately "negative".
We've been so shocked by Joan Rivers' increasingly outlandish antics over the past few years (and well before) that few of us were surprised when she did something as mild as storm off set in a recent interview with CNN.
Joan Rivers stormed off set last week in a segment which aired on Saturday (5th July).
The 81-year-old comedian was promoting her new autobiography Diary of a Mad Diva on the news channel when she took umbrage with presenter Fredricka Whitfield in a segment which aired on Saturday (5th July). Rivers believed Whitfield was attacking her and being deliberately "negative".
Whitfield was highly complimentary of Rivers, praising her for long career as comedian, author and television presenter. She mentioned Rivers' presenting of E!'s Fashion Police which Rivers has hosted since 2010. It started to go downhill when Whitfield mentioned how Rivers can be "very mean" when commenting on celebrities' choice of red carpet clothing on the show. It wasn't an entirely astute comment as Rivers is cynical and critical of most things, so why would her take on fashion be any different?
Nevertheless Rivers became defensive and claimed she was merely telling "the truth", in a similar way to how everyday viewers would comment on a star's choice of clothing. Rivers said "I'm sure I say the same things that all your viewers say to their friends sitting next to them on the couch. We're one of the few shows that says 'that's an ugly dress.'" She added stars such as Nicki Minaj, who make "$28 million a picture", were unlikely to care about her opinion.
Whitfield appeared to have bumbled through Rivers' first outburst but things went from bad to worse when the news anchor asked Rivers about being deliberately shocking, citing her decision to wear a fur coat on the front cover of her book. Whitfield, rather sensibly, suggested animal rights activists would be less than impressed with Rivers' choice of coat.
The news anchor thought Rivers' reaction was part of a comic stunt... It wasn't.
Unfortunately Rivers wasn't best pleased with this challenge and said "This whole interview is becoming a defensive interview." She further defended her decision by claiming the use of leather and eating of meat were akin to wearing fur. Whitfield persevered but Rivers attempted to finish the line of questioning by saying "I don't want to hear this nonsense. Come to me with a paper belt, and I'll talk to you."
When Whitfield didn't get the hint, Rivers declared "I'm going" and prepared herself to storm off camera. Before she left she detailed the reasons for her departure, stating: "All you've done is negative. I've made people laugh for 50 years, I am put on Earth to make people laugh. My book is funny." Bizarrely, Rivers then added "I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago, I work for animal rights."
Whitfield continued to consider Rivers' behaviour a joke and assumed it was a comedic stunt but she had seriously underestimated the diva's determination. Rivers said "Stop it with 'you do this and you're mean'! You are not the one to interview a person who does humor! Sorry!" She stormed off camera and did not return.
Whitfield appeared to be on the verge of laughing and said "Are we serious?" Apparently, as Whitfield revealed after the segment aired, Rivers was as she did not return to the interview. The anchor explained: "I thought she was joking the whole time but, in the end, we wondered was this a stunt? Well Rivers didn't return to the interview but off camera she kept her microphone on and she continued to talk and drop some very unflattering four letter words. So, yes, she was serious."
Joan Rivers' Diary of a Mad Diva is available in bookstores now.
Rivers is not stranger to controversy.