Monday, November 19, 2007

Clooney-Fabio Kerfuffle

A week or so ago, in a restaurant frequented by beautiful people, George Clooney and Fabio came to blows and had to be separated physically. The reason? Clooney said someone in Fabio's party took his picture and he gave them a "second finger salute." Fabio, who was dining with a bunch of ladies for "charitable" purposes (that means they paid to have lunch with him and some charity was supposed to get the $$), then went over to George's table to defend his companions' honor and told George to "Stop being such a diva." George responded with: "Takes one to know one." Or maybe it was "Na na na na, boo boo."

Anyway. Catfight ensued. Diva a diva.

They had to be pulled apart.

I can't believe nobody has blogged on this in the convertible. I mean, it's Fabio-- once the poster boy of Romance. Okay, not everybody liked him, or could even stand him, but he was identified heavily with our genre and appeared on the covers of TWO of my books!! So when I read the article on the dust-up between these two icons. . . well I was more than a little conflicted.

I mean, I've always liked Clooney. Even had the stray fantasy. . . ahem. But to think of him picking on Fabio, a poor little underprivileged immigrant boy. Wait a minute. The F-man made pots of cash in his heyday. Probably grossed more from my books than I made. Not to mention the family money he's lived on his entire life. Hmmm. Maybe he's not exactly underprivileged. Or underdeveloped. Then why does it seem George was being a jerk for picking on somebody twice his size?

In the news articles, they listed George's age as 46 and Fabio's as 48. And I took a good look at the once golden boy. No longer golden, folks. He's let his hair go back to its dark roots. And he's got lots of lines now. He looks. . . um. . . older. And he looks like he's got a few miles on him, too. Those squint lines from leaning down and saying "Huh?" all the time. On the other hand, George has the luck of the Irish (or the Gaelic, anyway) with a kind of "Sean Connery thing" going. He's all salt-and-pepper and aging handsomely. Not to mention, he's got at least two Academy Awards and legions of adoring fans. He's got a career, for pity's sake. Why does he have to be mean to poor old Fabio, whose claim to fame is a few now-ragged book covers and a moldy margarine commercial or two?

So what do you think? Who do you have more sympathy for, George or Fabio?

There is a photo (I can't reproduce it here. Copyright issues.) which shows George displaying that crass digit. . . which means his photo was being taken. . . which he didn't appreciate. Some say it was a Fabio setup from the start. But do you really think Fabio would stoop to something as low as staging an incident to get his name in the tabloids and on blogs across America?

I mean, if Fabio is really that sensitive about his honor and his fans, he should have a few bones to pick with Pierce Brosnan, who did his trick-or-treating one year as Fabio Frankenstein! Don't believe me?

Then, I learned this isn't the first time George and the F-man have locked horns. They've exchanged words and shoves before! Learning that made me think the "set-up" talk had a bit more credibility.

But even if Fabio did try to make a little news. . . why does it still seem like such an uneven match? Is it because Fabio was a one-trick pony and never seemed overly bright or capable? Because there was always something a little odd and weak about his eyes. Because after charming a generation of American women with secret fantasies, the best he could do was a few margarine commercials? Because we liked him a lot better when he kept his mouth shut and didn't spoil the fantasy?

Have you seen the commercial on TV that shows a woman waking up to a much-aged Fabio? I nearly had a heart attack. . . until I realized they'd made him up to look that way. What was the most disturbing was that for a moment I actually thought he'd deteriorated that much! Then I realized, I was watching a male fantasy. . . the stud who made all women swoon, gone to seed and scaring the very women he once charmed. A little male revenge on all our delicious female fantasies.

What do you think? Who was the bigger horse's patoot? George or Fabio? Looking back, what do you think of the whole cover model phenomenon on the 90's? Did it serve a purpose? Do the Hollywood hunks of today serve much the same purpose as Fabio did?


MsHellion said...

Hmmm. I can see both sides of the issue actually. I think it's George's right NOT to be photographed every second of the day...without permission. Of course he's going to be bitchy. There will be debaters who say: Those in the public eye, who "seek celebrity" as apparently George has done has to take the bad with the good. But WHY does he have to take that? That's a similar justification as saying that girl deserved to be raped because she dressed provocatively. (Granted, rape is a far bigger issue--but I bet it's not to George. I bet to him it's a sort of rape.) *shrugs*

Meanwhile Fabio...I've never liked Fabio, but I like to think he's a good guy. Obviously suffers from a need to be fawned over--and now that his looks are going to seed, he has to work on his personality as well. Now he's this charitable, charming person, who defends women like the knights he's been portrayed as...he probably honestly doesn't understand George's hostility to having his picture taken. After all, Fabio LOVES having his picture taken...and of course, looking at pictures of himself. The fact that women still WANT to have their picture taken with him is intensely flattering...

Anyway, despite the fact he's probably doing much of his charitable work out of a need to be admired, he IS doing charitable work...and I think any charitable work is better than none. It might not be as profound as George's stand on Darfur...but Darfur isn't the only place with starving or desperate people. I think it takes as big a heart to help the needy children in your neighborhood as the ones who are across the world. *shrugs*

Christie Ridgway said...

George, George, George. Take the high road, dude.

I'm sure it's a problem for celebs to be photo'd all the time, but going from annoyance to blows with Fabio...why?

Son 2 and I were in Washington DC on "the mall" and saw a celebrity (am totally spacing on his name, a lesser comedian, middle-aged). He was riding around on a bike, slow circles in the crowd, wearing a suit, tie and everything. We were discreetly trying to take his picture (no flash or anything) and he called out to us and offered to pose. I felt bad for a second that we'd got caught, and then thought, wait, if you're at at tourist destination, riding a bike around in public wearing a business suit, you must want to get looked at.

So George, if your privacy is so very important, call a caterer.

Christie the Cruel

flip said...

Fabio is the winner in this match. Giving the finger to some ladies for taking your picture, is petty. Seriously, does any celebrity expect privacy in LA? If you want privacy, go somewhere free of celebrities. It is my experience that in small towns, people tend to ignore celebrities. They let them live in peace.

Personally, I say kudos to both men foregoing the plastic surgery. I hate seeing men with face lifts and brow lifts. I think middle aged men are incredibly sexy with their smile lines. I love Bruce Campbell on Burn Notice.

Cindy Gerard said...

I've grinned about that story too and from the beginning I've been on Fabio's (or FLABio's as some reporter put it) side. It seems he even went to Mr. C's table to apologize and explain the photos were being taken by his friends of HIM, not George and that he regretted the inconvenience. Clooney was an ass.
And this is coming from someone who has never really been a Fabio fan and has always wondered what the fuss was about. It always irked me that a cover model got more attention than the authors who wrote the books.
In any event, I actually saw Fabio in person at a Romantic Times conference in San Diego many book covers ago. This was at the height of his popularity. He's a BIG man - tall, broad, personable. And he was cordial and friendly without being flashy. I know - that appears to be an oxymoron, doesn't it? :o)

Michele Hauf said...

Ah, kerfuffles. I don't even want to think about this one. I'm not a George groupie (sorry, ladies!) and Fabio has never done it for me. I'll let them duke it out on their own.

As for the cover model phenom. Well, I like to think they helped sell books. I know some readers will buy any book with a certain model on it, Nathan Kamp for example. I've got one of my books listed on a John D'Salvo fansite just because of his face; I'm sure they could care less it's about vampires. And that book did sell well.

It's an interesting job, isn't it? Having one's hair and makeup done, then posing with a half naked woman for hours. Not comfortable, or sexy, I'm sure. But I bet it doesn't hurt their portfolios a bit.

On the other hand, have we ever seen a romance cover model rise to super-stardom beyond the Butter King? I think D'Salvo tried a few movie roles. Did anyone see those movies?


flchen1 said...

Wow! Ha! I had not heard this story before seeing it here in the convertible! (Guess I don't get out much... ;))

I agree with Mshellion--I think George does have a right to desire privacy, especially if he isn't specifically at a publicity event, but he was pretty rude. And for the two grown men to come to blows (or pushing and shoving)--what, are we five??

And I can't say that the cover model phenomenon had too much appeal for me personally (I often try not to look at the covers too carefully, in case the art conflicts with the descriptions the author actually writes--I find that SO distracting), but I do enjoy hunk-watching on occasion :)

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm pretty much with Michele on this one. I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, it's the media being the horse's patoot these days. They have an important job to do, but they'd rather make hay out of stuff like this. And we bale it up and eat it too.

I had the close Fab encounter at the aforementioned San Diego conference--pretty sure I've mentioned it here a time or more. Won't rehash. An affable piece of beefcake, as Cindy said. Back then he had handlers. I suppose handlers have gone on, leaving aging beefcake to fend for himself. (Hmm. Fodder here for a story? Quick, what would you make of it? Lois? How about "Unbuttered" ???)

I'm for Clooney. Flip away, George, especially if Fab has tried to grab a bit of limelight at your expense before. Your fans will forgive you. Intelligence, social conscience, and real talent trump the cardboard cutout every time. (Not to mention naturally good looks and genuine smile.)

Helen Brenna said...

I've flipped people off for lesser offenses, so I gotta go with George on this.

And I can't believe I missed hearing about this until now!

Me and flchen, definitely out more.

As for the whole cover model deal, I've never been much of a Fabio fan. Like Cindy, bothers me he probably made more than the authors.

MsHellion said...

--It seems he even went to Mr. C's table to apologize and explain the photos were being taken by his friends of HIM, not George and that he regretted the inconvenience.--

*snortal* Well, that does put a different spin on it. George was being an ass. *LOL*'s almost funny.

Betina Krahn said...

Well, we're all agreed that it wasn't exactly a stellar moment for either of the guys. Like the sentiment here, I go back and forth. . . defending first one then the other, disappointed by both.

But I can't help feeling that it gives us a glimpse into the rarefied world of celebrity. . . in which it's easy to adopt an "us vs them" mentality and to begin to see invasions and outrages everywhere. It's a pity that we do this to people in the limelight. . . make idols out of them and then resent them when they disappoint us. . . which they will inevitably do because they are just people.

That old saying: Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it? I think that was coined for people who desire to be famous.

I kinda like the fact that lots of people can buy my books and love or hate them without ever recognizing me in a store or restaurant and getting in my face about it. Writerly fame is the BEST kind! With the side benefit of never having to get tucks or implants or having to face seeing your cellulite-riddled thighs on the front cover of a magazine!

And Helen, I can't imagine you ever flipping anybody off. Ever.

Betina Krahn said...

LOL, Kathy on the "Unbuttered."

Who says you're just a straight man?

Debra Dixon said...

Why, oh why, does Blogger hate me? LOL!

Short answer: They both need to chill ! I have always hated guys who got into fights.

flchen1 said...

Debra, I totally agree on hating fighters, except there's a tiny part of me that still romanticizes guys who are willing to fight for a good reason. Of course this situation isn't one of those reasons!

lois greiman said...


I can't feel sorry for either of them. They've both made their millions.

I have Fabio on a very recent cover of mine and I have to say, it sold more books than any of my others for a long

Of course, if I had had George on the cover...

Prairie Sunshine said...

Or George between the covers.

It had to be said, Lois.

lois greiman said...

Wow!! You guys are in rare form today!!

So here's my next title:

Unbuttered, George Between the Covers


Helen Brenna said...

George Between the Sheets, Buttered, or not!

And Betina, hang around me long enough and I guarantee you'll see me flip someone off. I swore like a sailor before I had kids.