Tough time for Family Ties


The first bombshell came last week, when the cover of People Magazine informed us that Meredith Baxter-Birney is (gasp!) gay. Which isn’t especially shocking or interesting, save for the fact that the news only adds to People’s unparalleled reputation for outing has-been, Grade-C celebs and treating it as BIG news.

But, then, yesterday, an even bigger bombshell! Brian Bonsall, a one-time child actor who joined the cast of Family Ties only when the program was en route to oblivion, has an enormous neck tattoo. It’s huge, pathetic, ugly—and labels the dude as literally unemployable.

Oh, and he was also arrested for beating someone up with a stool.

Were we still living in 1988, this might pass for earth-exploding material. Mrs. Keaton … a lesbian!? Cut little Andy … in a bar fight!? But here we are, on the cusp of 2010, and I find it hard to believe anyone gives a damn. I find it even harder to believe that People still considers I’m Gay! to be any sort of news story. First it was Clay Aiken, a faded American Idol runner-up who wasn’t exactly hiding his sexuality behind a macho facade. Then it was Lance Bass, incorrectly identified by People as a “Pop star.” (There’s an enormous difference between being a “pop star,” and “former pop star” and, in Bass’ case, “the fourth member of a long-defunct pop star boy group that no longer exists and only had one standout to begin with.”gabwbwn67569579w-1

And yet, compared to Baxter-Birney, Aiken and Bass were Tiger Woods and LeBron James. So obscure is Baxter-Birney that, on the cover, she had to be identified as “Family Ties star.” If you clay-aiken-im-gay-people-magazine-coverhaven’t noticed, they only do that for once-upon-a-time celebrities who have left behind TV movies for subtle lives of normal bliss.

I’m babbling, but the point is, who cares?