A testy, awkward interview between a Sacramento morning television team and a film starlet has gone viral, sparking spirited debate on which party deserves the blame.
On Wednesday, a crew from local Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento” went live by satellite to interview Cara Delevingne, a model and up-and-coming actress starring in the movie “Paper Towns.” The interview got off to an inauspicious start when co-anchor Marianne McClary flubbed Delevingne’s name – calling her Carly – and just went downhill from there. Other members of the local TV crew included Ken Rudulph and Mark S. Allen.
After the name gaffe, McClary asked whether Delevingne, 22, had time to read author John Green’s book, on which “Paper Towns” is based.
Delevingne rolled her eyes at the question and offered a cheeky, sarcastic response. “No, I didn’t read the book or the script, actually – I kinda winged it,” she said.
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Allen, a longtime anchor, then asked the actress whether she was exhausted. Finally, McClary suggested Delevingne get a Red Bull – and take a nap.
“Some people just don’t understand sarcasm or the British sense of humour,” Delevingne told her 3.3 million Twitter follower shortly after the interview.
Hollywood media types and fans quickly leaped to Delevingne’s defense, calling into question the professionalism of the interviewers.
“Scrubs” television series star Zach Braff jumped in, calling it “condescending” to ask an actress if she read the book.
Not everyone was so sympathetic to Delevingne. Whoopi Goldberg’s message to the starlet: “Suck it up.”
“It isn’t easy, but we are privileged for what we do. We are so lucky. If you are supposed to be doing this, you’ve got to find a way to suck it up. You don’t get to be crappy to people. They’re doing their job, too,” Goldberg told the audience of “The View” daytime talk show.
The issue has also been written about by the Washington Post, Glamour magazine and London’s The Daily Mail, to name a few.
Closer to home, the reaction has also been mixed, but it generally leans in favor of the “Good Day” crew.
“She did look somewhat disinterested,” said Steve Swatt, a Sacramento television-reporter-turned-political-consultant. “They saw someone that was somewhat sluggish … and they responded to that.”
Sacramento-raised actor Christopher Michael Holley said he can understand how Delevingne could have taken offense at some of the questions but that professional actors have to take the high road at dud questions and bring their “A” game to every interview, regardless of how many in a row they have to do.
“It looked like they were pulling teeth,” said Holley, who happens to be a friend of Allen’s. “There is a certain amount of gratitude you owe the fans.”
A day after the interview, Delevingne added to her defense. Again turning to Twitter for a two-part tweet: “I am sooooo lucky and anyone who thinks I am unappreciative or ungrateful clearly doesn’t know me, she said. “I work really really hard and love what I do, I don’t feel like I need to apologize for being human #sorrynotsorry.”
Not wanting to cast blame, former Sacramento television anchor Pamela Wu said a live interview is like a dance. “If you don’t gel with the person you’re interviewing,” Wu said, “it can go off the rails really quickly.”
Profession: Model, actress
Claims to fame: 2012 British Fashion Awards Model of the Year, appears in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video, star of 2015 release “Paper Towns”