At a press event to tout her new A&E series ‘Kirstie Alley’s Big Life‘ (premiering Sunday), Alley herself introduced the verboten topic by calling ‘Today’ host Meredith Vieira’s line of questioning a “blindside” that was “disturbing, to say the least.”
“That I would need to clarify or defend the intentions or affiliations of my LLC business corporation in the year 2010 is indicative of the intolerance that we as a country still need to overcome,” Alley read from a prepared statement. “However, after ‘The Today Show’ brought fringe bigotry and intolerance to the forefront of the national media, I felt compelled to clarify two issues.”
Alley first rebuked ‘Today Show’ guest/former Fox Newscaster Roger Friedman’s claim that her Organic Liaison weight-loss company is disproportionately populated by Scientologists. Going department by department, she tallied a total of four employees – out of 26 – who share her religious beliefs.
After choosing her words very, very carefully, Alley ultimately qualified Freidman as someone who has “longtime problems with Scientology.”
Alley also dispelled a claim that Organic Liaison is not entirely organic by explaining that naturally occurring elements (such as the amino acids used in supplements) don’t meet the definition “derived from agricultural products.”
Fancast asked Alley why it is that celebrities who follow Scientology can be attacked by the media, while peers who practice other religions never are held accountable for their beliefs.
“I don’t know why it is exactly; I just know that it is,” she answered. “It usually starts with anonymous people saying things, but why it goes mainstream is still beyond me.”
Alley suggested that it’s simply easy for the press to create a sensationalized story by using story slants in the vein of “‘The controversial Church Of Scientology has a fat girl in their religion!’ You’re like, ‘Wow, that’s funny, because I thought there were like 8 f–king million fat Catholics, and we don’t have them on the cover of a magazine.’”
Whatever the motivation, she says, “It’s a cheap shot.”