Being an interviewer is one of the trickiest jobs out there. Not as tricky as being a crab fisherman in Antarctica or a cell tower climber but pretty up there on the list. Barbara Walters who passed away last year at 93 was an iconic interviewer. She has almost interviewed every US president and first lady throughout her reign. She also had the honor of interviewing many controversial political figures including Vladimir Putin. Therefore without a doubt, she has had many memorable moments in her career and many regrettable ones too.
While speaking to Toronto Star she shared one such incident where she claimed to destroy Ricky Martin’s career with her line of questioning.
Ricky Martin was left with PTSD after the interview with Barbara Walters
Enrique “Ricky” Martín Morales is an openly gay Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, and actor. He officially came out in 2010 releasing a statement on his personal blog.
“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” The singer wrote.
But this particular incident occurred in the year 2000. It was a weird year for everybody, it was deemed the turn of the century, and everyone thought the earth will end and all life will cease to exist. With the wild hysteria going around the world still wasn’t cool with the LGBTQ+ community back then. At that period of time, both Ricky Martin and Barbara Walters were doing good for themselves career-wise. Racking in huge numbers. Ricky Martin also was testing the waters in acting and was quite successful at it. Bagging the lead role in the Broadway production of Evita, and appearing as a guest star on several prime-time shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Glee.
The interview at the soaring height of his career felt like the right decision for him at the moment. It was after the interview that he would realise how big of a disaster it was. At the interview, Barbara Walters being her usual self ask him some hard-hitting questions the nation was interested in, including the topic of his sexuality. The awkward moment ended with Martin saying,
“Barbara, for some reason, I just don’t feel like it.”The urge for stopping Barbara Walters was evident in his voice.
Ricky Martin’s career trajectory then would take a deep plunge all thanks to the interviewer Barbara Walters.
After the interview
Although Ricky Martin did not give a definitive answer people were quick to jump to conclusions because of the awkward moment that was created. In a recent interview with People magazine, Ricky Martin discussed the moment solely responsible for his acting career suffering.
“When she dropped the question, I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out,–I was very afraid… There’s a little PTSD with that.” Martin said.
Barbara Walters also later realized how wrong she was for pushing the artist to this uncomfortable extent. When Toronto Star, asked about her top regrettable moments in her career she was quick to put this interaction at the top position.
“In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question.” Walters said.
Walters was very apologetic towards Ricky Martins and her actions till the very end.
Source: The Things