Yesterday, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her mom June Shannon made several TV appearances to talk about their TLC show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which just finished up its first season and wil return for a second. The appearances have been getting attention for how hilariously disruptive Alana’s been, fidgeting, talking out of turn, and making gestures she may or may not know are obscene, but I’d like to focus for a second on how the hosts have been talking to fully grown adult woman/mother of four Mama June.
Yesterday morning, the pair were on KTLA, and Alana drowned out most of the interview with her rendition of Katy Perry‘s “California Gurls.” But I did manage to catch this exchange:
Host: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is Wednesday nights at 10 on TLC.
June: We’re on hiatus right now, but there are re-runs and the special will be on in January…
Host: Isn’t it funny that you even know the word hiatus? I mean, isn’t that funny to you?
I know, right?? How hilarious is it that this uneducated redneck coupon-clipper would know such an obscure, three-syllable SAT word?!
Then last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy was similarly condescending when he questioned June’s skills as a manager. He first asked if they were making millions of dollars like the Kardashians, and Mama replied that you don’t make millions of dollars when you first start out. Then this happened:
Jimmy: I would like to be your agent.
June: I am the agent, the manager and all.
Jimmy: Oh, all of that? That’s why you’re not making millions of dollars.
June replied that she knows what’s best for her kids, and that she’s putting most of the money in trusts so that they have something to show for it when they’re older, as well as donating to community outreach programs. You go, girl.
And don’t get me started on her portrayal on South Park, in which she was basically retarded.
In a world where most TV talk show guests are padded by hundreds of PR people and lawyers, I’m not sure why it’s so hard for people to talk to June Shannon with even a basic amount of respect. She’s had enough savvy so far to parlay an appearance on Toddlers and Tiaras into an insanely popular show that’s securing the financial future of her family, and anyone who watches knows that she can actually be pretty witty at times. She might not have a fake English accent like Madonna, but that doesn’t make her an idiot. It’s okay to have a bit of fun with her image, but can we all agree to at least talk to her like she’s operating on a higher level than her seven-year-old child? June’s no dummy. It’s time to redneck-ognize.