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Why Did Robin Roberts Edit Her Girlfriend Out Of Her Recovery Narrative?

Robin RobertsFirst off, good for Robin Roberts for finally coming out. While this may be the worst-kept secret ever (hell, even the President knew), it’s important to remember the impact that a high-profile personality can have when she lets the world know she’s lesbian.

What’s hard to understand is why Roberts choose to edit Amber out of her recovery narrative–literally. Roberts allowed camera crews to follow her through her treatment for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), including the brutal side effects of a bone marrow transplant. Roberts chronicled the support and love that her biological family gave her, and the support of her colleagues at ABC. She even showed the good wishes showered on her by other patients and fans.

And Amber? No where to be found.

It’s impossible to believe that Amber was not at Roberts’ bedside through the ordeal or that the camera crews didn’t have footage of her. Instead, a conscious decision was made to exclude that footage.

Now you may say that Roberts had the right to protect her privacy, and that’s true. It would be a lot more credible defense, though, if Roberts wasn’t willing to show gut-wrenching images of herself in a hospital bed clearly fighting for her life.

You can also argue that Roberts just didn’t want to expend the energy on coming out while she was in a battle with her disease. And that’s true as well. But consider how much energy it took to make sure that Amber was never included in the prime-time Peabody Award-winning narrative of Roberts’ illness and recovery. It takes a lot of doing to make sure someone central to your life remains invisible. (And just to be clear, Roberts was her own producer, so she called the shots.)

If you can’t be honest when you are facing death, when can you be honest? Apparently, when you recover. So congratulations to Roberts for finally taking the important last step. The timing of it was up to her. But if you had the same choice, would you have waited?

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Dec 30, 2013
Tagged: , , ,

  • 20 Comments
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      It is possible that Amber did not want to be included in the narrative and Robin respected her wishes.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Huston Piner
      Huston Piner

      Maybe the network edited it out. Networks are clever at editing out things they don’t like or want to spin a certain way. Once she made her Facebook announcement there’s not much they could do.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • madtown52761
      madtown52761

      We don’t know why and it’s none of our business.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983
      sportyguy1983

      Maybe it is none of our business what her (or any other “media” personality)personal life entails.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @sportyguy1983: She made some of her personal life our business by documenting her struggles on camera and more recently with the letter she released and addressed to the public acknowledging her long time girlfriend…that naturally raises the question of why the girlfriend was not seen in the images Robin share with the public during her health crisis. Sometime media personalities use some details of their personal lives to inspire and encourage others which is a noble thing in my opinion.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @sportyguy1983:

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @madtown52761:

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983
      sportyguy1983

      I personally don’t care about the personal lives of “public figures”. It is her business, not ours, how much or how little of her private life she wishes to publicize. I personally do not care either way.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @CCTR: Yes it is a noble thing. Not an obligatory one. The ownership culture of the gay community and newly out gay celebrities is getting a little out of hand. It’s one thing to criticize an anti-gay politician who is in fact gay or a closeted actor or actress who presents themselves as heterosexual. But to attack someone because they didn’t come out exactly when or how “someone” wants them to is outrageous.

      Coming out to ones close friends and family is delicate process itself, that’s to say nothing of a public figure coming out to the world at large. I thought one of the principal ideologies behind the gay rights movement is that other people do not have a right to know what’s going on in the privacy of someone’s bedroom nor should someone else be allowed to tell the LGBT community what is a normal or acceptable sexual orientation.

      Bottom line, Robin’s coming out should be celebrated and we should be thankful that she has joined other courageous voices that have come out publicly and stand as prominent examples of the LGBT community.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983
      sportyguy1983

      @TheMArc “Coming out to ones close friends and family is delicate process itself, that’s to say nothing of a public figure coming out to the world at large. I thought one of the principal ideologies behind the gay rights movement is that other people do not have a right to know what’s going on in the privacy of someone’s bedroom nor should someone else be allowed to tell the LGBT community what is a normal or acceptable sexual orientation.” This applies to everyone, even those you dislike for whatever reason.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      She hasn’t let the world know she’s lesbian. She’s just let the world know she has a long-term girlfriend called Amber.

      What’s the Big Deal? Most women have girlfriends.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nina123
      Nina123

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      Dec 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Profe Sancho Panza
      Profe Sancho Panza

      “Why Did Robin Roberts Edit Her Girlfriend Out Of Her Recovery Narrative?”

      Here’s a novel thought: ask her, not us. I don’t think any of us are very likely to know anything about her decision-making process. This is (allegedly) a news site, so contact her press representative and ASK.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sangsue
      sangsue

      Maybe she decided to wait until her contract was renewed, knowing how gun shy ABC would be about it.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CCTR
      CCTR

      @TheMarc: I agree there is no obligation for anyone to share details of what is going on in the privacy of their bedroom.

      The writer of this post simply raises a few questions one in the headline of the post and the second two at the end of the post “If you can’t be honest when you are facing death, when can you be honest? Apparently, when you recover. So congratulations to Roberts for finally taking the important last step. The timing of it was up to her. But if you had the same choice, would you have waited?”

      Her decisions are indeed brought into question here. If, and until she opens up about it, we don’t know the circumstances of why her girlfriend was not in the narrative we can only speculate.

      She is appreciated, celebrated and applauded nonetheless! My previous posts were to support and even try to defend her in “why she edited her girlfriend out of the narrative”, and address other “her personal life is none of our business” comments. She released the letter to public to make it our business to recognize and acknowledge her girlfriend of several years. To all the people that do not care…you were not the targeted audience of the Queerty post nor Robin’s letter.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      God bless Robin Roberts for coming out at last.
      She must have the world’s most homophobic family to not have shown Amber by her side thru her health ordeals.

      Dec 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuMaurier
      DuMaurier

      @hephaestion: I don’t know anything about Roberts’ family situation (in fact, this story is the first I actually DO know about her; I even missed her health thingy), so maybe you’re right about her family. But maybe not. Before making judgments about real, specific people that may be completely unfair and wrong, at least consider that possibility that her status as a public figure, and the effect on that, was what made Roberts hesitate until now.

      Dec 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rita S. Vasquez
      Rita S. Vasquez

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      Dec 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChiChi Man
      ChiChi Man

      Wow. Tom Daley, Anderson Cooper and others come out and Queerty expresses unqualified support.

      Robin Roberts comes out and Queerty posts this absurd article, asking questions you’ve NEVER asked of the white men this site continues to celebrate.

      Is Queerty just unable to relate to the diverse LGBT community? If so, you won’t have a long shelf life.

      Jan 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L
      Will L

      @madtown52761: Thank you! I’m glad someone said that.

      Jan 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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