Ina Garten, more popularly known as The Barefoot Contessa, made headlines this weekend when she refused to grant a child with cancer his wish to meet her. As our Rebecca noted Saturday, Garten turned 6-year-old Enzo down twice, her “people” citing scheduling conflicts on both occasions. The LA Times reports today that Garten was actually unaware of the request the Make-A-Wish Foundation had made on Enzo’s behalf.
Mmm-hmm. That sounds like a whole lotta bologna to me.
According to the LA Times, Garten is “devastated” by the criticism she’s faced in the wake of this mishap. She claims she “wasn’t aware that the request had been made or rejected,” and is going to call Enzo today “to speak with him and invite him to join her at the Food Network studios,” per a statement released on Garten’s behalf.
Okay, see? That’s why I think the Contessa is full of shiitake. If she really cared to set the record straight, she would have sent the message out herself, not had a statement released on her behalf that also stressed what an altruistic person she is. The LA Times quotes the statement as saying:
“She contributes both personally and financially on a regular basis to numerous causes, including to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sadly, it’s of course not possible to do them all. Throughout her life, Ina has contributed generously to all kinds of important efforts and she will continue to do so.”
Enzo’s tale is just another testament to the power of the Internet to do right. Yes, we all know the Interwebs can also be a crazy wormhole of wrongness, but in this case, Gawker got wind of the story because “the boy’s family wrote about the rejection on its blog.” From there, the LAT says, “it was picked up by TMZ and exploded online, with criticism raining down on Garten’s head.”
Enzo’s family came to Garten’s defense – again on their blog – in a post titled “Please Stop the Madness,” and they do “not hold any ill will toward Garten.”
What do you think of the Barefoot Contessa’s sudden change of heart? True story or is she a jerk chicken?