Remember Bob Barker? He hosted TV’s The Price Is Right for 35 years before retiring in 2007 and abdicating the throne to Drew Carey in 2009? C’mon…you know…Bob Barker. White hair? Plays a mean indoor golf game? Digs kittens?
Well, assuming you do remember him, you’re doing one better than TPIR producers. Barker alleges that he was not invited to the taping of the 40th anniversary special which aired yesterday (September 4) on CBS. They metaphorically outbid America’s favorite TV game show legend by one dollar.
Now, I understand that not everybody wants to invite an 88-year-old to their shindig. They might moan about aches and pains. You might have to say everything really loudly, lest you be tragically misunderstood…
But, COME ON, Price Is Right guys: the man hosted the show for most of its existence. His grinning mug was apparently all over the highlight reel (y’know…because they’ve had about enough Drew Carey time to show some highlights of him figuring out where the bathroom is or where to park). How could you exclude Bob Barker from The Price Is Right anniversary taping?
Barker, US Weekly reports, thinks he was cut out because he has complained about the show offering prizes that exploit animals: Sea World tickets, leather jackets, etc. Barker is an animal rights activist who convinced the show to stop giving away fur coats during his tenure. But–as one of your contestants might say, staring down the barrel of a cherry-hued monster of a bedroom suite–y’know, Bob…
…I don’t think this was about puppy dogs, moo cows, or, even, dolphin shows. I think it was about a far more sinister creature: chicks.
Maybe Bob Barker wasn’t invited back becayue the rumors of Barker being a domineering, sexist coworker were true. Maybe the producers were skeeved out by out-of-court settlements paid to fired ”Barker’s Beauties” Janice Pennington and Kathleen Bradley following their testimony in a wrongful termination suit from TPIR spokesmodel Holly Hallstrom. Or maybe CBS was thinking back to the sexual harassment/wrongful termination suits brought by female production assistants…the ones that followed the first batch.
Maybe Bob Barker is a liability. One whom CBS did not fire or publicly admonish in 1995 (or, again, in 2007 when he was sued for creating a hostile work environment in a suit brought by an African American woman). Maybe this is CBS trying not to extra-celebrate a dude who spent a lot of years getting extra-celebrated even amidst swirling rumors that he wasn’t terribly kind to professional women.
Don’t get me wrong. Lawsuits do not indicate malfeasance. I don’t feel comfortable smearing the women who brough the lawsuits and I don’t feel comfortable smearing Bob Barker without having more intimate knowledge of the lawsuits…
…but I think, without going over the actual retail price, we can bet on this one.