Barbara Walters Regrets Question To Ricky Martin

Ricky Barbara Walters was asked by the Toronto Star about the one regret she has in her long professional career. Her answer? A series of questions she asked a Latin pop heart throb 10 years ago.

"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." 

After the jump, revisit their chat (as well as the awkwardness) in a clip from that interview.

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  1. If only her influence was as big as her ego. Barbara, you didn't destroy Ricky's career... A little song called She Bangs took care of that..

    Posted by: Denis | Mar 6, 2010 10:24:18 PM

  2. The question about his sexuality didn't ruin his career, his inability to be honest and to provide an honest answer is what killed his credibility, hence his career. No one likes to be lied to and clearly he was hiding something. Come out, come out wherever you are, Ricky.

    Posted by: B-rod | Mar 6, 2010 11:01:14 PM

  3. Ugh, so not only does she lack tact but perspective. Oh, wait - we knew that since she displays it on The View every day. It's like Larry King in a wig.

    And what killed his English-language career more than anything was inability to come up with anything remotely catchy after his novelty wore off. His Spanish-language wasn't nearly as affected - gay denials and rumors or no.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 6, 2010 11:33:51 PM

  4. Actually Ricky Martin's career has done just fine since the interview. Maybe not among Anglos, but his Spanish language recordings are selling fine in Latin America.

    Posted by: Andrew | Mar 6, 2010 11:35:22 PM

  5. Ruined his career indeed. Americans think that because an artist doesn't sell in the U.S. his career is ruined -- what idiots. Ricky Martin sells out venues all over Latin America and virtually every single Spanish speaking country. And, he sells out in the U.S. as well. There is a whole world out there people. Get your heads out of your asses.

    As for not wanting to "admit" that he's gay, please. He owes nothing to nobody. What has the gay community done for him?

    Posted by: Mercutio | Mar 6, 2010 11:36:29 PM

  6. 2000 was a completely different world back then. Had he 'come out' it would have destroyed his career. Now, I don't think anyone (that is interested in his music) would give a crap.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Mar 6, 2010 11:43:49 PM

  7. No, coming out in 2000 would not have destroyed Ricky's career, it would have salvaged his dignity.

    Fuck a closet case anymore, man. Fuck 'em.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Mar 6, 2010 11:57:28 PM

  8. @Mercutio: you are so very right. I got the last two tickets to see Ricky at Le Zenith in Paris in 2006 -- wow, amazing concert. His status in the "rest of the world" is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. And to Ricky: just live your life, you owe nothing but your music.

    Posted by: michael | Mar 7, 2010 12:22:22 AM

  9. We [heteros and gays] are all hot for Ricky, that is what this is all about.

    Posted by: Gast | Mar 7, 2010 12:48:30 AM

  10. Martin is not a closet case. He doesn't claim to be straight. And he may not be gay. He doesn't owe it to anyone to pigeonhole himself. I don't, and I'm not "closeted". It's just nobodys business but mine and the person I'm with.

    Posted by: Udokier | Mar 7, 2010 12:48:38 AM

  11. Now celebs come out in order to jump-start careers. How the world has changed (but I'm glad it has)

    Posted by: KFLO | Mar 7, 2010 1:11:57 AM

  12. Did I miss something? Nothing in that interview was inappropriate, then or now.

    If Ricky was awkward answering the questions, that's his deal. And if his career hit some bumps, I think it had more to do with the music than anyone's perception of him.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 7, 2010 1:31:18 AM

  13. Udokier, indeed he may not be a closet case now, but he played up a hetero relationship A LOT during the promotion of his English language debut. He even talked about her during his Behind The Music.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 7, 2010 2:39:03 AM

  14. Barbara is a marriage wrecking whore. She needs to be quiet.

    Posted by: Big Pun | Mar 7, 2010 3:05:05 AM

  15. Man, I saw this online and I thought it was a joke, I guess not.

    Is she serious? She asked a question: that's her job. The only reason she asked is because word on the low from the beginning of his career was that he was gay and the rumors (and it's true) hit fever pitch when he released his English album.

    Barbara knows damn well she has done worse things in her career than this.

    I just love this culture. Just ASKING is considered rude, horrible and a INVASION. I mean, it's one thing you don't want to answer, but it's better to ask than assume or speculate--and she asked.

    Posted by: Marcus | Mar 7, 2010 3:14:10 AM

  16. I think giving hugh downs a rusty trombone constitutes "worse".

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 7, 2010 3:20:17 AM

  17. I'd hit that.

    Posted by: Pinky | Mar 7, 2010 6:00:41 AM

  18. I'd much rather have a guy like Ricky Martin mentor gay youth than a guy like Adam Lambert (, closet or no.

    Posted by: Rodney | Mar 7, 2010 7:14:07 AM

  19. I was never a Barbara Walters fan and what little respect I had for her went away in the Oprah interview. She just comes off as very phoney to me. Asking Ricky how he enjoys his sexuality...that was weird (and gross) least coming from her.

    As for asking anyone whether or not they're gay, do it at your own risk. It is rude, it isn't anyone's business, and if someone is in the closet they need to come out on their own terms. Otherwise it feels like a violation.

    Posted by: daws | Mar 7, 2010 7:28:19 AM

  20. Well I saw nothing in that clip that went too far. There was an opportunity, but one that could be (and was) easily side-stepped.

    Her comment to the Toronto Star, on the other hand, is explicit and comes off as crass, making a nonsense of her "regret".

    Posted by: Greg | Mar 7, 2010 7:55:13 AM

  21. When she says, "ruined his career" I think she specifically meant the U.S. He's not at all relevant here; the last little bit of relevance he got was when William Hung covered his song "She Bangs" on American Idol.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Mar 7, 2010 7:58:58 AM

  22. Regardless of his sexuality it is his business,it is his personal life to deal with how he wishes,not the pathetic press.Just because he is a "celebrity" changes nothing.He does not owe anyone,he does not have to be a role model.How many stories do we read about say a Starbucks worker being discriminated against or a person not declarig their sexuality for the sake of a career or job?Leave him be.

    Posted by: john | Mar 7, 2010 7:59:49 AM

  23. What's "inappropriate" is thinking that expecting people to be honest about their sexual orientation is "inappropriate".

    Posted by: Sweetie | Mar 7, 2010 8:23:56 AM

  24. First 2 things...Ricky's career is not over!! He is still making music, but he was never a pop STAR he was always a latin star. His last CD was a Spanish CD...hello.
    Secondly, don't dog Barabara...she is on our side. She has never said anything bad about gays...and I think she is amazing to keep going the way she does. Shame on you for talking against her.
    Thirdly, for the queen who said that Ricky should be the spokes model for gay rather Adam need to come out of the closet yourself. There is nothing wrong with Adam Lambert...he is a brave man for being who he is. Shame on you.
    Ricky himself has not admitted being gay or straight...but sources say he is gay. If wasn't gay he wouldn't be photographed with hot men, even thought that is a latin thing. But, he also wouldn't have gone the surogate route for his children. Seriously!!
    But, the man still is hot and still will come back strong...but remember it is kinda of hard to beat the success of "livin la vida loca"...I mean that song was just an amazing cross over. And don't forget his popularity was due to all of the Latin stars crossing over Enrique, Marc Anathony. but that phase like Boy bands disappeared. sheesh

    Posted by: Paul | Mar 7, 2010 9:02:30 AM

  25. "Udokier" you simply can't be the REAL Udo Kier.

    Ricky Martin "ruined his career" all by himself. He's a pop star with a "sell by" date on his tired ass.

    As for Baba Wawa, what do you expect from Roy Cohn's beard?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 7, 2010 9:24:37 AM

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