Has 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Patti Stanger reached her tipping point with her comments about gay men?


Image Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker knows self-proclaimed love guru Patti Stanger is an acquired taste akin to wasabi peas. She comes on strong and leaves your insides feelings raw. But Stanger’s frank, loud-mouthed, know-it-all persona has become her signature, the reason people watch her show in the first place. Who doesn’t want to see a paunchy, balding, middle-aged entrepreneur get put in his place for insisting that he will settle for nothing less than a Perfect 10? This past Sunday, however, Stanger crossed a line. Dishing out dating advice on Bravos’ Watch What Happens Live, she effectively characterized all gays as “queeny,” oral-sex-obsessed Grindr disciples incapable of monogamy, and even laughed in beloved host Andy Cohen’s face when he dared disagree with her perspective. Despite apologizing late yesterday, Stanger is still facing serious backlash. Is it possible she has gone from someone we love to hate to someone we just hate?

First off, nobody’s denying that Stanger is a rhymes-with-witch, least of all Stanger herself I’m sure. A girl’s gotta have a shtick, and this once has served her well. Up until yesterday, she was an unabashed equal opportunity offender — she also defamed Jews, uncircumcised men, and smart women on Sunday’s Watch What Happens, by the way. But when does being “real” or “honest” (as countless reality stars have called themselves in a half-cocked defense of their own bad behavior) cross that murky line to simply being hateful? I would personally put it at the moment Stanger used the phrase “you people,” as in “You can’t curb the gay. I’ve tried to curb you people…” As Ross Perot well discovered in his 1992 presidential bid, nobody likes being called “you people.” It’s reductive and dismissive. One-on-one criticism is one thing. Large-scale caricature is something else entirely.

Now to a trickier issue: If Stanger’s whole gimmick is built on being a ballbuster, does apologizing help her or hurt her? From a branding perspective, stepping back from her statements compromises her product. From a “real person who exists in the real world” perspective, standing behind them makes her a jerk. One thing is for certain: Half-apologizing, as she will do on tonight’s Joy Behar Show, is probably worst of all. Apparently Stanger was only talking about the gays in Los Angeles, so being ostensibly bigoted about a smaller group of people is way less bad, right?

I can’t imagine this incident is going to change Stanger at all. She doesn’t seem to be the type to eat a slice of humble pie willingly, and she also seems to think she’s some sort of gay activist. In the aforementioned Behar clip, she put forth the questionable claim that she was the first person to fight for gay marriage on TV, and insisted she’s still fighting “in the trenches” for gay rights. But more than that, Stanger presents herself as someone who knows herself and her business. As a self-made woman, she can’t afford not to. No, this moment won’t change Patti Stanger. How it changes her key demographics’ appetite for her is a different subject altogether. That shift, still to be determined, is something that could very well take Stanger down a notch financially and personally.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is it hypocritical to criticize someone for the very same reasons we used to praise her? Or did the yenta’s yammering go too far? Was Stanger’s greatest sin making sweet Andy Cohen uncomfortable to the point of whining? Have Stanger’s remarks turned you off of Millionaire Matchmaker, or will you keep watching?

Read more:
‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ Patti Stanger apologizes for offensive comments about gays
‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ Patti Stanger gives controversial, uh, ‘advice’ during ‘Watch What Happens: Live’ visit

Comments (41 total) Add your comment
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  • Ben Weiner

    Andy, please grow some balls and fire her!

  • Jeanette

    What do you expect from a woman who basically runs a legal brothel.

  • confidential

    Patty is almost (I say, other than a Real Housewife) the only women on TV that I think is a Effing Biznatch! Her self accepted bigoted ignorant comments come in every form and although her comments about gay men are insanely stupid/ignorant and not even true (I work with many gay people in long term committed relations), her overall opinion on mistreatment of women brings out my inner Gloria Steinman like gangbusters! I mean, she really doesn’t see the need for educated opinionated working women in her world. Same as red head, curly, short hair women who don’t dress like 80’s era slutty secretaries and playboy rejects.

    I knew (!!!) her mouth would get her in trouble eventually I hope her brand of bull$hit is done with forever! I am tired of ignorant, sexist, racist, homophobic arseholes who claim “keeping it real” status to say whatever they want.

  • ronnie

    Im a gay male and it wasnt like she told any lies. Not ALL gays are like she saying but a VAST MAJORITY are it is what it is.

    • lisa g.

      Thx for ur objectivity!

    • nodnarb

      I would respond to your comment, but I’m on Grindr right now.

    • Tom

      I agree not all gays are like that, but sadly, cheating is very common. And I’m speaking from experience as a gay man. I guess that’s why I’m not offended by what she said, because there is a hint of truth to it, but , it’s a generalization.

      • Mike

        You are so right! Gay men don’t do a dinner date then a couple of dates later, have sex. If it’s dinner at all, the date is gonna be dessert.

      • Acaseofgeo

        Yeah I don’t get these high and mights Hollywood gay males who are all offended by what she said cuz she TOLD THE TRUTH. I’ve posted in several places saying that I know A LOT of gay male couples in a long-term relationship and not one of those couples has been entirely monogamous the entire time. I’ve challenged ANYONE to prove me wrong and I’ve not heard one single rebuttal yet. And guys who are complaining, Like the writer here, Lanford Beard, are not being completely honest if they deny this. Maybe YOU’RE not cheating but chances are, your boyfriend IS. (And this isn’t meant to be an indictment, just an honest statement).

    • lisa g.

      Society has just gotten too full of itself! If those r pattys feelings, then o well! If u know different, then good. Nowadays u can’t even express urself wo being lynched! Of course she’s not referring to every gay man! That should go without saying….geez!!!

  • Jesse

    I am not bothered by Patti Stanger — she’s a generally gay-positive celebrity with a usually gay-positive show on a profoundly gay network run by a gay man who gave himself his own TV show — which counts gay men as a major segment of its viewers. Were her comments poorly articulated? Yes. Am I upset? I’ll live.

    Mostly, I just want to say that I thought this article was really well written and really astute in its observations about the Stanger brand. Thanks.

    • Ryan

      Completely agree! As a gay man – this didn’t personally offend me, it just made me think she was a poor public speaker. I thought Andy could have done a better job at debating with her but came off as a little passive aggressive.
      That being said, well-written article, especially considering the subject matter isn’t overly groundbreaking or earth-shattering.

    • lisa g.

      Nice comment, Jesse! Ita!!

  • Anne

    I think it’s foolish to expect her to be anything other than what she has been from Day 1 — rude, dismissive of any opinion other than her own, and generally unpleasant. If she were a polite, open, kind person, she wouldn’t be on TV. I mean Bravo should realize by now that you get what you pay for, and they are paying for another in an endless line of spray-tanned hags looking for fame.

    All that said, I would LOVE to hear from any gay clients she’s had — were they pleased with her and the outcomes she achieved for them?

  • Patricia

    so when Patty made comments to some women about being fat, or having shark teeth or being ugly, that was ok/ I mean she is what she is…simple solution, dont’ like what she says, DON’T WATCH HER!

    • Meandyou

      I agree. Andy is way too overly sensitive about her comments. She tells it like it is …. about everyone.

  • jfms777

    She put down gays, Jews, and straight women on “Watch What Happens.” And you people. Now watch what happens.

  • Dianne

    Comparing Patti Stanger to wasabi peas is an insult to wasabi peas.

  • pastafarian

    That is a creeeepy photo.

    • lisa g.

      Heavy wig.

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

  • Katie

    Patti’s always toed that line between OK and too far when she’s had gay clients, if you ask me. She always claims to “love the gays,” but then she’ll open her mouth and say something that screams of ignorance and stereotype.

    I think Patti needs to step back and think a little more about what she’s saying – she may think it sounds like she’s enlightened and pro-gay, but it just comes across as outdated and stereotypical…

  • Bookerguy

    I’m gay and have been in a relationship for 11 years (married of 4 of those years!) I know gay men who don’t like relationships and are not monogamous (like straight men and women.)

  • nodnarb

    Why would she back down? This is the most publicity she’s ever had.

  • Joe

    Like most gay men, I don’t watch her show. Oops, that would be stereotyping.

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