You, Tonya, Have Lots of Work to Do
After watching last night’s episode of Truth and Lies: Tonya Harding, about the attack in 1994 on ice-skating Olympic champion Nancy Kerrigan, it’s obvious Tonya has not dealt with her past. Typically when someone goes through therapy there’s a certain degree of remorse and accountability. On the ABC show last night hosted by Amy Robach, that did not happen. Tonya’s constant claims that “the past is in the past” and the admission she “wouldn’t change a thing” (except one thing, when pressed) point to deep level of denial with zero benefit of hindsight.
When this assault occured I remember being sucked into the drama like it involved my next door neighbor. After it was revealed that Tonya’s husband was involved, like many, I was outraged she was still allowed to skate on the US Olympic team. What a message to send to future wanna-be athletes. It’s okay to try and eliminate your opponents through criminal activities, just so you threaten to sue and deny, deny, deny. But like millions across the world, I tuned in to the Olympic ice-skating program just to see Tonya fall on her ass – or break a lace.
Most upsetting about the 2-hour special is that Tonya is now changing her story, by accident or by ignorance, and is now saying she “knew something was up” several months prior to the attack. This is a far cry from what she claimed more than 2 decades ago. Back then Tonya said she only learned her husband, Jeff Gillooly, may have had something to do with the clubbing heard round the world several days after returning from the Nationals – though she kept that tidbit to herself for a while. WHY? WHY?
Tonya said, “I’m always the bad person and I never understood that.” But she would if she’d agree to therapy. For example, after winning first place at the Nationals, Tonya told reporters she looked forward to her chance to “whip her butt” in reference to competing against Kerrigan at the Olympics in Norway. If she had an ounce of class Tonya would have said something like, “I look forward to representing the US with Nancy and kicking their butts.” But that’s not who Tonya is. And this is pretty much when Americans started to consider that Tonya’s total lack of compassion might point to something nefarious.
Enter the beautiful and talented Margot Robbie who stars in and produced the movie, I, Tonya. Who doesn’t want Robbie to play them in a movie, even if that movie is about the lowest point in one’s life? Not to worry, Tonya doesn’t see it that way. She no-likely sees this as verification that she deserved to be in the 94 Olympics because she earned that spot. And this movie is receiving lots of Oscar buzz. So far Allison Janney has received a Golden Globe for her portrayal as Tonya’s abusive mom, LaVona “Sandy” Golden. One of the best quotes in the interview came from Tonya’s mom when she said, “Don’t call us trailer trash. We had a beautiful new trailer.” You just keep being you. And who she is, is estranged from Tonya. In fact, Tonya hasn’t ever let her mother meet her six year-old grandson, citing something to the effect of needing to protect him.
I’m torn on whether to see the movie. Definitely I’ll see I, Tonya when it comes out on DVD, but will I pay to actually go to the movies? Probably not. Especially after last night’s interview and Tonya’s claim that “enough apologizing” has occurred. Frankly, it hasn’t. Tonya apologized once on some stupid show four years after the fact, but it was perfunctory only. In my opinion the only thing Tonya is sorry for is that A) she got caught; B) she was banned from the sport; and C) can no longer earn money from said sport.
Living well, they say, is the best revenge. If that’s the case, Nancy Kerrigan has gotten the gold on this one. Time has not been kind to Tonya Harding, but she says she’s happy living life with her husband and son. In my opinion, (which is what this entire article is) this interview didn’t do her any favors with future endorsements – unless she parlays it for a future reality TV show where she agrees to undergo in-depth therapy. People will tune in for that. We all love a good redemption story, sadly this isn’t it just yet.
Missed last week’s Random Thoughts about New Year’s resolutions? Check it out here.