The sad, uncomfortable day is here. When the Celebrity Apprentice airs Monday night, Joan Rivers will make her final television appearance, having filmed two episodes before she passed last September. The episode will see Joan return as a guest judge after winning Celebrity Apprentice seven years ago, at the age of 76. Naturally, I have to wonder, does the outrageous celebrity reality series have what it takes to handle Joan's episodes with care? Well, the New York Daily News reported that this Celebrity Apprentice episode serves as an in memoriam for Joan Rivers, so that is promising.
During the TCA press tour Donald Trump told TV writers, “We had to decide what to do with the footage. So we made this show an in memoriam. I think you’ll find it very inspiring. I think it might be our best show ever.”
1. Exploiting Her Time On The Show
The series will inevitably play up how wonderful Rivers is. The comedian is known for breaking ground for funny women everywhere and being a real ball-buster. Yet, her humor wasn't always the most appropriate. Sometimes it was even downright offensive (see: her comments about Adele's weight). Plus, Rivers' appearance on Celebrity Apprentice wasn't shy of feuds or intense drama. Can the show promote Rivers without shamelessly promoting itself? Meaning, will it go all out and show Rivers worst moments to satiate the viewers' need for drama or will the highlights only reveal her better side? Please no.
2. Coddling Her Legacy Too Much
Rivers is the last woman on Earth who needed to be coddled. While using footage of her verbal altercations on the series in the past might be tacky, re-editing the latest footage so that she is less of a headstrong firecracker would simply rewrite history. Controversy always followed Rivers and she understood this was par for the course in the business of making people laugh. I don't want to see some bizarre version of Rivers where she is only nice, only polite and only giving. She was those things but she was also demanding, often rude, and even high strung. These qualities are why she was an important figure in comedy for women: she encompassed multitudes that women weren't supposed to have.
3. Taking Too Much Credit
During the TCA press tour, Trump said that after appearing Celebrity Apprentice, Rivers' career "went through the roof." The woman was a living legend. The woman was active on Twitter until the day she passed away. It would be a horrendous move for the series or Trump to take credit for Rivers' vibrant and long career, even just for the portion after she appeared on his show. If she didn't do the show, she would have just done something else because that's what she always did. Rivers never had any intention to stop working and she never did. Her career and her status as an icon were things she earned, not titles bestowed on her by Donald Trump.