Rosie lets kids do talking in TV film on families

Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:46am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rosie O'Donnell realizes she is often a polarizing figure. So that's why she let some children do the talking in a TV documentary on the changing face of the American family.

Adopted children, kids with same-sex parents, test-tube babies, children who live with grandparents and those of mixed heritage bring their own, sometimes quirky, wisdom to "A Family Is a Family Is a Family", which premieres on HBO on Sunday.

The 40-minute documentary celebrates a range of families that diverge from the norm of mom, dad and two biological kids. And although O'Donnell makes a brief appearance, the lesbian and gay rights campaigner says that's not the point.

"It is hard to argue with a child's perspective of the world. I thought a child could speak truth in a way that no adult ever could," said O'Donnell, 47, the executive producer of the documentary.

"I think people often have an extreme response to me, either positive or negative. So the idea was to get myself out of the way. I think a taste of me in a stew of others is probably enough. I don't want to be the meal. I'd like to be one of the chopped-up carrots next to the chopped-up celery," the actress, comedian and talk-show host told Reuters.

Music, interviews and cartoons, including animated sperm in top hats serenading a fluffy egg to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "Too Marvelous for Words," help create a portrait of families that challenge traditional stereotypes.


The documentary airs half-way through a landmark court hearing in San Francisco on the constitutional rights of gay men and women wanting to marry in California.   Continued...