By Stacy Jenel Smith
It seems like the other day, when we reported on the cat fights going on in the pop music and movie scene -- Madonna
-- without including any male stars. Is this fair? Does this mean the guys are better behaved? The answer to both is a resounding "No!"
In fact, there are ample examples to prove just the contrary. In the spirit of the World War I flying aces that jousted high up in the sky, we'll call these celebrity dogfights.
Right now, the verbal bullets are flying between Rod Stewart and Sting. It began late last month, when Rod unloaded on several of his rockasaurus peers in Britain's Radio Times magazine. Rod called Elton John "Sharon" and said he should "lose some timber." Rod complained that he'd been unfairly criticized for dating a younger woman, especially when nobody criticized Paul McCartney for marrying a woman half his age. The difference, he reportedly said, was that McCartney got a knighthood. "I don't know why I haven't got any honor. I do my bit for charity."
He also complained that he'd been passed over for Grammys in favor of Sting, who has 14. Said Rod, "The sun shines out his arse...Mr. Serious who helps the Indians."
A few days later, Sting fired back his own tart rejoinder, "I think he deserves [a Grammy], I really do. I'm thinking of sending him one of mine."
Certainly theirs is the latest in a long line of devilish duels among male performers.
When Ben Affleck got together with Jennifer Lopez, her former flame, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs let the world know he thought their rampant PDAs (public displays of affection) were tacky.
"You got to leave that stuff for the bedroom," he reportedly said. "I wouldn't be caught dead kissing anyone in the street, even a hottie like J.Lo. The lady has way too much class for that."
Ben responded to the diss telling Howard Stern, "Rappers are always rapping about some bullsh--. P. Diddy should stick to what he's good at. What is that, by the way?"
Eminem, of course, just keeps those zingers coming. The one-man feud machine knocked boy bands, Fred Durst, Carson Daly and Christina Aguilera all in one single one song, you'll recall.
He lashed out against Ja Rule. Ja Rule answered by dubbing him "Feminem."
More recently, Eminem rapped against Durst again on his recording, "Girls." This time it was because Durst backed out of a song they were going to participate in together. In "Girls," he called Durst "a ---in' sissy up on stage screaming about how people hate you, they don't hate you they just think you're corny since Christina (Aguilera) played you."
Eminem's feud with fellow recording star Moby is downright ugly. It reportedly began when Moby called Eminem a "misogynist" and a "homophobe" at the Grammy Awards. Em answered at the MTV Video Music Awards, "I will hit a man with glasses" -- and included a mock murder, shooting a Moby impersonator onstage, as part of his Anger Management Tour act. When Moby was assaulted outside a club in Boston last December, fingers were pointed at Eminem for inspiring the beating.
Push came to shove between Val Kilmer and director Joel Schumacher, when they were making "Batman Forever." After Kilmer berated two members of the crew, Schumacher said, he followed the star into his trailer and told him off. "He shoved me against the wall," Schumacher recalled, "and, much to my surprise, I shoved him back."
Kilmer has been at the epicenter of several feuds.
So has moviemaker Quentin Tarantino. His go-round with Spike Lee, for instance, began when Lee complained publicly that Tarantino overuses the N word in his movies -- "What does he want? To be made an honorary black man?" And Quentin reportedly responded, "Lee would have to stand on a chair to kiss my ass."
The long-time friendship of Sean Penn and Nic Cage came to a sad end a few years ago when Penn started publicly criticizing Nic's film choices.
"Nic Cage is no longer an actor," Penn told the New York Times.
"He's more like a...performer."
Cage, hurt by the broadside, said "The door to our friendship is closed...In this business, you get enough negativity from the press without having your friends dump on you in public."
Not to mention colleagues you hardly know.