Joan Rivers pulls off best book publicity stunt of 2012
Did you hear? Joan Rivers went to Costco on Tuesday to protest the discount chain’s refusal to carry her book. She chained herself to a shopping cart! She shouted through a bullhorn! The police arrived!
Of course you heard. Rivers was trending on Twitter before Los Angeles had downed its morning coffee. News of her protest has been on Fox News, ABC, KCAL, E! Online, the Huffington Post, TMZ — just about every media outlet you can think of, not to mention the lips of just about everyone who has heard of Joan Rivers.
Which makes it the best book publicity stunt of 2012 by far.
On Tuesday, did you know Joan Rivers had a new book? Probably not. I devote about 99% of my waking hours to keeping track of new books, and I didn’t know Joan Rivers had one. But now, we all do.
In June, the 79-year-old Rivers published “I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me” with Berkeley Books, a division of Penguin. The publisher writes: “Here — uncensored and totally uninhibited — she gives the best of her worst to First Ladies, closet cases, hypocrites, Hollywood, feminists, and overrated historical figures. And even when letting herself have it, Joan doesn’t hold back in this honest, unabashedly hilarious love letter to the hater in all of us.”
Apparently intent on drawing attention to her book, Rivers arrived at Costco in Burbank on Tuesday with a film crew in tow, chained herself to a shopping cart and used a bullhorn to share her complaints. The store, she said, won’t carry her new book because it has cuss words on the back cover.
“People should have the right to have the literature they want,” she told KTLA News. “This is the beginning of Nazi Germany.”
The police were called and, without issuing a citation, convinced Rivers to depart. First, however, she spoke to a number of media outlets. She joked with television station KTLA that she wasn’t entirely satisfied with her publicity stunt. “They kicked me out without giving me any free samples,” she told the station.
Reprint: Los Angeles Times by Carolyn Kellogg