Kristen Bell is still promoting her children’s book, says ‘purple people come in all colors’

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Kristen Bell was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week, where she was promoting her children’s book, The World Needs More Purple People. That came out in mid June, in the initial surge of the BLM movement following George Floyd’s murder. The book was widely panned in the press as a variation on the antiquated, harmful concept “I don’t see color.” Kristen co-wrote it with a white guy as a way to explain dinner table arguments to their children. There’s an argument to be made that it’s about politics (red plus blue equals purple), which is how Kristen explains it to Colbert, but she’s also glossed over race in interviews about it. As I previously reported, this is what she told Gayle King on CBS this morning:

This isn’t a question of this is African-American, this is white, these are these problems, these are those. They’re human problems and we need to learn how to help speak up for each other.

We need to teach people to look for sameness first. You can disagree with as many people as you want, as long as you’re identifying you have more in common than we have differences. How do we create a label that’s exciting that doesn’t leave anyone out.

That’s one of those “it doesn’t matter if you’re purple” arguments. Kristen didn’t address any of the criticism of her book at the time. She does post pro-BLM messages, but overall this is tone deaf. It’s been a month and a half and she’s still promoting it the same way, straight-faced and without any disclaimers. On Colbert she also told some embarrassing stories about her kids because of course she did. That video is below and here’s some of what she said:

An embarrassing story about her daughter Lincoln
They are 5 and 7 and they are so talkative. It’s like having two crazy parakeets stapled to your shoulders they talk so much.

We tried to steal away for a hike the other day, my sister was here. On our way out the door my seven-year-old [said] ‘are you going to do a sex?’ We’ve talked to her about what sex is, but we’ve never talked to her about us doing it.

Dax said ‘we’d love to but it’s illegal publicly bye’ and closed the door.

“Who are the purple people and why do we need them?”
You write children’s books two years in advance. My friend Ben and I were sitting around at a family dinner and we realized our kids were absorbing every bit of conversation that sounded like debates, because it was mostly political. We had a personal experience of seeing this very polarizing political culture unfold in front of our children. They were seeing red vs. blue everywhere, they were seeing teams. All the fighting felt like too much so we wanted to give some social identity language that allowed kids to look towards other human beings and not just see enemies. Red plus blue equals purple. Purple people come in every color. It’s the idea that you can think for yourself, you can stand up for other people, you can find things in common even when you disagree and you can be uniquely you. You don’t have to fold in line.

“Did that occur to you about the one-eyed one-horn flying purple people eaters when you named this?”
No. I barely remember that song.

[From The Late Show on YouTube]

Two years ago was six months after Charlottesville and the president calling violent white supremacists “very good people.” Saying “let’s all get along despite politics” is very much a part of the both-sidesism of white privilege, and frankly, of white people not calling out other white people for supporting a white supremacist. The fact that Kristen is still promoting this book and hasn’t tried to dial it back says so much. Yes there is a polarizing political culture, but there is absolutely a good side and an evil side. The party in power is dehumanizing, brutalizing and taking people’s rights away. Kids understand race and racial identity and they can be taught to recognize and appreciate differences, and to recognize evil when they see it. Even if this is about “politics” and just making nice with people, there are occupying forces in US cities kidnapping protesters! At least stop talking about this book. She is exhausting and makes me so mad.

Oh and Kristen has another clip on Colbert where she talks about leaving her biracial role on Central Park. She said “I guess over the last six months it just occurred to all of us that there is no decision too small to move progress.” Just parse that for a moment.

Here’s that interview:

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17 Responses to “Kristen Bell is still promoting her children’s book, says ‘purple people come in all colors’”

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  1. Lemons says:

    We should have been on the moon, driving levitating cars with zero emissions, clean living. Instead, we’re talking about how purple people can be all colors.

    This nonsense has sets humanity back so far.

  2. Mumbles says:

    I have the feeling that if this was The Colbert Report, Colbert would have really skewered this stuff. This happy-talk format really has disarmed him of that great tool.

  3. Slowdown says:

    Why is debate a nasty thing now? Or standing up for your principles? It’s like she tried to erase the healthiness of voting, having a political stance. That’s what you should teach your children. Or the power of negotiation. But not the abolition of positioning yourself regarding your country’s laws.
    It’s like a first book for Karens.

  4. SheaButterBaby says:

    Dear Kristen:

    No ❤️

    • Sequinedheart says:

      Both of them need to stop.
      The both sides thing is so tone dead but they are also peddling their low-rent honest baby co., Hello Bello and they want everyone on both sides, red, blue and purple, to buy it.
      It’s all about $$$

  5. lucy2 says:

    I stopped listening to her husband’s podcast because he was both sides-ing a lot of stuff, and either he has influenced her, or she’s more like him than I previously thought. That whole “good people, just different politics” thing doesn’t fly anymore.

    I think she wrote a tone deaf kids book that ended up being published at a very fraught time, is obligated to promote it, and it trying to spin it a different way. I do hope from this, and the voice work issue, she is learning something.

    • ArniePz says:

      THIS! I stopped for the exact same reason. That and his and Monica’s complete misogyny.
      He likes to call himself a “bleeding heart liberal” when he has someone actually respectable on. That is, when he’s not whitesplain mansplaing everything including how women actually feel walking down the street with a man following them.

    • Allergy says:

      I cannot stand him. There’s always this weird predatory air around him.

    • GoogleIt says:

      Yeah, he’s gross. People who post about them being couple goals are cray-cray.

      • kimberlu says:

        in general people who post couple goals are weird….it’s like just live and not compare yourself so much… happy!

  6. shanaynay says:

    I can’t with this chick!!!!


  7. Jay says:

    As a wiser celebitchy poster previously said (it has become my new mantra):
    Read the room. Then, leave the room.

  8. Char says:

    She is one of the disguised demons from The Bad Place, congrats, Kevin, you nailed this one.

  9. detritus says:

    Just scrap the damn book. It’s a bad idea.

    Also, Dax doesn’t strike me as a great parent. He’s always coming across as so petty and needing the last word/jab

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I don’t get past her pinched little ferret’s face. She’s uninvited. You know what I mean?

  11. GoogleIt says:

    I’ve been calling her out on her BS for years. I am so glad people are finally starting to realize what a phony she is. She’s gotten a pass for years because of the quirky persona she has developed.

    She and her husband are two peas in a pod. They are both snake oil salespeople. She has said in a recent interview that she is tired of working. She doesn’t have to go on Colbert. She could take a break, but she won’t. She has to be in the spotlight. I

    I think the lack of any Emmy nods for her personally illustrate how little she is respected in Hollywood for her acting.

  12. Jessica says:

    she had the chance to back away from this conversation and instead she is doubling down. It doesn’t work that way, honey.