The ambitious mission of the weekly Internet radio show “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” was clear on its Facebook page: “To bring people together to understand issues that affect us all.”
The co-hosts could not have been further apart on the political spectrum.
On one end was Sheena Metal, a self-described “lifelong liberal and avid Hillary Clinton supporter.” On the other was Susan Olsen, an equally vocal proponent of Donald Trump who is perhaps best known as the former child star who played pig-tailed Cindy Brady on “The Brady Bunch.”
Last week, the co-hosts invited Leon Acord-Whiting, an openly gay actor, on their LA Talk Radio show.
Though it is unclear exactly what happened on air or in the studio (the episode appears to have since been removed from LA Talk Radio’s website), the ensuing fallout triggered several profane rants from Olsen and left her without a job.
On Dec. 7, after his appearance on “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics,” Acord-Whiting posted a message on Facebook that accused Olsen of being a “Trump fanatic” who was “spew[ing] her idiotic lies unchecked.”
“It is wildly irresponsible for LA Talk Radio to allow a Trump fanatic to co-host one of their programs, where she can spew her idiotic lies unchecked. (Being a liberal and a patriot are mutually exclusive? Hillary is causing the protests & hate crimes? The Koran is a political tract?),” Acord-Whiting wrote. “As much as I love Sheena Metal, I think LA Talk Radio needs to give ‘Cindy Brady’ her walking papers.
“I will not listen to or appear on any shows there from this point forward until she’s gone. This isn’t just disagreeing on, say, tax plans or foreign policy. Susan Olsen spreads outrageous misinformation & it is dangerous and unprofessional.”
Several hours later, Olsen responded on her own Facebook page with a lengthy invective.
“I thought Monday night’s show was really great,” she wrote. “But it would seem that one of our participants was less than sporting. SINCE he has done nothing but talk smack about us! Sheena is a much better person than I am. She tells me to take the high road. ‘Please don’t engage with Leon.’ OH YEAH? I WILL ENGAGE WITH LEON!”
She went on to call Accord-Whiting a “f—ing snake in the grass” who was too frightened “to stand up to Cindy Brady.”
“I thought everything was cool because that’s the way we want it at Two Chicks. But no, it would seem that this lost soul had an ankle to bite. What a very sad and tiny person he must be,” Olsen wrote. “This only makes the show stronger and DEFINITELY my resolve YUUUUUUUGE! BRING IT!!! We all posed for a nice picture after the show and you turn coat? What a nasty little man you are!”
What ensued was a rapid exchange of insults and accusations splayed across social media.
Olsen soon accused Acord-Whiting of being a “little piece of human waste” who blocked her on Facebook “before I could even get one hit in.” Later, Acord-Whiting would use Twitter to accuse Olsen and her supporters of getting him temporarily suspended from Facebook.
On Thursday morning, Acord-Whiting posted a screenshot of a profanity-laden direct message he said Olsen had sent him on Facebook.
“Let me get my big boy pants on and Reallly take you on!!!” the screenshot of the message read, according to Us Weekly. “What a snake in the grass you are you lying piece of s–t too cowardly to confront me in real life so you do it on Facebook.”
The message repeated a derogatory word for gay people along with comparative references to Acord-Whiting’s and Olsen’s anatomy.
“I hope you meet your karma SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY,” it read.
The messages were a far cry from Olsen’s image as “the youngest one in curls” on “The Brady Bunch.” She was cast as the youngest of the six Brady children for the entire run of the show, from 1969 to 1974. Her sweet portrayal as Cindy Brady has persisted through the decades as reruns of the popular sitcom continued to air.
The diatribes were also markedly different from an open letter Olsen had written about her TV dad Robert Reed in 2013.
Reed played Mike Brady on the show. The actor was gay but remained closeted out of fear that revealing his sexuality would hurt his acting career. He died in 1992.
“I can also say that being gay killed him. Because it was so taboo, he could never make peace with himself,” Olsen wrote at the time. “He never allowed himself to have a genuine love. He was forever taunted by his own disdain for the natural inclinations that he was BORN WITH.
“Bob was a family man. Had he been allowed to form a relationship with another man, he would have been the best husband ever and might still be alive. But Bob could not be at peace with this because the people surrounding him shoved their own judgment down his throat and, sadly, he bought into it. He thought he was wrong.”
LA Talk Radio announced Friday that Olsen had been removed from her co-hosting job.
“LA Talk Radio takes pride in its close and collaborative relationship with the LGBT community, and will continue to provide a home for those who have hopeful and positive messages of togetherness and tolerance to share with our listeners,” the company said in a statement. “We will not tolerate hateful speech by anyone associated with our radio station and have severed our ties with a host that veered off the direction in which we are going. Thank you for your loyalty and continued support. LA Talk Radio stands for love and community, and we will always support all of our friends around the world.”
LA Talk Radio did not immediately respond to a phone call or to questions sent by email, including about whether the show would continue to air. By Monday afternoon, the page for “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” and Olsen’s host bio were no longer available on the station’s website.
A Change.org petition to “Get Susan Olsen Back On LA Talk Radio!” had a few dozen supporters as of Monday afternoon.
Neither Olsen nor Acord-Whiting responded to interview requests Monday.
“Getting fired is never a happy event, even when the person deserves it,” Acord-Whiting wrote Sunday. “This is less a victory, more a badly needed course correction. I can’t express enough my appreciation for everyone’s support the past few days. I merely sounded the alarm. It was ALL of US, working TOGETHER, who made justice happen. Thank YOU for restoring a little of my faith in power of democracy.”
Olsen’s former co-host, Sheena Metal, also took to Facebook on Sunday to express her sadness over what had transpired. She defended Olsen as a best friend and longtime co-worker who was “always willing to put her own personal and professional reputation on the line for me.”
Nevertheless, Metal said she also was a friend of Acord-Whiting and that Olsen’s comments were unacceptable.
“There were many things that led up to Susan’s inflammatory remarks of two days ago, many of which I am sure she will discuss publicly herself, when she is ready,” Metal wrote. “However, none of those things made what she said ‘right’ or ‘okay,’ by any means or for any reason.”
Metal also said she had “never heard Olsen say anything homophobic or derogatory” about the LGBT community in their seven years of friendship, and that she had not even realized until the morning following the last “Two Chicks” broadcast that Acord-Whiting had been upset.
“At this point, I just feel terrible for everyone and anyone who has had their heart hurt by this upheaval,” Metal wrote. ” . . . I feel saddened by the divisiveness, the last two days has brought, during a time when, now more than ever, we all need to be sticking together. I know that, right now, our feelings are hurt and our nerves are frazzled and fear is at an all-time high, but we, as a nation and as a species, need to do our best to rise above it and find a way to treat our fellow man/woman/person with acceptance and understanding, even if their beliefs differ from our own. Because, the alternative is even more frightening, than I care to think about at this time.”