Feedback: Women versus women in social media spats and in ‘Mrs. America’

Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug in "Mrs. America."
(Sabrina Lantos/FX)

Mary McNamara ventured out of her safe space to watch “Mrs. America” [“Women Versus Women: Tough Watch for This Former Ms. Staffer,” May 25]. She evidently knew the series wouldn’t be revisionist history where her political heroes won their battle but she bravely watched the unhappy ending anyway.

Would today’s women’s studies professors advise their students to emulate McNamara’s action or would they advise them to hunker down in their safe spaces in order to avoid the unhappy ending?

Robert Flaxman
Beverly Hills



Re: “Women Versus Women: Nothing New in Celeb Spats. It’s White Privilege” about Lana del Rey and Alison Roman by Lorraine Ali [May 25]: I just wanted to thank you for a very appropriate and much-needed article addressing a constant negative in today’s politics.

I agree with every word you said. This is not the day and age to bicker among women but rather to stand together. I feel as though female celebrities have the platform to work toward unifying all women and it’s a shame they don’t use their reach to do so at every opportunity.

It’s two steps forward with the Women’s March, #MeToo and Women Supporting Women campaigns but a giant step back with these social media spats.

Thank you for writing a straightforward article that really spoke to me.

Jill Encinias
Los Angeles


Mary McNamara, in her column about “Mrs. America” and the state of feminism, writes, “In the last quarter century, television has asked us to do many difficult things — root for gangsters and serial killers, read subtitles ...”

McNamara’s “American privilege” is showing. Europeans have watched film and TV shows with subtitles for decades.


John Zavesky

That British chap

I enjoyed Robert Lloyd’s discussion about our late-night celebrity shows [“Better Late Than Ever for Viewers,” May 21] but lest we overlook a host with the most from across the pond: Graham Norton had, and still has the best format of them all, both before and now during the crisis. He brings most of his guests out on the couch together for a group discussion, which hearkens back to the good old days when our hosts had mingling of several guests. It makes for more interesting chats.

I recommend him on his BBC show, if you can get it. He is No. number 1 in my TV book.

Gary Glasser


Editor’s note: Norton has been interviewing his guests remotely since early April. The couch format also is used by CBS host James Corden, who acknowledges his debt to Norton.


How grateful I am to Robert Lloyd for describing my TV watching behavior during this period of sequestering in place.

I DVR the late-night comics, go to sleep before they air and watch them all the next morning with my first cup of coffee.


They give me hope: They aren’t whining, they aren’t agonizing, they are triumphant. I want to be that too.

Carol Mitchell
Marina del Rey

Bravo to Mark Ruffalo

Regarding Meredith Blake’s article about Mark Ruffalo, “This Will Happen” [May 19]: I just recently resubscribed to HBO and have discovered series like “My Brilliant Friend” and “I Know This Much Is True.” Both are not easy to watch but so compelling in their storytelling, acting, direction and overall production values that not watching them would be shameful.

When Mark Ruffalo looks back at his amazing career, he’s going to realize that this is the best thing he could have done for himself and for viewers like me.


Ron Garber

An inspiring writer

Thank you for the Beckett article by theater critic Charles McNulty [“Beckett Wrote It Out for You,” May 26]. I’m inspired to go back and reread his work.

Kevin Ivey
Los Angeles



Thanks for the excellent piece on Beckett from an old man, ex-runner with aching feet, knees, back, etc. I will have to look up this guy Beckett.

John P. Bolton
Santa Ynez


I really enjoy your bringing Beckett, Shakespeare, Nietzsche and Artaud into our present circumstance. I hadn’t thought much about the existentialist literature in the five decades since my undergraduate days, when I attended numerous performances and read endlessly. You are spot on.


Ted Sledzinski
San Diego

A scene stealer will be missed

Thank you for Robert Lloyd’s appreciation of Fred Willard [“Willard Was the Beloved Weirdo,” May 18].

Willard’s scene-stealing cameos in “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Best in Show,” “WALL-E” and “Modern Family” were unforgettable. The earnestness of his endearingly dimwitted on-film persona was eloquently captured in Roger Ebert’s 2003 review of “American Wedding,” in which Ebert said of Willard: “Rising to toast the union of his Irish family and the Jewish family of his new in-laws, he brings real warmth and sincerity to his hope that ‘we can sit many happy shivas together.’“

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco


American vulgar

Re: “‘The Great’ Adds Zip, Modernity to History” by Robert Lloyd [May 21]: I’m trying hard to decide who Peter III of Russia reminds me of. “Vulgar, needy, self-approving boob” and “lives in a bubble in which he mostly sees his own reflection.”

I’m sure it will come to me.

Sonja Robinson