Anyone flying EgyptAir this week would have got a surprise if a) they decided to read the in-flight magazine, and b) had any interest in actress Drew Barrymore. The magazine purports to have carried out an interview with the actress in which it blatantly ridicules her love life and quotes Barrymore as saying overweight women need to lose weight.
Drew Barrymore claims – via her representatives – an interview purporting to quote her saying that “every woman who is overweight” should “work on regaining her beauty and body” as “fake news”, revealing that the interview never took place.
The feature in EgyptAir’s in-flight magazine “Horus” was written by Dr Aida Takla O’Reilly, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the organisation who decide who wins the Golden Globe Awards), who defends it as legitimate but that the article was edited for publication.
According to Barrymore – via Buzzfeed – she “did not participate” in the interview. But O’Reilly has taken to Twitter to defend the piece saying: “…the interview with Drew Barrimoor [sic] … took place in New York is genuine & far from fake.”
EgyptAir retweeted O’Reilly’s defence, thanking her for clarification. In the article, dubbed “surreal” by journalist Adam Baron who first brought it to light, Barrymore is painted as someone who has been in and out of numerous relationships, even giving a number on them (“Barrymore has had almost 17 relationships, engagements and marriages”), and in some strange Hollywood conundrum, desperate to search for Mr Right as if that’s the answer to her every question.
Grammatical errors, strange questions and even stranger answers have led to many believing the whole thing has been made up. Would she answer with a smile, as the author claims, a question that at best seems lost in translation and is at worst patently offensive: “A few years ago, after your last delivery, you gained several kilograms that even your fans accused you of being overweight and neglecting your weight. Today I see you have returned to your previous graceful body; what is your secret?”
A spokesperson for Barrymore said the “interview” was likely nurtured from a press conference held with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. They said: “So technically Drew did not sit down with Egypt Air for an interview, but a journalist who is a member of the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) sometimes supplies articles to Egypt Air, and that’s what happened.”
In all likelihood, it’s a case of translation-gone-wrong given that Barrymore has seemingly endorsed an article in Arabic written by the same author and published two weeks previously.
Buzzfee quote that article as reading: “”Despite her great success, it has recently been reported that Drew has chosen in recent years, specifically after her divorce from the famous actor Will Kopelman, to gradually shed the spotlight, accepting only a few roles to distinguish and influence.” It’s a bit less strange than EgyptAir’s attempts to profile the actress.