Billy Bob Thornton is not a nice guy

I swear we won’t make this a habit to report on crazy celebrities, but in the spirit of what we’re trying to do here at 4080, I thought we owe you all a post on this issue. I admit we’re not exactly top notch journalists over here, but I do think the team here approaches music with a dedication and a respect that we share with many real arts journalists.

Jian Ghomeshi is one of these. He is the host of the Q Show on CBC Radio in Canada, and he had the unfortunate opportunity to meet Billy Bob Thornton while Billy Bob was acting like a petulant little child. Basically, Billy Bob Thornton is a member of a band called the Boxmasters. They were to be interviewed on this music radio show. Fair enough, right?

Well, when introducing them, Ghomeshi made the crazy mistake of mentioning that Billy Bob Thornton was also an actor. Sort of. He mentions that Thornton is best known as an actor but “…the Boxmasters is anything but a diversion from the silver screen. (Thornton)’s always intended to make music and he just got sidetracked.”

Thornton apparently was upset about that, and basically spent the rest of the interview doing his best to ignore all questions and sulking. In fact, at the end, he refused to perform with his band and stormed out of the studio like a nine year old girl at a birthday party when Jenna accidentally wore the same dress.

You can see the whole video below. Or read the highlights here.

Now I could go on a massive rant about the absurd sense of entitlement that Thornton seems to have. His repeated references to Tom Petty suggests that Thornton holds himself in an overly high regard as a musician. He is, frankly, mediocre at best. The real talent lies in his bandmates, the astoundingly talented (and genuinely nice guys) J.D. Andrew, Mike Butler, and Brad Davis. Andrew in particular is a hero, for doing his best to rescue the interview and keep things professional.

Ghomeshi was right to point out that a band that has only been together for 2 years would likely not be getting this kind of attention without Thornton’s acting career backing them up. To attempt ignore it is one thing, to sulk if anyone ever mentions it is another. I would even understand if Ghomeshi had spent the time asking the band about acting or other stupid gossip.

I suggest that we treat Thornton the way he deserves to be treated in this context. Ignore his cinematic accomplishments and treat him like any other up-and-coming band. Ignore the “instructions” from his handlers, and if he doesn’t want to play ball with the interviewers, throw him out of the studio. For a band that isn’t yet famous, Thornton shouldn’t be acting like a diva.

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