When Joe Bob Briggs recently announced that he would be bringing How Rednecks Saved Hollywood to the Florida Film Festival in August, many fans were aghast. But it turns out there may be less to worry about than they feared.
The upcoming appearance of Joe Bob Briggs threw people for a loop, since Florida has become a major hotbed for COVID-19. Why on earth would he want to take that chance? Despite the fact that Enzian and the Florida Film Festival are taking precautions, such as requiring all attendees to wear a mask, making temperature checks upon entry, and limiting the theater to half capacity, it still seemed to be a big risk.
Then, Joe Bob appeared as a guest on Diana Prince’s podcast Geek Tawk, where he and Prince (also known as The Last Drive-In’s Darcy the Mail Girl) announced that he had suffered from COVID back in May.
The Last Drive-In was in its second season on Shudder at this time, and nobody really knew he was ill because the show was pre-recorded. What people did know was that both Joe Bob and Darcy were suffering from the effects of negative social media attention.
As we all know, social media is a fickle beast. It’s invaluable to people in creative professions, because it gives us exposure and grows our fan base, but it also gives people an outlet to express anger and even disdain in a public forum, without suffering the consequences
First, Joe Bob was accused of racism and homophobia due to articles he had written for the right-wing website Takimag.
Then, a member of a Facebook group devoted to Joe Bob and The Last Drive-In made a rude and insulting comment about Darcy’s appearance, and it affected her deeply. I am a member of said group, and I can tell you that the vast majority of the members rallied at her defense and were very supportive. I believe the offending member was actually kicked out of the group, but the damage had been done, resulting in a very moving and heartfelt blog posted by Darcy/Diana.
It was apparently during all of this that Joe Bob became ill, and he chose not to announce it at the time. He said that while he was ill, he could still be at his computer and do his job, so he didn’t think it was necessary.
On her podcast, Prince said that she could tell when she spoke to him that he was having issues breathing, and was in pain. She was worried that the combination of the virus and negative public opinion would cause him serious issues.
Briggs’s responded that many people have had COVID, and most had it worse than him. “I wish everybody thought it was a death sentence because then everyone would wear the **** mask and we would get rid of it.”
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Furthermore, he felt that they should not make The Last Drive-In about the two of them; it should be about the movies, and their show needed to be someplace where people could go to escape the constant negativity and worry that is rampant these days.
With all of the brouhaha over the articles he wrote, many fans were worried that The Last Drive-In would be cancelled. They worried for naught because in July, Shudder announced a handful of upcoming specials and a third season for the popular series.
In a recent interview with 1428 Elm, Briggs indicated that he would like to continue with the series as long as the fans ask for it. Perhaps he feels the same way about personal appearances.
And as for How Rednecks Saved Hollywood coming to Florida? I bought my own tickets the day they went on sale. I wouldn’t miss a Joe Bob Briggs appearance this close to home!
What do you think about Joe Bob’s decision to appear in Florida? Let us know in the comments section.