Rosie O’Donnell joined Late Night With Seth Meyers on Tuesday, where she spoke about what was missing from the hit 1992 film A League of Their Own, and why the movie failed to address the sexuality of the players, some of whom were part of the LGBTQ community.
“Society has changed so much, people don’t realize,” O’Donnell said. “They say, ‘Why didn’t Penny [Marshall] add that?’ Well, in 1991 when we were shooting it, nobody was out. K.D. Lang wasn’t out, right? I mean, it was a different time.”
O’Donnell also spoke about meeting some of the athletes that the film was based on who played in the league.
“We would meet the original members of the Peaches,” O’Donnell said, and they’d be like, you know, 88, and say, ‘This is my, um, roommate, Betsy.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, hi, Betsy. Obviously you played shortstop.’ She was like, ‘Yeah, I did.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, and how long have you guys been roommates?’ ‘Oh, 52 years.’ You know?”
O’Donnell said she was introduced to the star and co-creator of the A League of Their Own seriesAbbi Jacobson, who said she’d spoken to Marshall, and that Marshall supported the idea of focusing on the private lives of the athletes, including their sexuality. (Marshall died in December 2018.)
“Abbi says, ‘I met with Penny…’ — this is, like, 2018 — ‘…and she said she would be very supportive of us doing a show that League of Their Own is based on, but more looks into the sexuality and the private lives, and the racism that occurred,’” O’Donnell said. “And I remember thinking that’s gonna be tough, right?”
And though O’Donnell believes there is still progress to be made, she’s pleased with how far society has come in the 30 years since A League of Their Own was unable to address LGBTQ issues.
“I couldn’t really believe where we have gone in the 30 years,” O’Donnell said. “Although there’s a lot more to go, and I think that representation is the first step. And Abbi Jacobson hit it out of the park, so to speak, in this League of Their Own thing. She really did.”
Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35 p.m. on NBC.
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