“Judge Judy” is marching inexorably toward its ninth straight season as TV’s top-rated syndicated daytime show.
And Judy Sheindlin says there’s a reason for that.
“I think people still like order and they still like rules and they like that comfort of seeing, at least, a case from start to finish,” says Sheindlin, 75. “I’m so disgusted with things I can’t relate to on TV … and everything seems to be in such disorder in the world and people still like order. They want their comfort food and I think I’ve been associated with comfort food. I have a particular personality and sense of humor and I don’t have to work hard doing my job — it comes naturally to me.”
In today’s daytime landscape, a show averaging 3-4 million viewers is having a great week; “Judge Judy,” by comparison, tops 10 million (sometimes 12 million) viewers daily — off the charts for any show, let alone one in its 22nd season. Part of that can be attributed to Sheindlin’s interactions, not only with on-air litigants but with viewers: The show’s current Facebook contest, “Judge Judy Ultimate High School Graduation Essay Contest,” will reward the winner with Sheindlin speaking at its 2018 high school graduation ceremony.
“I think I have a balanced sense of justice and I can read people and situations reasonably well,” says Sheindlin. “I think women who watch [‘Judge Judy’] like to see women in control; so many women are not in control of their lives, and a lot of the emails I get are about that. They watch and they like to see someone in control.”
Sheindlin is then asked to comment on the #MeToo movement.
“There are predators as opposed to schmucks and they all form part of this #MeToo movement because I think the dialogue is you’re neither supposed to be a predator or a schmuck — you’re supposed to be respectful of people,” she says. “And unfortunately, because of it, I think the easy social dialogue between normal people has become sort of restricted. You don’t know where the edge is: if you’re going to err, you better err on the side of caution.
“I experienced some gender bias early on in my [legal] career but my reaction to it was, ‘Listen, I’m better than that and I can be better,’ ” she says. “I think that any person, man or woman, who uses their ability to impact your livelihood in order to sexually gratify themselves, or their ego, by humiliating you has to be drummed out of the corps, whatever that corps is. They’re really just bad people.
“One of the first photo shoots I had [for ‘Judge Judy’], the company doing the shoot sent me a young man who was the son of the owner of the company. I was 52, he was 23, and he was holding his hand up to the lens like he knows what he’s doing and says to me, ‘I think you should do this,’ and I said to him, ‘Young man, I have food in my refrigerator older than you are.’ I don’t ever remember any time after that that I felt as if someone was trying to talk down to me because I was a woman.”
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SOURCE: NY Post – Michael Starr