EXCLUSIVE: Host Reacts to Billy Bob’s On-Air Tirade

Apr. 8 2009, Published 8:59 a.m. ET

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Looking serious from the start of the interview with his band Box Masters during a CBC interview, Billy Bob Thornton made his annoyance known as he initially remained silent despite getting asked direct questions, later gave unenthusiastic answers, and then ended with an angry flash at his film background getting referred to. The host of the show Jian Ghomeshi spoke to about his now infamous exchange with Thornton.

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"People that have seen the video think he's an obstinate and pompous guy," Ghomeshi said. "I didn't think he was spaced out or drugged up. That's not the impression that I got. It was morning- but from the get-go he was belligerent."

“First of all, that wasn’t supposed to be mentioned either,” Thornton replied when Ghomeshi asked if it was the actor comment he was reacting negatively to. Thornton claimed the show’s producer was notified to not mention anything besides his music. “Would you ask that to Tom Petty?” Thornton bizarrely shot back.


Ghomeshi defends his line of questioning and introductory comments: "Without giving context of who he's been and what people have known him for, not to mention that this incarnation of this band is relatively new, to erase allof that would be irresponsible."  As for Thornton's comment about notifiying the producer of untouchable territory, the host balks at the idea. “I find this notion that we need to be controlled, that we need to be told what we can and can’t ask difficult,” he stressed, “I find it hard to believe that in any other area besides entertainment that this would be acceptable.”

The other band members (though clearly uncomfortable with the altercation) were grateful for the interview and were almost apologetic, says the host.  They even thanked Ghomeshi for his time.  The same cannot be said for Thornton, however, who left the room without uttering a word.



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