Rosie O’Donnell says 'society has changed' in the 30 years since 'A League of Their Own' didn't address sexuality

On Late Night With Seth Meyers Tuesday, Rosie O’Donnell spoke about why the hit 1992 film A League of Their Own and its director Penny Marshall failed to address the sexuality of some 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 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 players who played in the league on which the film was based.

“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, ‘Okay, and how long have you guys been roommates?’ ‘Oh, 52 years.’ You know?”

Video transcript

ROSIE O'DONNELL: Society has changed so much. People don't realize. They say, why didn't Penny add that? Well, in 1991 when we were shooting it, nobody was out. KD Lang wasn't out, right? I mean, it was a different time.

KYLIE MAR: Rosie O'Donnell joined "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Tuesday, where she spoke about why the 1992 hit film, "A League of Their Own" failed to address the sexuality of some of the players, especially when it was so obvious at the time.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: We would meet the original members of The Peaches, and they'd be like, 88, and say, oh, this is my roommate, Betsy. I'm like, oh, hi Betsy. Obviously you played shortstop. She was like, yeah, I did. I'm like, OK. And how long have you guys been roommates? Oh, 52 years.

KYLIE MAR: O'Donnell says she met with the star and co-creator of the "A League of Their Own" series, Abbi Jacobson, who told her she'd spoken with the film's director, Penny Marshall. And Marshall supported the idea of focusing on the private lives of the athletes, including their sexuality.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: 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. And I remember thinking, that's going to be tough.

KYLIE MAR: And O'Donnell is pleased with how far society has come in the 30 years since the film was released.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: I couldn't really believe where we have gone in the 30 years. 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.