As a teenager watching reruns in the 1990s, I simply adored Ed Asner's character on Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mr. Grant was exactly what a girl would want in a grandpa OR a husband! Tough as nails on the outside, but soft as cashmere inside. Incredibly devoted to his wife, some of my favorite moments were watching the paradox of how he reacted towards her in comparison to everyone else. When Edie told him she was leaving to pursue self-fulfilling ambitions, I wanted to pummel the dear lady! Did she not know what she had?!
The sad reality of coming to terms with an actor versus the character that he or she plays is that you can be incredibly disappointed. So I was after I started hearing some of the vitriol spouting from the mouth of Ed Asner in recent years - sulphurous hatred against our President in a time of war and towards those who politically disagree with Asner as well. Having opposing views is one thing to come to terms with, especially in times such as these, but to get it so wrong and then spew hatred over it is quite another.
Ed Asner, I have come to realize, is a kind of inside-out opposite of his Lou Grant character. Whereas Grant had a flinty exterior but was a softy at heart, Asner has shown himself in recent years to be soft in the head and has a hard heart.