TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

'Make-A-Wish' Kid -- Focused On The Dolphins

3/28/2011 5:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The Make-A-Wish kid snubbed by celeb chef Ina Garten has MOVED ON -- in fact, we're told, Enzo is so excited about his back-up wish to swim with dolphins ... he sleeps in his bathing suit.

0328_makewish_dolphin_EX

A family member tells TMZ, 6-year-old Enzo -- who suffers from leukemia -- has conquered his initial disappointment and is now focusing on his upcoming swim sesh with real-life dolphins.

We're told Enzo not only sleeps in his bathing suit -- but when he's awake, he spends a huge chunk of his free time learning to swim ... all to make his new wish a reality.

TMZ previously reported, Ina has officially REVERSED her refusal to see the kid ... after twice denying his request for a meet-up -- claiming she plans to call him today.

As of the time this story was published, Enzo's family had not heard anything from Ina.

254 COMMENTS

No Avatar
196.

azlee    

lots of these comments are just sad. I hope the kid gets a neat experience and that the tabloids don't get the scoop.

just let him have a great day.

1119 days ago
197.

lilibahamas    

The parents are too blame. Meeting a celebrity is difficult. The parents should of persuaded the kid to pick something kid friendly from the very beginning especially if the kid is terminally ill.
The kid waited 2 years? In my opinion this story is all about the parents using their kid for publicity to gain symphathy and get free stuff from shows, perhaps even land a reality show.

Poor Ina, no wonder she is not responding. If MAW leaked this story shame on them!

Swimming with the dolphins is not cool! These dolphins are exploited and subjected to a life in the tourism industry for anyone that pays the $150 for the half hour.

1119 days ago
198.

Dee    

Ina is soooooooooooooooooooooo done....& I'm not meaning WELL done.

1119 days ago
199.

Gwendolyn    

Good choice swimming with the dolphins. You should totally take up MacMillan's offer of preparing you a meal at a resort as well.I'm just saying seize the moment. Have fun. Enjoy yourself.I know you're going to have a great time. Rock it! and God bless.

1119 days ago
200.

Gwendolyn    

don't be so hard and quick to judge contessa. we don't know what goes on in peoples hearts or emotions. and look how it make him focus on something in my opinion much better who whouldn't love to swim with dolphins. thats a much better wish in my opinion than cooking with someone. I do hope however that he takes up the offer of the other chef that invited him to a resort.

1118 days ago
201.

Julie    

You will love these magical creatures who are sincere and loving. Best wishes.

1118 days ago
202.

Angry    

I am completely disturbed by Ina Garten's response to this. If she is too good for this child then I am too good for her. I will not only BOYCOTT Ina Garten but I will make it a point to do my share until she is taken off the air. The Food Network should also understand that it is simply not worth affiliating themselves with such disgusting people as Ina Garten...they need to cancel her shows. I simply cannot understand how someone can be so cold!!!

1118 days ago
203.

lilibahamas    

DO NOT SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS.
IT IS LIKE HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
THESE DOLPHINS ARE HELD CAPTIVE AND MADE TO SERVE IGNORANT TOURISTS FOR MONEY ALL DAY LONG.

DOLPHINS ARE NOT MEANT TO PUSH PEOPLE WITH THEIR NOSES,BE TOUCH BY HUMANS, ESPECIALLY YOUNG CHILDREN WHO MIGHT MISHANDLE THEM, OR FOR YOU TO CATCH A RIDE ON THEIR DORSAL FIN.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES THE DOLPHINS BURN? THEY DON'T GET ENOUGH FISH TO RECOVER.

MAKE A WISH SUCKS!!!!!!

STOP CALLING INA A WHALE. THIS LITTLE BOY IS BEING USED TO GAIN PUBLICITY FOR HIS GREEDY FAMILY. WHO HOLDS A GRUDGE FOR 2 YEARS? NOT ENZO! THIS IS THE WORK OF AN ADULT!
God bless Enzo.

1118 days ago
204.

Barbie    

I guess all the negative publicity opened up the eyes of Ina Garten. I know I did my part in making a complaint to the food network.
She's too busy! Well I think the damage is done! She's lost alot of her fan base by rejecting his request not once, but twice!
Go have a great time Enzo swimming with the dophins, as so many have already said, they are kinder creatures!
God Bless Enzo and his family.

1118 days ago
205.

kingborg    

make a wish foundation attempts to bully people into agreeing to things. who says ina or anyone else has to meet someone? i don't get it. she's busy. she said no. end of story. the child doesn't have a right to meet her or anyone else. and if she doesn't want to do it, she shouldn't be shamed into it by make a wish foundation or the press. ridiculous.

-----------------------------------------------------

bull-s#it! maw does not bully anyone. its lowlife loosers like YOU that are the bullies. trying to do harm to an org that does such wonderful things for kids. you all should be ashamed of yourselfs for bashing maw!

Posted at 10:21 PM on Mar 28, 2011 by bosox406

1118 days ago
206.

beauteefullaydee    

A boy named Enzo Pereda, now 6, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2009. The Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him what his wish would be, and he said he wanted to meet the Food Network’s Ina Garten, the “Barefoot Contessa,” and watch her cook from his bed. Enzo’s wish was relayed to Garten through the Foundation, but she declined, saying that her schedule was too busy with a book tour. Enzo opted to wait. The request was made again this year, and Garten’s refusal was final and unconditional. Enzo’s mother, who has catalogued his illness in a blog called “Angels for Enzo,” was furious, writing:
“…it is has been officially confirmed that Ina Garten (the “Barefoot Contessa” ) has declined Enzo’s wish to meet her and cook a meal with her. I felt terrible for him, he has been unwavering in his desire to meet her for 3 years …Even yesterday when I told him the unfortunate news, his reply was simply “why doesn’t she want to meet me”? (As he is looking up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes)… I just tried to explain (even though her answer was simply “NO” and a blanket “NO” to granting ANY wish across the board…WOW)…I would be lying if I said that I don’t find this to be shocking. To know that out of EVERY THING (material Enzo could choose to have), or ANY PLACE (in the world Enzo could travel to) and out of EVERY PERSON on this earth he chose Ina, and she cannot see what an honor that is…The immediate reaction yesterday when word started to get out that Enzo’s wish got declined was like wild fire and so many people are upset and disgusted. I also know many boycotts have started and e-mails, letters, texts have been sent out. And I truly appreciate all the passion you feel and all the love and support you have shown Enzo.”

Not surprisingly, after that, “The Barefoot Contessa” is getting marinated in the media, barbecued in the blogosphere, and parboiled by the public. The episode is tricky from an ethical perspective, because it involves emotionally charged elements like the disappointment of a sick child and his loving family, which make it difficult to evaluate the situation objectively.

The single most unethical action in this unfortunate sequence is Mama Pareda’s passive-aggressive call for supporters of Enzo to wreak vengeance on Ina Garten. I can understand her anger and bitterness, and in her position, I would be angry too. But it was wrong, vindictive and unfair to call down the wrath of the media and blog-furies against her, which is exactly what her blog post did. (Now Pareda is trying to call off the pack, having figured out that the furor over Garten is making Enzo, who still admires her, feel worse, not better. Good luck putting the genie back in the bottle.)

Garten’s refusal was not wrong, and it was not justification for criticism. There are many legitimate reasons for her choosing not to give Enzo an audience, including just not wanting to do it. Do all of us have an obligation to do a favor for a stranger simply because they asked for it? No. Do we have an obligation to do the favor if the stranger is sick? Young? Old? Dying? No, no, no and no. Accept any other answer, and we are declaring that whenever the Make-a-Wish Foundation delivers a request, it is really a demand, backed by the threat of public humiliation….dictatorship of the desperate, attack of the compassion bullies.

Would I make Enzo’s wish come true, under almost any cir***stances? Yes. Ina Graten doesn’t have to. Would most celebrities? Yes…and Ina Garten still doesn’t have to. Being kind and generous is ethical, but saying no when there is no ethical duty to say yes is not unethical. If Enzo is making a request, then the request can be refused. If its isn’t really a request, but an order, Enzo has no right to issue it. There is a duty to rescue. There is a duty to confront and report wrongdoing. But a duty to comply with the random desires of sick children? Absolutely not.

What about celebrities, though? I frequently write about their duties to be ethical role models and to tolerate the inconveniences of their fame. Doesn’t that apply here? I don’t think so. A baseball star should sign autographs for kids within reason; a movie star should be gracious when someone approaches her in public. This is more; Enzo asked for a special event, just for him. I expect a celebrity to be polite to me if I say hello, but he doesn’t have to accept my invitation to dinner, even if I tell him my son is sick and that having him over would make his big brown eyes glisten with joy.

Then, after the celebrity has declined my invitation, I am wrong if I go out of my way to make the episode a public relations crisis for him, because he didn’t come through with an extraordinary act of graciousness and kindness.

The Ethics Verdict: There was unethical conduct here, and it was all Mrs. Pareda’s. Enzo has chosen another wish, and he seems to be happy about it. The only victim was “The Barefoot Contessa.”

1118 days ago
207.

Kim    

What this has amounted to is extortion. If you don't contribute to a certain charity, your reputation and your career will be destroyed, and the record of it will follow you wherever you go. What wonderful, loving people we all are.

1118 days ago
208.

beauteefullaydee    

Jack Marshall
March 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm
Sad, yes. But heads up: a couple of terminally ill kids will be arriving at your house, and their dying wish is to be taken to Disney Words, and only by you, because they are a fans of your compassionate blog comments. Have a nice trip!!

1118 days ago
209.

janet    

Good for him.

1118 days ago
210.

laurie    

Ina is so rude I can't stand her snobby fat arse if your not a gay guy forget it she will have nothing to do with you...

1118 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web