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A-List: New York Wanted To Show ‘Real’ (Horrible) Gays, Not Super Friendly Saints

Even before LOGO’s A-List: New York premiered in October, some of you made very clear you didn’t want a show like this on television. But then it aired, and some of your minds changed; many of them didn’t. But even before going into production, A-List‘s producers knew there’d be plenty of push back from The Gays. And they had no intention of showing the best side of gay men, anyhow.

A few weeks into the show’s debut, cast member Reichen Lehmkuhl relayed, “If you think we’re a bad representation of the gay community, it’s like, every gay person knows … we all know the way these seven guys, including myself, act on the show are an accurate representation of the way a lot of gay people act.” It sounds just like what producers are saying now.

Dominick Pupa (pictured center, between Derek and Reichen), the show’s executive director and a producer behind hit-or-miss reality shows like The Real Housewives of New York City and The Cougar, tells Edge he “knew people would hate it without watching it. … People would have wanted to see the ideal, but that’s not necessarily an accurate portrayal of gay people. I felt a responsibility to show real gay people – and not the ideal. What people consider the ideal of any community (be it gay or straight) is one-half of one percent of the population. But the show is not about the gay community – it’s about six gay guys that live in New York.”

And that’s fair! Reality shows about gay people — especially those on a gay network — don’t have some inherent responsibility to show us in a positive light. Some of us are douchebags, narcissists, and unkind to others. You might not want to be friends with these sorts IRL, but on television? They’re fantastic characters.

As for your complaints about A-List‘s cast leading pretty un-A-list lives: “These guys do lead an A-List lifestyle,” insists Pupa, “but in the confines of New York City…we all live an A-List lifestyle, but to someone else in another city this would be extreme living.”

And to someone else in another city, extreme living now has zero appeal.


  • 48 Comments
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      My problem with the show wasn’t that it “showed real gay people – and not the ideal.” It’s that it showed gay men who were neither real nor ideal. The entire sad series was based around whether Reichen would fuck Austin. And of the so-called A-Listers, the only ones who had a steady job were Ryan and Mike Ruiz. And Mike is the only one who actually hung out with celebrities and he was barely on the show.

      No, they didn’t have an obligation to make it about queer ideals, but they could have done better than the vapid, insulting pap they threw our way. God, I hated this stupid fucking show.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      If that is what they REALLY wanted to do, then why did they change the name of the show?

      Origionally the show was called “Kept” which seems like a fairly accurate representation. THEY were the ones who changed it to “The A List” which has an entirely different connotation.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @Cam: Yep. The re-positioned it so it would be more alluring and have a more affluent air about it. With Kept, I think the audience would’ve seen this crap for what it really was and maybe tuned in less or more. IDK.

      Whatever, Queerty said, “You might not want to be friends with these sorts IRL, but on television? They’re fantastic characters.” NO. They are not. The only one of interest to me is Rodiney and maybe Mike. The rest were just horrible people. Reichen was meh.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      If you want equality then stop scaring America with these stereotypical assholes who don’t seem to care about anything but money and partying. Real gay people don’t live like this!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      I live in NYC and these gay men are purely reality television creations, they are NOT anywhere near the terrific gay men (and women) I know. Most of the gay men I know here are smart, creative, fascination people, not bitchy clowns performing like marionettes and making fools of themselves. If you take the show for what it is, real housewives of NYC, the gay version, then you know what you’re in for. A list? Not on your life.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andy
      andy

      The guy in the middle looks like a sleeze ball to me. No wonder he thinks these guys are “normal”.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe B.
      Joe B.

      Dominick Pupa wouldn’t know a real gay person from a tropical fish. He’s one of those fab ghetto gays that stays in his bubble in the industry and never ever leaves it.

      There’s more to being gay than fab parties with models and porn stars and skin resurfacing and laser hair removal and artisan mustard and ringside seats at Fashion Week.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oprah
      Oprah

      Oh please. I could NOT stand watching A-LIST. Disgusting piece of excrement. They were portrayed truly to their form:Pathetic, Superficial,Materialistic,Egotistic,Judgemental,Sluty,Bitchy,Lonely,Empty,Sad,Degenerative,Soul-less,Lonely, Lonely, Lonely etc etc etc

      What i got from watching the series is a rude awakening epiphany that ultimately, Gay men are inherently lonely souls. Pathetic self absorbed hedonistic scoundrels. I wish they had show stable gay couples who are caring, community active and oriented, non-clubers- misplaced children adoptees- and AIDS clinic volunteers. Anything but –the woes of Reichens enlarged anus, the loneliness of Derek’s superficiality,Ryans Calories and his misinformed illusion that he is the leader of the ‘cool blonde’ kids in high school.Seriously–i was mortified and disgusted.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      After watching a couple of episodes, I’m blaming myself for even giving this a second try. This is NOT a representation of anything other than a group of low budget clown queens who probably took this job off the books to supplement unemployment (probably welfare). Except Mike, none of these ‘individuals’ should be allowed on the streets of NYC.
      It takes brains, creativity and courage to really make it in NY, none of which this cast has (again, except for Mike).

      I spend summers in the Hamptons and neither do i consider myself A List, nor would this be the kind of classless queens you would expect to find.

      Go back to your little farms, boys, or where ever it is you come from. It’s certainly not NYC.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Oprah: said..


      Anything but –the woes of Reichens enlarged anus, the loneliness of Derek’s superficiality,Ryans Calories and his misinformed illusion that he is the leader of the ‘cool blonde’ kids in high school.”
      _____________________

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sorry, but I’m just seeing a book written decades or a century ago….”The Woes of Reichen’s Anus” LOL!!!!!!!!!!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Austin
      Austin

      Interesting…..everyone says they didn’t like it, and didn’t watch it….and yet they know all the characters names, jobs,
      and every detail of what they did or didn’t do.
      So..we’re watching every episode..and hating it…
      but keep watching? But Reichen is the one with a problem?
      I think these bitches doth protest a bit too much.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      Looks like logo is going the way of here! tv – not a good thing. Vapid (rather than thoughtful) New Yorkers and dumb-ass drag queens who represent a tiny fraction of the gay community.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      @Danny: Going?? Logo has never had decent program that reflected true gay life…that’s why the majority of my friends have never watched logo.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tylertime
      Tylertime

      Sounds like spin to me. Logo and the show’s producers are saying these guys live an “A-List” lifestyle? Really? Several don’t even have jobs outside of doing this show. Some work out at my gym, dine at the same restaurants as I do, go to the same bars, BUT I don’t consider myself “A-List” The title should have been changed for this show instead of the producers trying to spin it after the first season to explain how these guys are “A-List”. Why not go out and get the true A-Listers….Wall Street Bankers, Broadway stars, Fire Island real estate owners, etc….Oh, right, because real “A-List” would never do a show like this. They don’t have to.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      These guys are not even close to being on the D list with Cathy G.

      I tried to watch a couple in the beginning, but I could not even make it half way through.

      As others have said, and I agree, How can we expect to get equality if we allow ourselves to been seen like this. Logo is a joke, it is sad that it is the only Gay channel out there for many of us to see

      Feb 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Austin:

      You should probably check out the blog before showing up to post. Queerty wrote out the goings on from the show. So even the ones who didnt’ watch got an idea of it.

      Additionally, far fewer people are saying “Didn’t watch it” then are saying “Watched some of it and was disgusted with the behavior of…(Insert name here) although the name inserted was usually Reichen’s.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJ
      JJ

      as a New Yorker myself (but have traveled all over), I have to say these statements were made in a bubble. maybe one could argue that this show represents of a population of certain gay men in NYC or LA, but hello – the United States population is filled with gay community diverse as the country itself. kinda sad and ignorant they think this is how “gay men act.” get out more.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeRealHere
      BeRealHere

      I live in NYC, always have (though have also traveled a bit) and I’d say this show represents 90 percent of Manhattan gay men. Let it serve as a good warning for young guys across the country if they want to move somewhere just “to be gay”. Don’t come here, unless you want to wind up like that!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DJ
      DJ

      I don’t understand what the big deal is. What was the show representing about gay people? Each character (i guess you’d call them) had their own personality. There wasn’t just one set portrayal. I loved the show and I can’t wait till season 2.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Precious
      Precious

      So what if that honky in the middle look like a sleazeball. I’m hungry. Someone fetch me a bucket. Love make me feel worfless.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Precious:

      LOL!!!! Such a bitch!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC
      TommyOC

      This producer is the ultimate sleaze living in the ultimate sleeze buble.

      The fact that his sleaze bubble is in NYC doesn’t matter; there are these sort of environs filled with vapid queens in every major city.

      The ones in NYC just think theirs are the best.

      And the saddest thing of all is that these people are successful in making young, impressionable gays think this is the place they should desire to be as well.

      the rest of us need to be more active in combatting this mindset. Preferably by not watching such drivel.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeRealHere
      BeRealHere

      “The ones in NYC just think theirs are the best.” And most of the time those queens aren’t even from NYC, TommyOC ! They’re outsiders who have moved here.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheInsider
      TheInsider

      I wonder how these losers pay their rents?

      Feb 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      The ONLY problem with the show was that it was called “A List.” “A List” means very powerful & influential. None of the people on the show were powerful, influential, or anything else but petty & silly. It remains a mystery why any of them were selected for the show, except Reichen, who was at least famous.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KevMusic
      KevMusic

      @BeRealHere: I’ve lived in NYC for 20 years and worked extensively in the party scene. The show does some what represent the gay men whose lives don’t exist outside of the gay ghetto. But majority of gay men exist outside of the gay ghetto. The majority of gay men don’t live in the West Village/Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen. The majority of gay men have jobs, bills and lives beyond the Manhattan/Fire Island/P-Town party scene. I’ve seen the show and can’t stand it but realize that there is a market for it. Take it for what it is; remedial entertainment with no socially redeeming value that focuses on the extreme personalities of a wide and varied community.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Harbo
      Harbo

      Am I the only one here who hasn’t seen “The A-List?” Couldn’t care less. It’s right up there with “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Boring!!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeRealHere
      BeRealHere

      KevMusic : You’re greatly right about that. Of course some homosexual males live in NYC and only live in Manhattan, specifically, because they were born there, or if they are from elsewhere they are there for legitimate reasons (in the law or medical fields or had to move there for other business reasons) and aren’t into anything “gay” and have never even heard of these gay blogs. Often they’ll have stronger ties to their religion or ethnic background than to their sexuality. It’s just that too high a percentage of gay males in NYC seem to be those gay ghetto A-list out-of-towners, who are basically a vicious bunch because they only moved to NYC in the first place to pretend they’re superior to those they “left behind.” But I know what you’re saying.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @Riker: Nicely said.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @Joe B.: Halelujah!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @JJ: Yes, but that particular segment of gay men defines and influences significant aspects of our entire culture. The limited reach of this program is emblematic of a larger, more troubling pathology that courses through our entire community and shapes the way we interact both with one another and the rest of the world with all-too-often dire consequences.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @TommyOC: Brilliant!

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon
      Shannon

      ALL the guys on this show are pieces of TRASH! They are childish…vapid…stupid…shallow…mean…WAIT….they are treating each OTHER the same way they were treated in HIGH SCHOOL! THIS MAKES THEM HOT STUFF TO MAKE OTHER FEEL LIKE GARBAGE…..I SEE NOW! This why people hate gay men…total bitches….BUT they know who to mess with…if they messed with average gay man…they would get their ASSES KICKED!!!!!!!!

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tofer David
      Tofer David

      I enjoyed the show. I looked forward to it’s entertainment value each week.

      I live my life proudly and set an example for who I am as a gay man to those in my life. Those in my life know who I am be they gay or straight.

      I live near Manhattan and know plenty of gay men and women who are kind, motivated, and successful. If you dislike and Or live amongst people who you dislike, then maybe you should think a bit more about who you associate with.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sistercylong
      Sistercylong

      I’m sorry, what is this A-List bullshit? I can’t reduce queerness to “ideal” gays or “A-List assholes.” Some of us don’t have much money. Some of us have dropped out of “gay culture.” Gay culture is everyone’s culture. Everyone else’s culture is queer culture. We work for our money. We struggle. We look for love. While we as queer people have life experiences and struggles that other people don’t, we don’t need to separate ourselves, everyone else already does it for us. There is this stereotype that gay people have money, go to the best parties, are glamourous, are wrapped up in some ridiculous made-up bullshit. I beg to differ. I don’t aspire to going to fancy clubs, having rock hard abs, or going to Fire Island. I am not a bear, a twink, a lipstick Lesbian or any other genre of queerness.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 5:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      @Cam: You are absolutely correct! The “A-List” implies something that we should aspire to. They are they beautiful people and we would be lucky to be on their guest list.

      I didn’t have a problem with the people as characters. I don’t expect gays to be flawless. I just didn’t think they had any redeeming qualities at all. They were vapid, stupid and mean people who live shallow lives and don’t even like each other. Why would I welcome them into my home?

      Reiken made a huge mistake going on this show. I actually admired him before I saw his stupidity and vanity on display on this show. He is an AFA graduate, a former USAF Captain, winner of the amazing race, and his book was an excellent illustration of the trials of a gay man in the US military. He spoke in the book with depth of character and a reflective mind, things that were completely absent on the show.

      Contrast this with Johnny Weir. I thought Weir was a shallow, flamboyant embarrassment to gays, but his show humanizes him. He openly talks about his feelings and what he goes through as a professional skater. I don’t want to be him and I wouldn’t hold him up as a role model, but I at least like him now.

      Gays don’t want perfect models. We just want the world to see us as normal humans living our lives. The “A-list” held these people up as role models for us with its name, and yet I wouldn’t want any of these jerks showing up to my party.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 6:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ Parker
      TJ Parker

      The vapid “gay lifestyle” of this show may have been the childhood ideal of some of these 50-something producers, but please …

      BTW what you’re calling “life in the city” is really “life in the gay ghetto”. This show was, top to bottom, an insult to gay guys everywhere.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 7:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      LOL!!! Awwww, loook at the picture, that producer in the middle….look at how hard he is trying. An old southern wouldn’t would say “Well….um…bless his heart, he sure is trying isn’t he?”

      It’s so sad, look at that Model pout he’s attempting. He just bumped Reichen off the top of the list of the saddest person associated with the show.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 7:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      I think this thread has summarized quite nicely just how limited this show is: it’s “a-list” in the sense that these are pretty boys, they’re gay-ghetto boys, they’re gym bunnies, they’re party boys. That’s what? 0.000001% of the gay population?

      Sure everyone sees one of this type of guy walk into a bar in ANY town and imagines all sorts of marvelous, wonderful, influential, exciting people that they must hang out with. After all, they are “beautiful”. Doesn’t everyone want to hang out with beautiful people? I guess that makes them a SORT of “A-list”.

      But that just doesn’t fit into my suburban lifestyle. An I suspect there are far more gays that live the kind of “lifestyle” that I have… and the funny thing is, I work in the arts! Yes, I hobnob with people who are at the top of the artistic scene in my city. And guess what? THEY are more like me – quiet, suburban, effaced, VERY UN “A-list” – than the producers of this show seem to understand.

      As a fiction, I can see the allure of the show. Hey, the nice bodies are, well, nice to look at.

      But the REAL A-listers are far too busy with their careers to spend hours at the gym. They do NOT look like A&F models.

      Anyone who thinks Paris Hilton is a “celebrity” and “A-list” needs to actually get out there and meet the REAL Pulitzer-Prize winners, the real Nobel-winners, the real award winners.

      The real A-listers are dumpy, doughy, and yet FAR more interesting than these underwear model types.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      I realize television is a business and a television network needs to turn a profit in order to maintain its existence. I also realize that for reality TV shows that normally means presenting the most massive trainwreck imaginable; horrible behavior = ratings. Having said that, I though that for LOGO to run The A List is like Fox News running the Glenn Beck show. Both networks are putting patently irresponsible content on the air. I’m not sure if the members of the Westboro Baptist Church could have come up with a more negative portrayal of gays than appeared on The A List. LOGO has the opportunity to really provide top notch programming and entertainment for the gay community that could also be informative and edifying for our straight friends as well. I guess it’s just too easy for TV networks to provide cheap to produce reality schlock like The A List. It’s a shame because LOGO could be a beacon.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe B.
      Joe B.

      @Harbo: Well that’s not quite fair, RuPaul’s show is entertaining and it’s been quite the boon for the drag performers that have appeared. They’ve been able to put together multi-venue tours and become stars in their own cities. With all the bars that have closed since I was of bar-going age there isn’t as many places for them to perform and so that’s a good thing.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John [Different person #1 using similar name]

      BRING BACK RICK & STEVE!!!

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ
      TJ

      So when will that loser Reichen start doing porn? Its the only thing I’d watch that mess do.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeRealHere
      BeRealHere

      Actually, as horrid as these guys on this show are, I’ve known far worse gay types in Manhattan. We should all make a list of the definitive Manhattan “types.”

      Feb 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      @BeRealHere: LOL the definitive L.A. “types” would completely outdo and slaughter anything out of Manhattan. Trust.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @BeRealHere: LOL the definitive L.A. “types” would completely outdo and slaughter anything out of Manhattan. Trust.

      I’m surprised this show wasn’t taped in L.A. first. They wouldn’t have had to work very hard to find a cast.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BeRealHere
      BeRealHere

      Alex : LOL. Maybe. I’ve visited L.A. but was never there long enough to know the types. So I can only speak for NYC. (Maybe San Francisco types would slaughter us both).

      Feb 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • keep it real
      keep it real

      what a bunch of losers you could not pay me to hang around a late silly bunch of queens like these if this represents a form of gay like i would turn sraight in a minute know wonder straight people turn up there noses, rodney is the only one i could rest of them can go to HELL. one way ticket please….

      Jul 27, 2011 at 3:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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