American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis Throws 50 Shades of Shade at Matt Bomer And Neil Patrick Harris In Twitter Tirade

Bret Easton Ellis’ unhealthy obsession with 50 Shade of Grey  has somehow led to the author throwing shade at openly gay actors Neil Patrick Harris and Matt Bomer.

The “novel” has proven incredibly successful with a big screen adaptation pretty much guaranteed while the iron is still proverbially hot. And although he has literally nothing to do with said adaptation—having lamented the fact, no doubt with a very stern pout—Ellis still can’t seem to avoid tossing in his two cents.

Ellis has already made it all too clear that he thinks a straight — or at least closeted — actor should play the protagonist, Christian Grey, since casting White Collar‘s Matt Bomer would be the equivalent of casting Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

But he didn’t stop there. Following a backlash over his insensitive and rather out-of-touch comments, Ellis took to Twitter and fired off a series of jabs not only at “trophy-husband” Matt Bomer but also Neil Patrick Harris — who plays a notorious womanizer on How I Met Your Mother — and, for some reason, sitcoms in general.

These are from the evening of August 9th, EST:

(10:09 pmReading all of these articles about Matt Bomer: I NEVER said gay actors can’t play straight roles, or straight actors can’t play gay roles.

(10:11 pm) However: in the VERY specific case of trophy-husband Matt Bomer playing Christian Grey then it makes things problematic. That’s the truth…

(10:12 pm) To reiterate I NEVER said gay actors can’t play straight roles. If that were true my entire generation of male movie stars would be jobless.

Apparently something ignited his Grey fervor again and Ellis felt the need to vent:

(4:37 am) Scene in Fifty Shades of Grey I’m most looking forward to: Matt Bomer as CG: “Are you gay, Mr. Grey?” Matt sighs: “No, Anastasia, I’m not.”

(4:55 am) After Anastasia asks the gay question Matt Bomer as Christian “raises his eyebrows, a cool gleam in his eyes. He does not look pleased.”

(5:11 am) Feel complicated about Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother: central joke being that he’s a gay actor playing a het womanizer. Um…

(5:18 amThen why not cast Jason Segal in the Neil Patrick Harris role in How I Met Your Mother? The meta-joke is that Harris is openly gay. Lame…

(5:30 amLook, I like Neil Patrick Harris especially when he’s hosting The Tonys but “How I Met Your Mother” is like all CBS sitcoms a piece of crap.

(5:38 amYou don’t think the makers of How I Met Your Mother didn’t KNOW that Neil Patrick Harris was gay and that would be part of the joke? Really?

(5:43 am) And please don’t get me started on the gay The Big Bang Theory. I’m too tired to go there. Gayness personified. Another terrible CBS sitcom.

(5:53 amYou’re missing the point. I’m not a homophobe. I’m a misanthrope. I hate the way homosexuality is presented in our entertainment culture.

(6:13 am) If you think Modern Family has a progressive attitude about gayness then you’re a retrograde tool. The fact that it’s being lauded: a joke.

Barring his rant on CBS’ prime-time lineup, why is Bret Easton Ellis so obsessed with “the biggest novel of all time” and in particular, Christian Grey? He’s mined similar territory before—and better—with 1991’s American Psycho, and you’d think he’d have his hands full with Lindsay Lohan on the set of his own film, The Canyons.

Yet Grey and Grey occupy a strange place in his heart. Sour grapes after being overlooked to adapt the script? Perhaps a fictional-man-crush? Whatever it is, Christian Grey represents something important to Ellis and he will not stand by and watch his good name be sullied by someone not “genuinely into women.”

 Photo: Mark Coggins

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  • Triple S

    I’m sorry, but I am COMPLETELY confused. The way the article was written just doesn’t translate into my brain properly.

  • Kirk

    Bret is a self loathing homosexual and a has-been. He looks at where his career is today which is nowhere and then sees his unnnactractive vision in the mirror. He just cannot stomach seeing successful, talented, hot gay men that are out and successful in show business. He’s likely on another bender but I wish he would just crawl back under his rock. So glad they yanked his name from the short list to do this trashy movie likely because he messed with the wrong guy here. Bret please accept your has-been status and STFU!

  • Timmeeeyyy!!!

    BEE is obsessed with the novel because he was on the shortlist to write the screenplay. He has since been removed from that shortlist.

  • James

    It’s truth that Matt’s character on white collar since more fem to me since he came out.

  • Gigi

    Now I know why he was allegedly spat upon while in West Hollywood recently. He’s lucky he made it out of there in one piece. Perhaps instead of tweeting his displeasure with the world he should go back to giving $5 blow jobs in the back alleys of Studio City. He seemed to be much happier then. And more creative.

  • grindr

    @James: really? so matt comes out and suddenly his character becomes more gay to you? you sound as stupid as BEE.

  • David Ehrenstein

    “And please don’t get me started on the gay The Big Bang Theory. I’m too tired to go there.”

    And I’m too tired to waste a fraction of a brain cell on Bret.

    Stick a fork in him (and twist it.)

  • Scott

    Mr. Ellis needs to go back to writing his self-loathing homosexuals and misogynists and stop worrying about gay actors in straight roles. He does not wear his bitterness or his conceit well, and his opinions explain why his particular closet door is closed so tightly. Too bad…he showed so much promise 30 years ago.

  • SG

    @James: You do realise that says far more about you than Matt’s talent or ability to play a straight man, right?

  • Mimsy

    BEE- washed up has been is washed up has been.

  • Mark

    Who peed in your cheerios dude? Sheesh – get a life – it’s called ACTING!!!!

  • Matthew Rettenmund

    Gay men of letters used to be people like Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Now we have complete idiots like this.

  • Nat

    “And please don’t get me started on the gay The Big Bang Theory. I’m too tired to go there. Gayness personified. Another terrible CBS sitcom.”

    … so these shows are ‘gayness personified’. Alright. Though I’m not a big watcher of either one, they’re both tremendously popular, especially with Middle America.

    So what’s the issue then with Bomer playing the role in 50 Shades? Because clearly ‘gayness’ doesn’t stop the audience from tuning in.

  • RichB in PS

    From what little I know Ellis and have read, I do not understand for Ellis to toss in his two cents — I knew/know little of Perez Hilton but he quickly ‘reformed’ being a ‘bully’ by todays definition, suggest similar action by Ellis.

  • JAW

    Funny… Matt was forced out of the closet… gay media kept forcing him out. He lived an open life… but never “came out”

    This shows that Hollywood is not ready for a Gay Leading Man…
    Comics like Neil P Harris are fine… just no romance. This guy had the balls to say that… other Directors do not… they just ignore the gays.

    Coming out of the closet may have cost Matt bigg money… this is why sports figures and many others need to stay in the closet.

  • SG

    @JAW: It remains to be seen what happens to Matt’s career. I’ve read a lot of comments responding to BEE over the last couple of days, and 90% of them are anti-Ellis’ comments and pro-Bomer.

    It’s certainly true that even more recognition should be given to the chance Matt took with his career by coming out, and those of us invested in seeing an end to discrimination should be even more supportive, but what should gay actors do? Just stay in the closet so that no one upsets the likes of Ellis and the bigots who side with him? What would REALLY help is if even more actors came out. Then the public would really be forced to consider how ludicrous it is to define an actor by their sexual orientation rather than their talent.

  • Blake

    50SoG is a load of shit and Matt Bomer would be better off not doing it, but at this point, he should probably get the role to make a statement.


    i don’t believe he’s necessarily homophobic. he *is*a misanthrope. professional one. and a controversialist.

    this could be an interesting and useful debate if only we could keep it “in-house”. but we can’t.

    re: james saying he can’t help but see bomer differently now — part of me feels the same way: anytime a masculine “straight” guy is revealed to be gay, i’m ashamed to say i henceforth struggle not to view him as somewhat less than the gold-standard of masculinity, and certainly not action-hero material. but that’s not reason operating; just the deep workings of homophobia. but admitting it and questioning your mindset is a good place to start changing it. bret, me, and the rest of society will just have to get over it … by changing it. by fearless casting decisions.

  • SG

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: I don’t think that Ellis being a misanthrope means that he can’t ALSO be a homophobe. As for your final paragraph, congratulations on your self-awareness. If only more people would apply the effort needed to look inside themselves regarding those kind of issues rather than just shrug their shoulders and stand by their views as “just the way it is.”

  • olympic

    No worries on Matt. His looks and talent will provide him a long prosperous caeer. He will handle this tiny incident in his usual elegant way.

  • JAW

    @SG… sorry the public will not be FORCED to consider anything. The public can just change the dial or not go to the movies.

    When the gay media continually posts stories about GLBT we not only threaten the celeb, but in Matt’s case… all of the people that work on his show “White Collar” If people stay away and the show goes off because of someone coming out… close to 100 people, sometimes more, are out of work.

    Homophobia will always be with us.

  • LadyL

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Good on you for copping to that, Prince of Snarkness aka DIVKID. It is important to haul those feelings out into the daylight and really examine them.
    With respect to Hollywood roles and believability, I think we should keep in mind that there are many variables at play, not just our awareness of a performer’s orientation. In the end whether or not an actor (or actress) is openly gay weighs less with me then how well they know their craft and perhaps most importantly their chemistry with their on-screen partner. I watch Cary Grant in any movie opposite any actress and never once think about his real-life relationship with Randolph Scott–he was that good. Ditto Rock Hudson or Ty Power or Montgomery Clift. Or a more recent television example– Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson.


    @SG: i’m not categorically stating he’s not homophobic. just that it’s not a necessary condition of his attention-whoring condition that he believes what he says. he’ll say anything. certainly the things he says DO feed into a climate of homophobia — kinda makes him more odious than an actual believin’ phobe.

  • LadyL

    @JAW: What are you, an apologist for the status quo? Homophobia will “always” be with us only if we accept it and allow it to be. There have been great strides made by and for LGBT people in just the last decade and the biggest reason for this is visibility. The “gay media” are not responsible for the struggles and challenges facing LGBT celebs–hidebound attitudes like yours is.
    The world is going to turn whether folks like you are ready for it or not, JAW. Gay celebs realize this too, or are beginning to. They are coming to understand what all of us must understand, that in remaining silent and closeted we directly contribute to our own inequality.

  • RichB in PS

    @LadyL: I recall my father as a young man with a homophobic [an Archie Bunker type] attitude and his intense dislike of Raymond Burr. I grew up seeing Raymond Burr as a tv lawyer and wondering why Dad disliked him so much – so I asked, “because in all of his movies he was played the part of being a tough guy”! I then searched out Raymond Burr’s movies – goes to ‘show’, he was a very good actor. Do not know if Dad ever was aware…last few years of Dad’s life in Palm Springs, his favorite show was about CA Gold.

  • DuckSoup

    Well I will agree with BEE on one thing: The Big Bang Theory is a terrible sitcom.

  • J

    Wtf is going on with this guy! : (

  • UsualPlayers

    No one is the mainstream audience either in Big Bang Theory or How I met your Mother knew the characters were being played by gay men

    I didn’t even know the guy playing in Big Bang Theory was gay in real life

    One sense that BEE is not very logical

    His logic being “I now know therefore I am going to go back in history and say that this person wasn’t credible altough they were at the time.”

    Rock Hudson is now not credible in any of his roles. As were any of other stars

    He’s not discussing the actors

    he’s discussing his bigotry

    But he doesn’t seem to know that he’s discussing his bigotry

    its very strange.

  • Zach

    LMAO so now it’s somehow “bigotry” and “homophobia” to say that actors like NPH and MB would not be good at playing the character of Christian Grey? Some gays are way too PC and take it to the extreme.

    I’m sorry I don’t see either of them playing a hetero Dominant character in a movie at all, unless you wanted to make it a total comedy and farce.

  • cam

    (5:11 am) Feel complicated about Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother: central joke being that he’s a gay actor playing a het womanizer. Um…””

    No, actually he was playing that character BEFORE he came out, so that isn’t the central joke of the show.

    But then again, It must be tough to know that you peaked with “Less Than Zero”.

  • JAW


    Hell no I am not… I am just stating a fact… there will always be prejudice of some type in our lives. Many people still have and will always have racial, religious, age, sexual identity, national origin etc. We can pass laws that make it illegal, but that does not change peoples minds

    As much as I do not like what BEE said… he at least had the balls to say why he did not think Matt was “right” for the part. Most directors would not say it publicly.

    The same goes for sports figures. I can’t wait till a major league Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey or Soccer player comes out while playing. The big issue they all have is losing money on endorsements. There are very few straight guys that will wear a gy players name on their back.

  • James

    Ellis must be DYING for a slap

  • tookietookie

    BEE is a snarling badger like Madonna. Their 15 minutes have long been over and they’re both lashing out at younger and better.

  • jaded

    BEE is jealous that an unknown woman has become more famous and more successful than he has.

    And as for HIMYM, the joke isn’t that NPH is playing a heterosexual male. The joke is that he’s playing a womanizer and gets smacked down for it. It has nothing to do with his sexuality in real life. But the character Ted gets smacked down for being affected and snobby sometimes. The character Lily gets smacked down for being manipulative. The character Robin is gorgeous yet has more stereotypically male characteristics (aggressive, assertive, competitive). The character Marshall gets teased because of his child-like characteristics. If anything, HIMYM shows men who are secure enough with their sexuality to show love for their male buddies without having to be homophobic about it. What’s wrong with that?

  • UsualPlayer

    Some people are so vested in faux-conservative arguments that they defy the laws of time and space

    Now we are being “PC” to point out that we could not have liked the shows because NPH or the guy from Big Bang Theory were gay because we didn’t know they were gay until they were already in the show for several years

    Its not being PC that defines this conversation. Its a lack of a time machine to go back to the past to have the motivation that he suggests we had for the shows before we even knew what he suggests would have been our reasons for liking the shows.

    Its the line from Rush Limbaugh that Bane from Batman was a conspiracy against Romney the current GOP president.

    Bane was created in the early 90s. So, to be true, we would need a time machine to go back to have invented t he character to address something that’s happening 2012.

    Same thing here- for BEE to be right- or the other defenders here, we would need da time machine to go back to before they came out, and know that each person was gay, to have been in on the joke.

    Like I said, now that we know Rock Hudosn was gay, does that mean all his performances are now not any good too?

    How far back in time do we go with this?

  • LadyL

    @RichB in PS: How young were you when you questioned your dad about his dislike of Raymond Burr? I’m curious because you say he had a homophobic attitude, but claimed his dislike of Burr was due to his having been mostly a villain in his earlier movie career. Do you think he knew Raymond Burr was gay and was uncomfortable with that but didn’t want to admit it to you?

  • LadyL

    @JAW: Actually you are, whether you realize it or not–in your earlier comment you finish with “…this is why sports figures and many others need to stay in the closet.”
    My argument is that you have that backward. You can’t educate people and change minds and hearts by giving in to ignorance and bigotry. Attitudes change (and eventually laws and public policies do too) when people are forced to confront their prejudices, which only happens when we stand up to them. That’s true for any oppressed minority, including gays. Racial prejudice is still with us, misogyny is still with us, anti-semitism is still with us– but not in the way and to the extent they once were.

  • paza

    as Billy explained I didnt know that a stay at home mom able to get paid $7613 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this webpage >N u TtYR i Ch D ot c om

  • Bryan

    @DuckSoup: Same with HIMYM. Terrible

  • Booker

    I haven’t read the novel, but I gather the “hero” is hyper-masculine, virile, dominating, etc etc. Matt Bomer (unless he has hitherto unrevealed thespian skills on the order of the late Lord Olivier) couldn’t project that in a million years, whatever his personal orientation. He’s ambiguously pretty and lightweight-charming, without a trace of sexual menace, and that seems to be Ellis’ real point, however awkwardly he put it. As he indicated, if no gay guy could play heterosexual, that would erase a big chunk of screen history. It’s Bomer’s persona, not who he canoodles with, that makes him wrong for the part.

  • F Stratford

    And yet, Bomer and Harris’ stars are rising. Gays can play straight roles. We know that.

    In this day and age, we know that they can be out gay and play straight roles too.

    Welcome to the 21st century oldies!

  • F Stratford


  • Timmeeeyyy!!!

    It’s good BEE isn’t writing the screen play for 50 Shades. He never could write a convincing straight character.

  • Ealan14

    Bret Easton Ellis is a bitter old messy queen. His star peaked back in the 80’s and he’s been trying to get back into the limelight ever since, mostly by being a jerk. In his case i think we need to follow internet ettiquette and “refuse to feed this troll”.

  • JAW


    Are you willing to pay an athlete the millions that he most likely will lose because of not getting endorsements… Or do you just say to them… Tough Shit you lose… but thanks for coming out.

    Matt is the first man that could be considered to be a leading Man (or sex symbol).

    all the others that have come out, both male and female are comics… It is ok to laugh at them… laugh at NPH and how he keeps getting shot down. closet we have to a non comic is TR Knight… (do u know who he is)… when was the last time we saw him???

    Perhaps in another 20 years or so… being a Gay leading man or Lesbian leading lady or star Athlete will not matter… but right now it could cost any of them or all of them millions of dollars… (Did you find out who TR is?)

  • tlg

    @JAW: Agree with your comments, Matt is the unique coming out being the first heart throb sex symbol with the most to lose. With his talent and looks he will flourish regardless.

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