ew, gross

Do We Still Live In an Era Where Guys Like Shaq Are Repulsed By Gay Kissing? Yes

Late night host Conan O’Brien, who once received a lap dance from Sacha Baron Cohen-as-Bruno, finds himself in another homo scenario. Except this time, he’s not the star: It’s Shaquille O’Neal, who responded to the gay plot points in Taking Woodstock with revulsion. Naturally.

As the B-guest on The Tonight Show, Demetri Martin followed Shaq and certainly made an entrance … on stilts. This was impressive, because he made himself taller than seven-foot-one Mr. O’Neil, Conan’s first guest and couchmate.


Martin is very busy promoting Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, where he plays Elliot Tiber, the gay creator of 1969’s Woodstock festival. One of the most difficult parts of playing Tiber, Martin tells Conan, is that the script called for him to kiss a guy! This is what counts for TERROR in Hollywood. So when Martin begins discussing his same-sex snogging, the NBA player makes the classic “no homo” move: he moves away from Martin, sliding down the couch.

SEE?! That’s Shaq’s way of saying “I’m not a homo!” while also adding “That shit is crazy!”

Now, we get it: Straight men, especially those with as much machismo as Shaq, are not terribly comfortable with gays. Or at least gay stuff, like gay sex. But it’s this type of instant reaction that’s just so … 20th century. (Yes, we just said that.) It encourages behavior of “repulsion”; folks watching Shaq’s reaction receive reinforcement that their own discomfort with gay folks is okay.

Shaq needn’t be a gay ally. (Though that’d be nice.) But he does have some making up do after the Nike ad that trafficked in hilarious homophobia. Yes, Shaq is the same guy who helped police catch a suspect who assaulted a gay couple.

But do we really have to witness this same dumbass imagery over and over again?

Mr. O’Neil: We do not cringe and move away from you or other heterosexuals when you describe kissing a woman, as GROSS AS THAT IS. Please, afford us the same decorum.

BELOW: The real Elliot Tiber (nee Teichberg) at the Taking Woodstock premiere.

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  • Chitown Kev

    You know what, i think I’m going to have to go on one of my Queerty strikes again for this disgraceful race baiting by Queerty.

    Compare this post with the post on this same episode at towleroad and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    1. Relooking at accounts of the “he helped a gay couple” incident, it is not clear that would-be sheriff [seriously] O’Neal helped them with either any acceptance that their being gay was okay or any evidence I’ve seen that he even knew they were gay. It’s far more likely that he was just helping catch someone guilty of assault.

    Accounts say he “saw” it, not that he heard the antigay epithets being yelled out of a car window by the bottle-thrower. It happened in September and, trust me, no one drives around with their windows rolled down in Miami in September except for idiots wanting to yell at others.

    2. Allegedly O’Neal said years ago that he’d have no problem being on a team with a gay player. If he did, good for him.

    3. But NEITHER best case scenario above makes up for his behavior last night when all viewers saw was one of the most popular players in the “Real Man” world of sports [even jokingly] acting like just sitting next to a straight guy who’d kissed another man was as dangerous and disgusting as the bubonic plaque. Did he learn NOTHING from the infamous ESPN commercial in which he did the same moving away from someone gimmick while saying,

    “No fist kiss, no fiss love, no fist hump. None of that. You’re a weirdo man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting.”

    FUCK YOU O’NEAL and not in the good way.

    4. So WHERE is a GLAAD with balls when you need them? Their impotent “naughty, naughty” press release that no one nongay will read is probably already on its way like a paper airplane against nuclear missles.

    19-yr. old Mark Segal, decades ago, single-handedly zapped various TV shows into changing their homophobic ways, including “CBS Evening News.” Gay Activists Alliance New York similarly “zapped” many individuals and media for homophobic acts. One of its members was “Celluloid Closet” author Vito Russo who cofounded GLAAD to for homophobia out of media, but today is turning over in his grave at what its become.

    [Image removed by request]

  • Fitz

    Guys, you aren’t allowed to criticize Shaq. If you do, you will get called a racist.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    I agree with Kevin in that equal attention should be given to the role O’Brien played, and his comment about the “wierdness,” which is why I focused on zapping such programs as well as individuals.

    Low-totem pole guests like the “actor” are ALWAYS pre-screened/coached with topics to discuss with their hosts so Conan the Barbarian knew exactly what was coming. It was heinous enough on its own, but was it just last week that O’Brien was doing “trannie” skits?

    Nevertheless, I still contend that O’Neal’s damage…as a symbol of “normal masculinity” that O’Brien could only dream of did greater damage…and has he ever had an ad pulled as ESPN did after the complaints about O’Neal’s “wierd/stay over there/disgusting” great moment in antigay sports commercials?

  • Chitown Kev

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    In no way was I or am I defending Shaq’s homophobia in this clip. But O’Brien and even Martin were equally as bad in this clip; it was a homophobe fest. But not according to the way Quewerty covered it.

  • Jaroslaw

    #5 Chitown Kev – I usually agree with you, but not here. Conan O’Brien and (much less Dimitri Martin) are far less important or influential than Shaq, especially with straight, sports-minded people (probably mostly guys).

    And I agree with Queerty, after the NIKE ad, apparently Shaq didn’t learn anything. Again, whose heard of Dimitri Martin (in comparison to Shaq).

    Specifically say where Queerty let anyone off the hook. I’m willing to be convinced, but keep in mind, IMO, Queerty mostly let readers know the history that Towleroad did not.

  • Jaroslaw

    should have been “who’s heard of Dimitri Martin…”

  • Namaste85

    I dont think shaq is irish. Its spelled O’neal. and yes that was pretty childish of him to move away like a 4th grader. but then again i think 4th graders are more open minded than Shaq

  • Andrew

    @Chitown Kev:
    Kev, I watched it and read the Qty post and don’t see how it is “race baiting”. I’ll check out Towelroad too, but curious about your take on it. Seems like the only way to avoid being considered “racist” or “race baiting” is if a blogger points out every other possible example in a given context. Am I missing your point? Are you saying that the only valid way to comment on O’Neil’s homophobia in that setting is to thoroughly document every other instance in the same setting?

  • Chitown Kev

    No, I’m saying that Martin’s comments were pretty homophobic as well. And Conan O’Brien has a far bigger audience nowadays on a nightly basis than Shaq (who’s pretty much washed up actually) and this is not the first time Conan has been called out on his homophobia. Even “sports minded guys” (and I’m one of those although I don’t particularly care for basketball) will tell you that Shaq is washed up.

    The entire piece is pretty homophobic actually; to focus almost exclusively on Shaq’s role as the story does is race baiting.

  • Joe

    If a white guest on the program slid down the couch when Shaq sat down to express disgust, it would be a national outrage.

    But if it’s done to Gays, it is acceptable. Encouraged, even.

    These crazy Heterosexuals and their morals are seriously out of whack. No nigger, um, I mean no homo.

  • Jaroslaw

    Kev- Shaq can’t be washed up or he wouldn’t have gotten a Nike Ad. But even if he is, how specifically was he targeted as a Black man and how do you know?

    I live very near Detroit. Detroit is NEVER mentioned for anything good – and I don’t mean news about it has to be sugar coated. But Detroit is ONLY and ALWAYS used in national news magazines as the negative example of (you name it – poor schools, decaying infrastructure, political corruption). Using Detroit in this way when there are so many other cities that are very similar, well, I can come to the racial discrimination conclusion for sure. So I do understand the concept.

  • Rick

    Yes, we do.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    I agree there’s a naked double standard. Had Martin spoken of his disgust of having to kiss a black woman, and another white guest slid away in feigned [or real] disgust, all hell would, and should, break out.

    But, respectfully, the use of quotations marks around “nigger” is advised for anyone who doesn’t wish to appear racist.

  • Chitown Kev


    Well, shit, I was born and raised in Detroit so…if only the would talk about how many black middle class families have moved on the other side of 8 Mile (including most of mine, my bro has to live in the city to work).

    Shaq is an icon, to be sure, and always will be but as a player, he’s washed up. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, etc. are among the players that are bigger to sports fans than Shaq.

  • Jaroslaw

    Kev – how long has it been since you talked to your brother? If he works FOR the City, they got rid of residency requirements many years ago (courtesy of our then Rethuglican governor – gotta love that “less government intervention” Rethug philosophy -eg what happened to home rule? – eg eg if the citizens want it, it is not the governor’s job to interfere.)

    Anyway, you still didn’t answer my question – how is this post by Queerty racist?

  • Chitown Kev

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    You know, there was an episode of Wheel of Fortune about…25 years ago where Pat Sajak did the exact same thing when a black woman was so excited that she won that she moved in to kiss Sajak and Sajak moved away from her (Richard Dawson from family feud would have never done that). I know, a lot of African Americans called in and complained about that and you never saw Sajak do that again, although you can still tell that he is slightly uncomfortable around black women (and gay couples for that matter.)

  • Chitown Kev


    Well, maybe that has to do with the fact that my stepdad gave him a house in the city (and a nice one too!)

    But my Mom, my aunt, and my cousins all live out between 15 and 23 Mile Road. And so do a lot of black people who can afford it.

    Queerty’s story is race baiting by it’s almost sole focus on O’Neal without regard to Martin’s statements or Conan O’Brien’s history and his setting up of the entire piece.

    That Shaq played along with it…he’s to be condemned for that, esp. considering his history. But Shaq isn’t the only one with history.

  • Chitown Kev


    Agh, it’s the tax thing, now I remember. if you work in the city but live in the burbs, I think you pay more taxes.

  • Ryan C

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: I think the double standard is evident in your first sentence. Martin speaks of his disgust of having to kiss a man but somehow Shaq gets made into this big villain by sliding down the couch.

    @Joe – Glad you got a chance to spew your hatred. But before you start slinging slurs, maybe you should take a moment to even view the clip. The Martin dude isn’t even gay and Shaq didn’t move in disgust at having to sit by a “gay man.”

    And I’m not defending Shaq, but he obviously isn’t the one who’s disgusted by the thought of a gay kiss as you can clearly see it was in jest. I mean he air kissed the dude on both cheeks when he came out.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    Repug Sajak, major Ronald Reagan Library and Repub candidates donor, and director of the vile Eagle Publishing empire uncomfortable around people of color? I’m shocked. ;-)

    To be fair, Sajak did acknowledge the death of a gay staff member on “Wheel” in February which must have caused some loyal viewers to drop their teeth:

    “Between the time that we taped this show and we aired it tonight, we lost our dear friend Alan Mills. Alan officially took care of my wardrobe on the show, unofficially took care of all of us. He was the kindest, gentlest soul you’d ever want to meet. To his family, to his circle of friends, to the love of his life, Ivan, our sympathies. We’re very sad here. Goodbye, Alan. We love you.”

  • Jaroslaw

    #20 did we watch the same vid? I though martin talked about the “wierdness” of having to go back and forth between his girlfriend, the man and reshooting the scene “500” times.

    Kev – suburban residents pay 1/2 rate of the city of Detroit taxes – only Hamtramck, Detroit and possibly Flint even get to levy city income taxes….in any case it is only a few cities.

  • Jaroslaw

    that’s half of the taxes if your home is in the suburbs but you work within city limits…

    I guess you don’t want to answer the question :)

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    @Ryan C:

    A “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke” is a “fag joke”…………………………….

  • Bri

    “when you describe kissing a woman, as GROSS AS THAT IS.”

    So, Queerty, I’d like to know when you’re going to remove the “lesbian” portion of your logo…

  • Jaroslaw

    #24 ?

  • Chitown Kev


    But they don’t live in the city, however. And a lot of the suburban tax base (esp. throughout Wayne County) is directed to Detroit. For good reason, I might add, Michigan needs Detroit to survive.

    I guess I’m incoherent on this point but my Mom explained to me the weirdness of how a lot of the burb taxes actually go to Detroit.

    Mind you, I think Detroit is a hellhole. I left when I was 18 and never looked back and I don’t visit very much. And I don’t live far away either.

  • Kasio Q

    So of everything Miss Martin had to do in the film, kissing a guy was the hardest ? Then, why did he do the film ?
    I can’t stand when straight guys play gay and then, start bitching about it.

  • Richard


    read “The Bell Curve”


  • AlwaysGay


    Until haterosexuals stop discriminating against gay people in Hollywood and acknowledge their horrible history of oppression against gay people I will not watch any movie with a haterosexual playing gay or involving a false impression of gay people.

    The real problem, for me, is Ang Lee. His gay-themed movies are nothing but bait for awards and developed/targeted exclusively for straight audiences. Not one person above the line in any of the three films (The Wedding Banquet, Brokeback Mountain, Taking Woodstock) is gay. Not one. He won’t cast openly gay actors and instead ends up with punks like Demetri playing gay-panic jokes on late night television. Studio-made movies often add a gay element in the film, without it being well developed or of any importance to the story, and then send the actor to talk to the “gay media” to see if WE will dish out our money, because there is something gay in the film (e.i. He’s Just Not That Into You). Taking Woodstock has been de-gayed to the point where there is only that one “yucky” kiss the poor actor had to endure. Sad.

  • jason

    Shaq O’Shit Head reminds me of those straight guys who think girl-girl is hot and guy-guy is gross. Typical hypocrite.

  • jason

    Liberalism in action, guys. Liberalism was all about making bisexuality socially acceptable for women but not for men. It’s about fulfilling the girl-girl fetishes of sleazy straight guys while keeping us who engage in male-male activity at arm’s length. Women need to take some responsibility for promoting this double standard.

  • Dan


    If you found Demetri Martin as disgusting and offensive as I did, let him know:


    What a difference between this arrogant douchebag and 2 straight male actors – Heath and Jake – who worked with Ang Lee on BBM.

  • chances

    Stars become black holes, if we’re lucky.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    One can only conclude that you are also Always RETARDED!

    1. If you can pull an attack on Ang Lee out of your ass about this then I now understand where to look for Jimmy Hoffa’s body, all those “clunker” cars that are being traded in, and all the dinosaurs who disappeared…right up there with the remains of what you had for breakfast.

    2. There are a lot of stupid, unexamined memes in the world, but the one about “openly gay actors” is like anal warts—it keeps coming back but there’s absolutely nothing good that can be said about it.

    I’m going to type this slowly to help you better understand, Helen, but the point is this: if only openly gay actors should be allowed to play gay characters then only straight actors should be allowed to play straight characters.

    While there would be room to bitch if Lee cast someone KNOWN to be outright antigay as Elliot Tiber, I kinda doubt he thought to do a consciousness test on Martin, or needed to since Tiber was hardly the Harvey Milk of Bethel, New York, even if he does conveniently claim to have played a key role in the first Stonewall riot two months before Woodstock.

  • Kevin B

    The reason Shaq moved was because, seconds earlier, Dimitri was rubbing his shoulder saying how, “if you just close your eyes…” When Dimitri mentioned the kiss, Shaq moved so Dimitri would not lean over and try to kiss him. It was not because he was “disgusted” to sit next to a gay man as you would like to see through your “the whole world his homophobic” colored glasses.

    What is wrong with you people? Who gives a flying fuck if someone is grossed out by the thought of kissing another man? You’re all so wrapped up in completely eradicating every last drop of uneasiness in the world and screaming “homophobia” everytime someone falls short of carrying banners for us.

    Ever watched Fear Factor? Have you ever squirmed because someone ate something disgusting? Why did you squirm? monkeybrainsophobia? You squirmed because, very naturally, you imagined yourself doing the same exact thing. We all do it. It’s natural. Sometimes, guys squirm when they see two men kissing. Because they don’t want to do it themselves. So what? WHO CARES???? It’s a futile and insanely silly effort to attempt to erase these very natural feelings that people have. What we need to be concerned with is, despite those feelings of uneasiness, that we are treated fairly. That’s it. End of story.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    The importance of popular culture:

    Few people here will remember Richard Dawson’s run on Family Feud in the 70’s and 80’s but Richard Dawson use to kiss every female contestant on the lips when he got the chance (this would be considered sexist nowadays!) But Richard Dawson had a very very obvious preference for kissing black women as opposed to white women; I mean it was VERY obvious. And every black woman, say, my Mom’s age had a crush on Dawson.

    I say that because it was only until the 1990’s that interracial marriage and even interracial dating were even accepted by much of the culture. And, IMO, Richard Dawson played a small part in that.

    Now for 2 women to kiss; pretty much the taboo is gone in most situations. But I believe that it will take more than legal equality for stigmas such as this depicted in this video to go away; it will also take some small and some pretty big cultural moments as well. I think Brokeback Mountain may have been one of those moments.

  • jay

    Shaq’s a moron. As for Martin, when straight actors play gay and then bitch in the press about how hard or awful it is, I write them off for life. Do they not realize how fucking disrespectful it is to gay people to take parts portraying us and then act like they are so put upon and disgusted playing the role?

  • AlwaysGay

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: Gay actors should be able to play heterosexual characters. Right now gay actors are discriminated against in playing heterosexual characters. Usually openly gay actors play minor roles in movies and television. Heterosexual actors are given the cream of the crop of roles no matter what the sexuality of the character is. The main characters on Queer as Folk, The L Word, Six Feet Under etc. were all played by heterosexuals while the secondary and minor characters were played by gay people.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    Do you think I live on a different planet and do not know this?

    There is no other business but acting where the ability of the majority of the paying customers which….wait for it….are STRAIGHT…to sexually fantasize is key to financial survival.

    Not sports, not politics, not law, not medicine, not plumbers, not fill-in-the-blank.

    Given that the majority of actors, gay and nongay, are usually not working period, where such a fantasy is not a part of the equation, out gay actors do pretty well, thank you.

    It’s easy for you to sit their on your self-righteous ass and pontificate about what others should do. Change the world, and Hollywood will follow.

  • Kevin B

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    You and several others in this thread could use a giant enema, actually. This thread is a COMPLETE overreaction to an entirely harmless interview which has been misinterpreted by a community that loves to seek out and find homophobia where it doesn’t even exist. You can thank Queerty for perpetuating such things while they attempt to make a buck of their readership. You and cuckoos like Always Gay, who is absurdly boycotting something or other, have completely tainted what actually happens in this video. One person said Demitri was “bitching” about his role when all he did was call it “challenging.” And that’s typical of people in our community who just love to scream homophia at every turn, in part because, I think they love the sound of their own voices. While your intentions to see homophobia come to an end are good, your words in this particular situation are over reaching and baseless. Especially saying that Shaq moved away because he considered sitting next to a gay man worse that the bubonic plague. I mean, seriously, do you actually hear yourself?

  • Terranimal

    @Kevin B:

    You’re right. Spontaneous behavior should not be subject to as much scrutiny as say, an official media statement and/or press conference from influential organizations against gay people.

    ‘Twas a bit much, but Shaq still delivered Gold with his flinch inducing insecurity.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    @Kevin B:

    It’s called “symbolism” and “messaging” you ‘tard! No, I don’t think Shaq is himself that homophobic per se.

    But there’s is DEFINITELY something broken…maybe he’s just innocently DUMB…when six months after a commercial he was in with the same moving away schtick was pulled from ESPN after complaints he does the SAME THING.

    If everyone in the world was brilliant enough to see the nuances and differences there would BE no bigotry, no gays afraid to come out in sports, in acting; no gays bashed, murdered, or driven to commit suicide.

    REPEAT: the sanity check, the Test of how “harmless” it is to ask yourself if they would do the same thing about another discriminated against group and call it “harmless fun.”

    The handicapped.

    Take your pick….then imagine him doing the same sight “gag.”

    Yes, there are people who love to pay victims and there also people like you who wouldn’t know victimizing if it shot them in the face.

  • Terranimal

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    The way you complain is how I imagine perpetual constipation to feel like. Just saying comrade.

  • AlwaysGay

    @Kevin B: Why do you make things up? Discrimination and bigotry against gay people is pervasive. Look up the statistics. The display on The Tonight Show was bigoted.

  • Kevin B

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com:

    Wrong! Everyone in the world should not have to be absolutely ok with anyone and everyone wanting to kiss them. Get over it.


    Make things up? Hello, I’m the one telling the rest of you that you’re adding subtleties where subtleties do not exist. You’ve completely fictionalized what happens in this video, most likely because Shaq has a history. So you’re just sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for him to do something even remotely homophobic so you can pounce all over it and start screaming victim.

    Let me be very clear again, Shaq slid over because he was being touched just moments earlier and when the kiss was mentioned he did not want to be kissed. He was actually trying to be funny. (Also, please notice he slid back moments later….something all of you have failed to even mention because it doesn’t fit into your arguments of homophobia) But no one can find the humor in this. Because you have a big chip on your shoulder. A chip that tells you the entire world has to be ok and comfortable with everything gay. Well guess what, they don’t. You have some bizarre notion that Shaq has to be ok with being kissed by a man lest some kid get murdered on a playground.

    Michael, you want a test? I’ll give you a test. If it had been an openly gay man on the couch and a woman was about to turn and and kiss him and he moved away because he didn’t want to kiss a woman, would you find it charming and endearing? Or would you be screaming that he’s heterophobic? Don’t worry, I already know the answer.

    In trying to stamp out homophobia (a good and noble thing), one of the big problems that occurs is that those who are most vocal in the fight need constant fuel to fire their goals. So they end up seeing EVERYTHING as homophobic. The problem becomes that the other side, the side who we’re trying to get through to, starts to be tired of us and alienated because we sound like a bunch of whiners. Let’s save our voices for things that actually have merit. What happens in this video contains none of that and is a complete waste of everyone’s time.

    ALwaysGay, have fun boycotting the world.

  • Jaroslaw

    #48 Kevin B – You are completely wrong on your first sentence – at least as it relates to actors playing a role. No one apologizes for playing an ax murderer or dictator. No actor should talk about how uncomfortable it is to kiss another guy etc.

    Then again, it would be nice if you put the # of the post before you comment so we’re on the same page.

  • Kevin B

    Where does Demitri “apologize”? Please give EXACT words out of his mouth.

    What is wrong with an actor being uncomfortable kissing another guy? I can think of a lot of things actors do that must be uncomfortable. So what if it’s uncomfortable? Do you honestly think everyone should be comfortable with everything?

  • Sydney

    Could we not just discuss how Shaq is black? We’ve been over that already. Don’t pull a Barack Obama, guys.

    And, not all heterosexuals are against gay rights. In fact, a lot of people that are homophobic are actually homosexuals themselves. Closeted, but they think it’s bad. What Shaq did is repulsive and stupid, but do you honestly think it’s the first time, and do you think it’ll be the last? No, and no. So stop your bitching!

  • Jaroslaw

    #50 Kevin B – are you really this dense? I didn’t say Demetri apologizes – I’m comparing why straight male actors always have to affirm their (apparently very insecure) masculinity by saying how awful it is to kiss another guy; But no one says “oh gee, it was just awful playing (you put the answer in: a mass murderer, psychopathic rapist, dictator, etc.)

    As to you comment about “should everyone be comfortable with everything, again, I was addressing actors & actresses.

    What would you say to your child if he went to college for 8 years to build skyscrapers and then told you he had to live with you for the rest of his life because he can’t get a job due to being afraid of heights?

    People CHOOSE to be actors and they ACCEPT a given role. No one forced them to play a Gay part.

  • Jaroslaw

    To put it another way, Kevin B: think about why does kissing another human being (male actors with male actors) “require” a response as to how uncomfortable it was while playing a much worse role such as a mass murderer (Stalin) does NOT require an explanation by the actor?

    If I was straight and found kissing another man uncomfortable, as an actor, I sure would find playing a bloody military dictator uncomfortable. Yet when people play Eva Peron, etc. and these people made real life decisions that wiped out masses of people, either literally or financially, again, one seldom hears how “difficult” it was to play the role.

  • galefan2004

    As usual, I will be crucified for disagreeing with the norm, but the truth is that O’neil has NO responsibility to accept gay people. No one does. Its a personal choice to be homophobic or not. While we would obviously prefer that he was not homophobic it is still his right to have and express his own personal views. If you don’t like that he doesn’t like gays then don’t endorse him its that simple, but don’t try to force his opinions.

  • Kevin B

    Jaroslaw, perhaps you don’t watch a lot of interviews, but actors talk about the difficulty in playing roles all the time. Live in a cave much? In fact, there is a long history of actors speaking about how difficult love scenes are. In fact, we reward actors yearly for playing roles that we find challenging. Why else would we give an award to someone unless the role was in, in some way, challenging?

    Demetri never said gay people were gross or that homosexuality was wrong. He simply said the role was challenging for him. Is this so surprising to anyone? Why is his honesty being frowned upon. Ultimately, HE TOOK THE ROLE. YAY Demetri for being bigger than his reservations! That’s what acting is all about.

    Instead of being happy that a straight guy ultimately took the role, we have Dan above giving out the guy’s Facebook page so we can bomb him with insults. I guarantee you are the same people that regularly use the phrase “right wing nut” and don’t realize that you are the left wing nuts.

  • AlwaysGay

    @Sydney: Almost all anti-gay bigots are heterosexual. Those few gay people that are anti-gay identify as heterosexual. Anti-gay bigotry is a manifestation of heterosexuality.

    @Kevin B: You are pathetic. Get a brain and a spine. Anti-gay bigotry is often subtle. Most will not state their bigotry and prejudices in clear ways.

    AfterElton did a story today of Demetri Martin’s changing answers to his role in Taking Woodstook. READ it.

  • Jaroslaw

    #55 Kevin – come on already. Give up. Or give a little. Simulating loveMAKING scenes is very different than a kiss. I saw a (regular R rated) movie where a guy was hired by a mafia king to guard his wife while he was out of town – there were a lot of closed circuit cameras in this house – they were in the exercise room – both were almost nude, he squeezed a raspberry on her breast and licked off the juice.

    You don’t think this is hugely different from a kiss?

    No, I don’t live in a cave but I readily admit I don’t watch every interview – still I can recall many actors talking about “challenging roles” but few describe in the same emotion-laden or graphic terms what it was like to play the gruesome roles I mentioned before with the same fervor doing a male same sex kiss. Admit it already.

    And I can’t discuss things if you’re going to ignore all the issues raised. I acknowledge some here might be left wing nuts, but you can’t dismiss everything or even most of the points raised here by attaching that label. To do so would ignore completely what Always Gay and others are saying. This does not mean you have to subscribe 100% but neither can you ignore decades of blatant anti-gay prejudice.

  • Kevin B


    No, you and your absurd boycott are pathetic.

    I read the silly After Elton article. It’s just as pointless as the Queerty one and the Towleroad one before that. Only worse is that the After Elton article is just flat out wrong. In fact, they claim Demetri changed his answer and, get this, when they quote him, it’s practically the exact same quote! The AE quote has him recounting the moment he found out the character was gay and Demetri states “oh wait a minute.” This is EXACTLY what he does in the Tonight Show segment. EXACTLY!!!! Perhaps someone at AE needs a cup of coffee? They then go on to to quote him recounting the filming of the scene and attempt to say that this differs from how he felt when he first read the script. Well of course it does!!!! Time had passed between the moment he first read the book and from the filming of the scene. And during this passage of time, his attitude changed. He went from being nervous about having to kiss a man to worrying about the authenticity of the of the actual kiss. If anything, Demetri grew up a bit. Kudos to him!!!!

  • Kevin B


    You know what your problem is? You use red herring logic. It’s the same problem as everyone else around here and it can be seen in your very last sentence: “This does not mean you have to subscribe 100% but neither can you ignore decades of blatant anti-gay prejudice.”

    Who is talking about decades of anti gay prejudice? Not me! Therefore, I can’t be denying it. Instead I’ve been talking about this video from The Tonight Show (link embedded at the top of the thread). And that’s ALL I’m talking about. I’m talking about SPECIFIC people and SPECIFIC events that took place several nights ago and not generalizations of people and events from the past. You can’t seem to take this video at face value.

    Look at your statement: “still I can recall many actors talking about “challenging roles” but few describe in the same emotion-laden or graphic terms what it was like to play the gruesome roles I mentioned before with the same fervor doing a male same sex kiss. ”

    Fervor? You call Demetri’s description a fervor? Are we watching the same interview?

  • Jaroslaw

    #59 Kevin B – you’ve proved it with your last post. You’re almost a total idiot. Life does not occur in a vacuum and neither did this TV episode.

    We are discussing why Gay people are upset and I give you historical evidence and you call it a red herring? You’re an absolute moron. (please look up what a red herring is on the net).

    For the second or third time you’re saying I quoted or described Demetri – “fervor” was a general statement just like you asked if I watched any other actor interviews. THAT reference is not a few nights ago, that is life in general.

    I’m finished – to quote Barney Frank, I can’t debate a dining room table, no offense to dining room tables everywhere.

  • Kevin B

    Quoting Barney Frank? You’re truly providing the LOLZ today!

    I judge people based on their actions. Not on a history of other people’s actions.

    PS – I used red herring properly. Your logic leads people away from the truth. :)

  • G

    Who is this “Michael” at leonardmatlovich.com? Does he work there? I understood that site to be sensitive to gay issues. Why does everyone care so much about what he thinks? I recognize the semi-homophobic behavior of Shaq for what it was. A bad joke. But bad jokes can still hurt people the people they make fun of. Also given these “equal rights” challenging times, it seems especially insensitive. Any gay man knows what it is like to have some oaf act in parody like he is unsafe from our physical advances upon learning that we are homosexual. It is distasteful and insulting and presumptuous.

  • LadyL

    We ARE all essentially on the same side here, aren’t we? Or at least most of us? It’s kind of hard to tell what with all the shouting, name-calling and insult-slinging. (You’re a pretty lively group, lol.) Several thoughts came to me as I read all the back and forth of these comments; hope y’all don’t mind my sharing a few…

    1) I know it’s Shaq’s appearance on Conan–sorry, The Tonight Show–that kicked off the raging debate, but somehow my thoughts wandered to Magic Johnson’s appearance on Arsenio Hall’s show nearly twenty years ago, after he had tested positive for HIV and announced his immediate retirement from basketball. In answer to the rumors that he was gay, Magic told Arsenio he was not, saying “…I’m a long way from that.” Arsenio smiled and the studio audience exploded with cheers. I wanted to throw up, I was so disgusted with Johnson. It was his tone, the way he said what he did, that got to me. I remember thinking: Fuck you, Magic. Is it really necessary to play to all the bigots out there? You can’t find a way to say the words “It’s not true” without the insulting insinuation?

    Admittedly, this is not the same as the Shaq controversies, but it came floating back to me anyway.

    2) The victimhood issue– as a black lesbian entering her fifth decade, I can kind of speak to that. A lot depends on how and where you grew up, of course, but if you are a member of a group that has historically suffered serious and significant discrimination–some of it irritating in its subtlety, some of it scarily overt–over-sensitivity becomes a kind of occupational hazard, especially if you’re a member of both tribes and find yourself constantly having to deal with one tribe’s dissing the other.

    I have been to queer events where mine was the only face of color and the freeze-out (especially from the guys; not sure why) was such that I couldn’t bear to stay in the room. I have also found myself at noisy odds with black family, neighbors and coworkers (especially the women–don’t ask) who frankly found the gay stuff “unnecessary” and even “disgusting”– even as they insisted that they personally had “no problem” with gay people. (Riiiight…)

    3) And as to Ang Lee, and the issue of straight actors playing gay roles… sigh. Are we sure we’re in command of all the facts about this? I’m not convinced a gay actor, out or not, could have brought more nuance and heartbreak to the role of Ennis Del Mar than did Heath Ledger, though, yes, it did get increasingly annoying watching one entertainment reporter after the next “sympathetically” prompt Ledger about how “uncomfortable”– read: having to kiss and simulate-fuck Jake Gyllenhaal–the role must have been to, um, play. (And excuse me, but just how was that so damn hard really? I’m a dyke–I’m not blind or dead.)

    On the other hand, how many talented, hunky gay actors felt safe taking on such a role? How many of them worried that doors would softly close around them and they’d never be seriously considered for an action or straight romantic lead role ever, or ever again? How many might actually have been eager to play Ennis or Jack but were warned away by their (closeted?) agents, managers, and publicists? Do we know who was on Mr. Lee’s short list for the main characters of all his queer-themed films, and who turned him down for the reasons just mentioned?

    Again, reading your arguments about this, my thoughts turned to another time and place: I recalled reading about the difficulty Alfred Hitchcock encountered when trying to cast for his film “Rope,” the movie loosely based on the 1920s Leopold-Loeb murder case (Think it was Arthur Laurent’s autobio that detailed this). Hitchcock had wanted Cary Grant in the professor role, and the beautiful and exciting newcomer Montgomery Clift in the role of one of the murderous young men.

    Alas. Neither Grant nor Clift, both gay, would go near the roles. Both were aware of the famous case that inspired the story, and may have known the real-life protagonists had been lovers–though of course that’s only hinted at in the 1948 film– and were apparently afraid the homoerotic subtext would mean trouble for them. (Grant’s character was also originally envisioned as a former lover of one of the young men.) I think it was handsome Farley Granger–quite good (and, ironically, also gay)–who took the role meant for Clift. And it was stalwart, straight as a stick James Stewart who played the young killers’ ex-teacher, a piece of casting which changed the entire tone of the film. Stewart brought moral umbrage, but not much else, to the proceedings, seeming to have no clue what was really going on.

    My point is that, as much as we might like to think so after all this time, not all that much has significantly changed for young hottie actors (especially males) in Hollywood. They are still told to keep their heads down and play it “safe” if they want a chance at a Serious, Big-Ticket Career in showbiz (or for that matter, team sports), and the status quo remains largely intact. Unfortunately.

    PS: I sincerely apologize for the length of this comment, guys. Stepping off the soapbox now.

  • jason

    Because male-male kissing is uncommon in the mainstream, people are often shocked or surprised by it when it occurs. Perhaps gay men need to do it more in the mainstream rather than confine their affections to gay bars or gay ghettos in general.

    By confining it, we are inadvertently contributing to mainstream shock and surprise.

  • LadyL

    Agh–sorry. In my last paragraph I meant of course young hottie gay actors (especially male) in Hollywood… and was referring to the similar plight of promising young gay athletes in team sports.

    I’m done now. No, really.

  • Kevin B


    “Because male-male kissing is uncommon in the mainstream, people are often shocked or surprised by it ”

    Very true Jason! And often times, people in the gay community, who are surrounded by it on a daily basis, forget that it is still a shock to some people. And rather than be understanding of that, they go on boycotts!

  • LadyL

    Point well taken, Jason. I would agree that male-male kissing being uncommon in the mainstream, most people are taken off guard by it and generally don’t react to it positively… though it’s worth keeping in mind that the ways in which people don’t react well to it often include insults, threats and sometimes physical violence. It’s hard to be terribly “understanding” of that.

  • jason

    I think we have to be pioneers even in the face of threats. If we curl up and refuse to assert our affection rights in the mainstream, we’re essentially ceding control to our enemies.

    Gay men in particular need to be assertive. That’s because the male-male interaction is discriminated against far more than the female-female one.

    Unfortunately, many gay men are living in a world of comfortable numbness within their gay communities. It’s a phony accepting world within a much larger world of oppression.

  • LadyL

    Again, point taken; I agree.

    You use the phrase “comfortable numbness” and that’s probably key in explaining gay men who retreat to queer neighborhoods, having survived traumatic childhood and middle school years especially, but also bruising encounters in adult life.

    Also… it may be generational? With younger gay men somehow assuming the good fights have largely already been fought by activists of the ’80s and ’90s..?

  • Alex Aguayo

    @Andrew: Whats with all this faggot acceptance. Its a disgusting lifestyle, not a birth right or a genetic disposition. Homosexuals and pedophiles and any other sexual deviant dont deserve rights and should be made fun of for their deviant lifestyle.

    Next thing we know it, we as a society will be looking at pedosexuals or brother/sister relationships as some people are looking at homosexuals today.

  • Jai

    “Ever watched Fear Factor? Have you ever squirmed because someone ate something disgusting?”

    Wow Kevin B, you are actually comparing 2 men showing love for each other with desperate idiots who eat maggots, among other things, for cash? You are sad and pathetic. And just because we are a minority doesn’t mean the straight majority should be allowed to treat us like freaks or disrespect us. Would you give any hillbilly the “okay” to squirm and act grossed out if he or she saw an interracial couple kissing because it was something they were not used to seeing. Actually, on second though, you probably would.

    And Alex, you are so gay. We know it, you know it. Get over it.

  • Kevin B

    Jai, because you’re too stupid to understand what I was trying to say, which is not that eating maggots and kissing are the same action, I’ll explain it again. What I’m comparing is the root emotion behind why people ever have feelings of discomfort. People, often times, are not comfortable with things they are not familiar with. It’s a really easy concept to understand. Perhaps your day revolves around eveything being gay: gay people, gay neighborhoods, gay murses. But for a large portion of society, it doesn’t. So guess what, they might not feel so easy seeing two men kiss.

    Would I give the “okay”? Who on earth do you think you are? People don’t need an okay. They can do whatever the f**k they like. Just like you don’t need an “okay” to be gay, they don’t need an “okay” to not like it. Mind-boggling, huh? See, unlike you, I don’t feel the need to make the whole world like me. If someone is grossed out by me, I couldn’t give a shit. Guess what, I’m grossed out by a lot of people, too. And the world spins madly on. All I’m concerned with, is that my government treats me equally. That the same laws apply to me that apply to everyone else. Your concept of controlling what people are “allowed” to do is frightening to say the least. But lucky for you you live in a country that provides you the freedom to have such nutty thoughts.

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