The Cinema

GLAAD and HRC Declare What America Thinks Gays Think About Bruno

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Yes, he plays a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion reporter, but heterosexual Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Bruno is, for all intents and purposes, a comedic exercise in exploring gay stereotypes and going on a witch hunt for homophobes — both concepts that, on their face, we’re perfectly fine with. But while we debate in our own community what the film Bruno will do for gays, America at large is about to be told what we think of the film by two leading Gay Inc. organizations. Let’s see if you agree with your mouthpieces?

In a Sunday feature, the New York Times will look at Cohen’s movie and whether it’s good or bad for the gays. Like any worthwhile media outlet, the Times needs to ask folks what they think about this — and who else to turn to but soundbite-friendly organizations like GLAAD and HRC.

Here’s what GLAAD senior director Rashad Robinson says about the film (via Drudge): “Some people in our community may like this movie, but many are not going to be OK with it. Sacha Baron Cohen’s well-meaning attempt at satire is problematic in many places and outright offensive in others.”

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And here’s HRC spokesman Brad Luna: “We strongly feel that Sacha Baron Cohen and Universal Pictures have a responsibility to remind the viewing public right there in the theater that this is intended to expose homophobia.”

And yet, nobody has ever accused Cohen of being a homophobe. His characters, maybe, but in his everyday life, the man isn’t out there driving stakes through our hearts. His comedy, rooted in the days of Ali G, maintains the M.O. of embarrassing people who take themselves too seriously, exposing hypocrites, and denigrating racists, homophobes, class elitists, and so forth. Sure, he makes a killing in box office receipts, but it’s not at our expense. These are not the punchlines you get from idiots like Bill O’Reilly. There is a significant and measurable difference.

For any portion of America’s movie-going audience who doesn’t understand that, this film isn’t going to change the minds of Joe Conservative. They will laugh at the gay stunts — and so will we, for very different reasons. Namely, we’ll giggle in a “I can’t believe he just went there!” way. The cackles from the bigots in the audience will be of the “silly faggot!” type.

Bruno doesn’t need to be a finely tuned teaching moment; that’s asking too much of mainstream cinema fare. But the film let’s us laugh with and at stereotypes. It’s a pornographic enterprise into America’s remaining taboos. If the film starts even one conversation about “how wrong” all of that is, it’s a success — and, dare we suggest, something we should support.

UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign writes in to Queerty to expand on Luna’s quote provided by Drudge, adding: “If the context and intent behind this kind of particular humor is about exposing and making fun of homophobia to show the ridiculousness of it, that is one thing. What is undeniable though is the impact on the audience is going to vary. Although we view the movie for what it is, a satirical portrayal of stereotyping, we shouldn’t lose sight of the seriousness of this issue. The #1 epithet used on schoolyards across the country remains anti-gay slurs. In the last few months, we have had to continually witness the heartbreaking suicides of young boys who were taunted and bullied using anti-gay epithets. It continues to remain a serious problem in this country. As Sacha Baren Cohen and Universal Pictures prepare for the upcoming release of Bruno, they have a responsibility to make sure that the viewing public understands this character is done as satire to poke fun at stereotyping. Otherwise, they run the risk of 16 yr old high school boys across the country feeling empowered to bully schoolmates. And tragically we already know what the consequences of that are.” Agreed.

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77 Comments

  • AlanInSLC

    I can’t wait to see it. Should be full of awekward moments and lots of laughs.

  • Dave

    It’s a freakin movie. The drama gays should stop worrying about a comedian doing his job and take a look at themselves and the impact drugs and unsafe sex has on their communities. I’ve seen plenty of self righteous let me get married gay men, turn around, cheat on their boyfriend and drop a tab. Get real people. This is entertainment. GLAAD and the HRC do not speak for me and are now irrelevant. They’ve become part of the machine.

  • TANK

    and SBC is so not a part of the machine…LOL!

    he makes a killing in box office receipts, but it’s not at our expense.

    This kind of just floats there…without any argument. I understand that it’s just, basically, an opinion…but literally, it’s false, and figuratively, you don’t really believe that this movie will make mad bank because people want to see homophobes being made fun of, do you?

  • Puck

    A friend from Kazakstan was ridiculed for months after borat. All of a sudden it was okay to make fun of his ethnicity. What will happen when the homophobes see Bruno. I think upon release, the world I walk in won’t be as safe for me anymore.

  • Smokey Martini

    Correction: The phrase “But the film let’s us laugh with and at stereotypes” should REALLY read “But the film lets us laugh with and at stereotypes.” Get rid of that apostrophe, Queerty — you should know better!

  • yoshi

    I don’t care for the guy. I don’t plan on seeing the movie. But it is only a movie. And one that he is free to make and people are free to see.

    But once again HRC and GLAAD remind me why I don’t support them. There silly overreactions and their false outrage grew old long ago. Perhaps if they put in as much effort into outreach as they do in pushing out press releases we be farther along in getting some real legislation passed.

  • Dave

    @TANK: True. SBC is part of a machine…but the entertainment machine and the POLITICAL machince that impacts lives with the law are a tad different.

    By the way, well said Yoshi.

  • Jhon

    It’s sounds stupid. I’m not paying $12.50 to see it.

  • Sceth

    This is exactly the kind of movie I love – hilarious and nonsensical. Nothing is going to keep me away from it.

  • Thor

    What about the Austrians now they will be ridiculed as well!

  • ajax

    I think Mr. Baron Cohen is an intelligent and talented man, but I really don’t like his humor.

    The issue here is not a “gay” issue – it’s a gender issue. “Bruno” embodies gender discordant behaviors that make people uncomfortable. He’s the flaming homosexual who discomforts as many in our community as he does in the straight community.

    Personally, I think we should react to Bruno exactly the same way as African-Americans reacted to Robert Downey, Jr. in “Tropic Thunder”. There was no condemnation by the NAACP, was there?

  • Huh

    Is it funny? Yep Will I watch it? Not in a theater, but probably on TV once it goes to HBO or something. But let’s not pretend it’s anything more than what it is — making fun of gay people. It’s also making fun of homophobes – there is some of that, I’m sure. But at the core – it’s just straight-guy “silly faggot” humor and SCB is making a ton of money – not laughing with us, but laughing at us.
    I personally find it annoying on a philosophical level, while at times funny on a comedy level. But call it what it is. Queerty doesn’t speak for me any more than HRC or GLAAD do — you are all full of crap and would sell your mother to make a buck from your audience.

  • The Gay Numbers

    It’s pretty sad that people are this stupid.

  • The Gay Numbers

    Quick follow up: I am reminded of the time in DC when a politician used the term niggardly, and a large number of my fellow African-Americans became offended because they thought the word “niggardly” was another way of saying “nigger.”

    It turns out it actually means “reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly.”

    When they found that out, they responded by saying he should not have used the word regardless of its meaning. This in a nutshell is how stupid this conversation of Bruno is.

  • TANK

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Hey, back at you…because that’s a true parallel….you’re very obtuse.

  • Sean

    I applaud the HRC for a very sincere and sober statement about the seriousness of anti-gay hatred in our country, ESPECIALLY in our schools as kids are faced with anti-gay slurs. Without proper preface, this movie will more likely than not make matters worse. We can agree with it, but I care too much for our society to just agree, I will DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    What’s worse than seeing injustice is letting injustice happen while we ramble on about in self-defeat. How is waving a white flag any different, really?

  • Captain Freedom

    @Puck: Grow up!

  • Captain Freedom

    HRC and GLAAD are in the business of keeping gays oppressed so they can stay around longer and make money that could instead be going to build LGBT communities, charities for gay homeless youth, HIV prevention, and all the other things the HRC doesn’t know about because they are too busy hearing the sounds of their mouths slurping combined with President Obama moaning.

  • The Gay Numbers

    Again- you people are pretty sad and pathetic.

  • REBELComx

    @The Gay Numbers: LOL, Did you see the youtube video of a group of lawmakers who got into an argument because one of the white guys in the pretty evenly racially mixed room referred to the argument they were having as a black hole?

  • TANK

    Yeah, you’re sad, stupid and pathetic if you don’t agree with gaynumbers’ drek opinions. Ouch…go do some paperwork.

  • Larry

    Responding to Puck above and to this article in general, that’s a risk that emerges with any satire: Especially in America, there will always be people too stupid to grasp the irony, and that includes the people who made fun of Puck’s Kazakh friend, the people who will think Bruno gives them license to display anti-gay behaviors and HRC and GLAAD.

    But I think that’s a risk worth taking when considering how mercilessly Bruno skewers homophobia, just as Borat satirizes anti-Semitism and Americans’ ignorance of the world outside our country’s borders.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @REBELComx: No, but I am not surprised. This is people taking legitimate concerns over race and extending it into territory where it becomes an absurdity. It’s the Archie Bunkers syndrome.

    In the 1970s, Bill Cosby attacked the show Archie Bunker not because it was not satire, but because he said that white America (specifically the racist portion) would be too stupid to get it. That’s the implicit core argument here- that because some people are too stupid to get it, creative people should dumb down their comedy to the lowest common demoninator.

    Given how ignorant our society already is, I do not see such arguments as a good thing. The idea, for example, that someone would not know what a black hole is is fucked up. But, I have met people who will argue “well, why are you placing a ‘value’ on the situation such that black is bad?” You can point out until you are blue in the face “because a black hole has so much gravity that it pulls in light, and, therefore, appears to be black (which is what black is- the absorption of light.” Instead, of addresing that, they will be a tard like Tank and argue over how it makes them feel rather than understanding the language in the context of what it means.

    By the way, I say this will the upmost respect for Cosby who had to fight like hell to work in Hollywood when black was such a rarity that every step he made was groundbreaking by the very fact he did it. But, his argument over Archie Bunker was silly. The reality is that satire exists to push society’s collective buttons. If the satirist must worry that the people he is satiring won’t get it (although its clear some parts will) then he or she would be waiting forever since by definition- satire is making fun of insane positions. Insane people rarely realize they are acting insane.

  • Puddy Katz

    I would think that Baron Cohen would have enough on his hands doing his duties in the House of Lords. I for one am surprised he has time to make these movies.

  • TANK

    Calm yourself, gaynumbers, no amount of dancing and prevaricating is going to make this anything more than another gay joke at the expense of gays. It’s not about intelligence to get–people are just fine when it comes to that; it’s about homophobia. And that still sells tickets. If you think that people are going to watch homophobes get skewered, you’re naive at best…

    This is not about absurdity. Cohen isn’t using terms like black hole and “niggardly”. He’s portraying an over the top flamboyant send up of flamboyance…there’s no subtlety going on or use of langauge that could be misconstrued idiots. This is as literal and non-ironic as the light of day. He’s playing gay for laughs; and the primary selling point is not homophobes…but gay people and the stereotypes that are exaggerrated for comic effect. That’s why your parellels fall flat and false.

    It’s not about how I feel; it’s about how it is.

  • TANK

    And yes, satire is about pushing the limits…but if you think limits are being pushed here (this is more of the same…with a nod and wink to the emergence of making fun of bigots to a certain extent while making bigots who aren’t as bigoted as the ones being made fun of feel comfortable in their bigotry), you’re pretty limited.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Well I’m going to at least go and see it before I decide whether I like it or not.

    But anything that makes people foam at the mouth and cry outrage is is probably doing a little more than just exploiting an issue.

    And the sanitized warnings from advocacy groups…. the icing on the cake, IMO.

  • TANK

    @strumpetwindsock:

    Go see big momma’s house 3! It’s coming! I’m so excited I can hardly sleep.

  • Fitz

    It’s very brave and cutting edge for Sasha to take on a group of powerful people who aren’t used to being knocked down a notch. Who would think to make fun of gay people? Wow, that is creative.. and so necessary. Those upitty faggots have even been asking for marriage rights, for God’s sake.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Fitz: Yet another tard deliberately missing the point. If you are going to lie, at least don’t be obvious about it.

  • TANK

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Blah blah blah. You have NO ARGUMENT. You just got flayed and served. Apparently everyone’s a tard who doesn’t see this as “edgy” and “progressive”. WHoah! Who ever thought to make fun of the gays before? SO NOVEL! REFRESHING.

  • galefan2004

    I disagree with the HRC. Those kids that are bullying other kids on in schools don’t need an excuse to do it, so this movie will make no difference. The only measurement will be rather this is a good cinematic piece or not, because the studio and the star have no bearing what so ever on how people view the finished product.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @galefan2004: Exactly.

  • Taylor

    It’s a movie for crying out loud?! It’s a character he’s playing, not Sacha Cohen playing himself. This is not a non-fiction movie about political correctness. People don’t boycott horror movies because they show murder. Come on, I’ve met Sacha before and he’s the furthest thing from a gay basher. When GLAAD whines about dumb stuff like this it makes people discredit them on real issues.

  • Shawn

    For those of you who keep saying “it’s just a movie, get over it.” I think that you’re completely misguided. Movies, even stupid ones, have a HUGE impact on our society. They are important in that they reflect and sometimes set the standard of behavior for a lot of people. I think that if Sasha Baron Cohen doesn’t make it clear that he is making fun of stereotypes, not gays, this movie will fuel more antagonism towards us.

    I can easily imagine some not-especially wordly straight teen coming out of this, thinking that all gays are ridiculous, prancing, hostile, overly sexualized freaks and that it’s okay for him to hate them. It’s not like such a kid is going to see many other kinds of gay representations.

    I grew up in a small redneck western Pennsylvania town (don’t live there now), and let me tell you, it’s a whole other world there. They see no other representations of gays, other than what is on television or in the media. And most of those representations are very one-dimensional. They’re not going to get what Sasha Baron Cohen claims to be doing. I feel very strongly that someone from that background (and really that’s most of our country) would come out of the “Bruno” movie feeling okay in laughing at gays.

    Bill Cosby once said that he didn’t like “All in the Family” because he felt that by showing Archie Bunker’s racism, the show validated those views for others who shared them, rather than exposing the wrongness of those views. At first, I didn’t agree with him. But I thought about it for a long time, and I think he’s right.

    And I feel the same way about “Bruno.” It kind of feels like Sasha Baron Cohen is using the “I’m making fun of the stereotypes” as an excuse to give himself allowance to in fact embody those stereotypes. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think that I am.

  • SaintCahier

    I find both the concept and the tactics horribly tasteless and, often, dishonest.

    I can see how in a world which sometimes seems disturbingly like the movie “Idiocracy”, this kind of Guerrilla Shock Propaganda is considered more effective than a consistent debate on the level of ideas.

    But I really cannot approve the kind of aggressive and deceptive behavior I would certainly deplore if the roles were switched (how would you feel about a comedic exercise exploring right-wingers stereotypes and going on a witch hunt for gays?)

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Shawn: That’s why people were laughing at how stupid Archie was, and people like him. That’s why now- after years of making fun of such bigots- we do not take them as the norm of our society or what is acceptable thinking. Because satire, as you say- does not work. Making fun of those views that are wrong never has the impact of convincing people that their views are wrong. The only thing that works is being humorless and boring.

  • TANK

    @The Gay Numbers:

    But the norm is homophobia, quicksilver. Get it? It is making fun of gay people because they’re gay. That’s still quite the norm. Aggressive hatred of gay people is slowly becoming not as acceptable…but it’s far from unacceptable.

  • AlwaysGay

    I completely agree with Shawn.

  • Eric

    Shawn-
    What do you want movies to be? Maybe a group of people standing around making small talk? They push our boundries, and this movie pushes the boundries of both gay and straight people, why is that so bad? It teaches us that we should maybe not take ourselves so seriously, and exposes homophobes for the idiots that they are. I’m thinking that we come up on top of that scenario.

    Have some fun and realize that not everything has to be life or death.

  • strumpetwindsock

    I guess we should warn people against Bill Shakespeare and Bertie Brecht while we’re at it (not to say Cohen is in their league at all).
    All those well-spoken and attractive evil characters might be too beguiling for our feeble morals to withstand.

  • TANK

    @strumpetwindsock:

    You’re like soft rock, phil collins and five for fighting combined. The suck. And no, those examples just don’t match up. Is shylock a bruno? LOL! This just underscores the fact that you have no capacity for serious criticism.

    This movie is pushing no boundaries…are you people retarded? This is fag jokes…and yeah, and some jokes about fag bashers, too. That’s not pushing any boundaries, either…

  • Bitch, please!

    In my opinion, he is a no-talent hack who is using all minorities, in an offensive manner, to increase his bank balance. I don’t think he is promoting anything but his career. I am so tired of these jerks using us to make a buck, much like those supposedly gay-for-pay porn performers. I refuse to watch him in anything he does. He is just annoying to me and not at all funny.

  • Rudy

    @The Gay Numbers: I just saw the trailer last night in the previews before “Drag Me To Hell.” and all I can say is nobody in the theater laughed except at the OJ joke.
    “Drag” was fun. An adrenalin-rush like an hour spent in a good funhouse, BTW.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @Rudy: a) You seem to be arguing something that has nothing to do with my point? I was not defending the quality of Bruno. I was defending satire. I favor not going for the lowest common denominator.

    b) There is nothing wrong with Drag Me to Hell, but it’s not the same audience as Bruno. One of the hardest lessons I learned in the last few years is to know the audience for whom I am writing. I would never give one of my sci fi scripts to my friend who likes gay camp. I would never judge Bruno by the audience that goes to see Drag Me To Hell.

  • JV

    OMG! I can’t believe this discussion… LOL!! WOW! I love how some groups of our community are so offended by things like this movie…. How come we want equality but when it comes to things like this we want to be treated differently. I mean, there is satire out there about blacks, Latinos, red necks, Asians, tall people, little people, etc etc… Don’t we go and see these other movies and think are funny? Do we come out of the theater thinking that all whites or all blacks or all straights or all red necks or all blondes, etc etc are like they were portrayed in a satire? NO!!! You’ll have to be retarded to make such a generalization. If some groups of our gay community are concerned about respect and what straight teens might think of us, then show them differently yourself. We as individuals earn respect from other with our own actions and I guess that I have been lucky to be an openly gay man accepted and respected by everyone I’ve met. I know that some gays in small towns, specially in the mid-west, face some challenges but again, they are the ones who need to chage these people perceptions with their own actions….

  • GayBobVT

    I remember going to see the movie “The Birdcage.” First, I was disappointed that if they were going to do a re-make of “La Cage”, why not – especially with talent like Williams and Lane – do the musical version. Second, I was disappointed and a bit disturbed by the laughs from the audience at lines and situations where it was obvious they were laughing AT the characters’ gayness as opposed to the situations and dialogue.

    The producers/writers/directors knew that America would buy a “gay movie” if the audience was given permission to laugh at them – “Hey, it’s JUST a movie.”

    To me it looks like, while the results may be the same, the intent of Cohen is different. “Birdcage” was used to exploit, “Bruno” lookes to expose.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @TANK:

    Well I haven’t even seen the movie yet. Have you? Part of my point is that I will see it before passing judgment on it.

    And I am aware that art (especially comedy and satire) can be taken the wrong way sometimes. Kubrick having to withdraw “A Clockwork Orange” from circulation in Britain is a good example. Or Michael Powell’s career being ruined by “Peeping Tom”.
    Or “Le Sacre du Printemps”, “Carmen”, Bob Dylan going electric or Andy Kaufman.

    But you can’t judge art based only on the audience reaction. In a good percentage of cases it is the public which is out of step.

  • SFNative

    @JV:

    JV – Wake up!!

    kids have killed themselves from anti-gay bullying in their schools. I’d love to understand from you if those kids matter to you, as such bullies would be fueled by this movie.

    I will not appreciate this movie to play without any preface and further fuel horrible kids to continue to taunt and bully our young LGBT children and force them to consider committing suicide.

    Wake up!!

  • SFNative

    @Dave:

    Dave, do you care about our LGBT children who are taunted by anti-gay bullying in our schools, consider suicide, and even take their lives? They are GONE.

    You continue to live their life.

    And they are GONE.

    GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You know what this movie is going to do? Probably fuel some of those jerk kids who were taught to hate gay people to continue to anti-gay bully our younger LGBT brothers and sisters.

    Please, do me a favor and continue to enjoy your life, while your own kind continues to suffer at our schools.

    I would love to see your heart. I sincerely hope you still have one.

  • jason

    I’m going to reserve judgement on Bruno until I have some more information.

    As for HRC and GLAAD, what irks me about them is how selective they are in their criticism of homophobia. They seem to avoid criticizing organizations which they consider gay-friendly, such as MTV, even when those organizations clearly present distorted, unbalanced and exploitative images of same-sex sexuality.

    Case in point: MTV’s bisexual dating show called A Shot At Love. When it came out, the show’s protagonist Tila Tequila or MTV put out some statement about how this was supposedly a good show for bisexuals and would increase understanding of same-sex sexuality in the context of bisexuality. Yet the images presented were straight out of a sleazy straight men’s rag. The bisexual women were there for the purpose of propping up the sleazy straight guy fetish for girl-girl action.

    And let’s not forget that, despite having three such series made, MTV consistently failed to depict male bisexuality. Thus, male-male sexuality was effectively censored. Where was GLAAD and HRC on this? Nowhere to be seen as far as I can remember.

  • mark

    HRC and GLAAD are both elitist organizations that need to be disbanded. They do not represent the general gay population.

  • jason

    My gut feeling is that Cohen got caught up in the camp aspect of his role, and allowed it to spin out of control into a series of skits that may actually do more harm than good to the gay community.

    As a community, we need to be ultra-aware of a trend I’ve noticed in the liberal entertainment media and, indeed, in people like Barack Obama. With the one hand, they’re buying our love. With the other, they’re selling us down the river.

    Be ultra-aware of this is all I can say.

  • JV

    @SFNative:

    SFNative: You do bring a good point of a situation that is very sad. Gay kids are bullied in our schools and that is not right in any means. Bullying occurs in our schools to gay kids as much as it occurs directed to geeks, nerds, skinny boys, ugly girls, latino kids, etc, etc. I know this as in school I was a gay, latino, geek, skinny boy. Having said that, is not right to bully ANYONE.

    Sasha Baron’s satire exposes the prejudices of certain groups and put them in ridicule. In fact, Mr. Baron has higher education in civil rights and even though is to early to judge the movie itself (since non of us have seen it), I doubt that anyone coming out of the theater after seeing the movie will want to look as stupid, judgemental and retarded as the people Cohen will challenge with this character.

  • TANK

    @The Gay Numbers:

    Really? Did you see drag me to hell? Did you observe other people in the theater? I did, and it wasn’t your age…and people your age probably aren’t going to be the main consumers for bruno.

  • TANK

    @strumpetwindsock:

    I meant kenny G. You don’t get it.

  • Puck

    @Captain Freedom: I did grow up. I grew up when I had a bag packed beside my bedroom door, ready to flee my house if my parents found out I was gay. I grew up when my father told me the worst thing society did was recognizing gays were human. I grew up when my professor was silent when a classmate gave a presentation about how I was going to hell.
    I grew up when holding hands with my boyfriend got me called a faggot last night, your the one who needs to grow up and recognize that representations in the media have repercussions. The movie Borat had people making fun of Khazakstan for months. There are still jokes about the Mankini being made. Those actions enforced stereotypes, ya, we know their stereotypes, but the jokes still came. The insults still came. So yeah, the movie Bruno has me worried for my safety, did I say the movie should be scrapped or boycotted. No, I didn’t, all I said can be summed up as

    “Based upon reactions and repercussions to Sascha Cohen’s previous movies, that you can expect an increase in verbal harassment, stereotypical impersonations and loss of community self worth.”

    So I think my statement is very true my world won’t be as safe for me walk in.

  • Puck

    ummm, sorry for the rant I think Captain Freedom touched a nerve

  • Cam

    Great, Thanks HRC, never worry about our real rights, stay absent during the Pro8 fight. but get your panties in a twist about Borat. Wow, you’re REALLY watching out for us.

  • thankyouforhavingabrain

    @Puck:
    @Shawn:

    omg lmao thank you for not so common sense!

  • Charles

    Right on Cam.
    Such bullshit, it’s a fucking film. HRC just looks lame, oh right, they are….

  • galefan2004

    While I have a great respect for the views of Shawn, I didn’t come from a small town in Pennsylvania. I came from a small town in Ohio. I still live in a small town in Ohio. I don’t need a movie to teach people that gays aren’t a stereotype. I do that when they meet me and can’t believe that I’m gay. I don’t think and act anything like their notions of what gay guys think and act like and that makes them think. I think, I can handle the few (don’t try to make it a majority because it is simply a vocal minority) people that use such a movie to justify their own right wing bigotry, but the majority of the country is laughing their ass off at such people. The times are changing, the religious fanatics have gone so off base by this point that their own denominations don’t even want to be associated with them. The times are changing and the churches are changing as well.

  • galefan2004

    @GayBoBVT: I don’t agree with you at all when it comes to The Birdcage. I personally found the movie hilarious. Yes it made fun of gays, but hell, we all make fun of gays. Drag is so popular because it makes fun of both homosexuality and women at the same time. Drag is satire. A man putting on a dress and a wig is quite funny. Overdoing it is quite funny. Somewhere along the lines we decided that it was not ok to make fun of ourselves? That doesn’t surprise me considering that as a country we seem to think possibly offending someone is the worst thing ever. The truth is, there will be a lot of people making fun of us, there will be a lot of people that don’t like us, there will be a lot of people that just hate us. As any actor/singer/comedian will tell you, you need to learn to ignore the people that don’t like you and concentrate on the people that do.

  • galefan2004

    @Puck: Your story is sad. I can feel for you. However, the point is that this movie isn’t going to make those homo-hating asshats hate you more. They don’t need a reason to hate you more. They justify their hatred themselves not based on what movies have to say about gays. Personally, if my father ever said that to me, I don’t think I would be the one running away, but I feel for you.

  • Henry Holland

    Aside from the “will it cause kids to get fagbashed” issue, I find SBC desperately unfunny, the Christopher Guest of now. As someone wrote on Towleroad, if SBC was half as edgy or deep as he thinks he is, he’d put on a big nose, get some curly hair, be totally obsessed by money, speak with an exaggerated Brooklyn accent, be totally nonathletic, be part of a secret organization that’s trying to rule the world and most of all, make a big deal about being circumcised and go out and do his totally tired routine.

    It’s easy to make money off of other groups when your tribe isn’t the one being mocked. So, come on, SBC, let’s see your idea for a Hiram movie. [cue crickets]

  • Bitch, please!

    @ PUCK: Sorry to hear about your experience, brother. We all have been through that in some form or other. So, most of us, who are not high on “whatever”, can emphathize with you.

  • Shawn

    @Eric: Eric, I love to have fun, believe me! I’m not at all humorless, like you seem to think I am. But it isn’t fun for me to watch someone use gay stereotypes to get himself a hit film. I think it’s kind of pathetic. If he were portraying most any other minority group, people wouldn’t stand for it.

    Maybe your life as a gay man has been relatively free of homophobia and hostility, but mine has not. I don’t think it is a helpful thing for Sasha Baron Cohen to make it okay for straights to feel okay in laughing at us. That WRONG! I guess if that makes me humorless in your book, then so be it. I don’t like being the butt of someone’s joke. I don’t think that any of us deserve that.

    With the PROP 8 crap that happened in California, with all of the homophobia that still exists, I fear that this film will only incite hostility. I read recently that hate crimes have been rising since Obama’s election. There was that guard who was shot at the Holocaust museum recently by some old crazy bigot. Do we really need “Bruno” adding fuel to some other insane person’s fire?

  • Shawn

    @galefan2004: I too “pass”. Physically I’m a bear and I’m not most of the obvious stereotypes. And I too have had people be really surprised when they know, and I guess maybe that does make a difference, here and there.

    But, this movie is LARGE. Many, many people will, at least, see those horrible ads with Sasha Baron Cohen looking like the biggest annoying faggot in the universe and will be really irritated by him (and by extension, us).

    I’m irritated by him, and I’m gay. I can easily imagine those people in your town thinking that you are the exception, not the rule, and not really understanding that SBC is playing stereotypes to bust them (or so he seems to be claiming). I think that his message, if it even exists, will go over the heads of a lot of people.

    I hope that I’m wrong, really, I do. And, I know it’s not really fair of me to make generalizations about all small towns based on my experiences of a small Pennsylvania town. All small towns aren’t necessarily always filled with bigoted, backwards rednecks–but the town I came from was totally filled with them. Though, based on voting patterns, it does seem that a lot of the small towns in the center of the US are quite religiously conservative and, consequently, homophobic. So I think that there is some evidence on my side.

    The town I was born in was a former coal-mining town with no more coal mines and no more jobs for people, and I think that did definitely brought out the worst in them. It’s part of what they call the Pennsylvania Rust Belt–sort of middle and central–kind of between Pittsburgh and Philly. Very conservative, but a little left-leaning because of Union issues.

    During the Obama campaign, PA governor Ed Rendell and Central PA representative John Murtha both made public comments to reporters like, “the people of western Pennsylvania are what you might call rednecks,” and “a lot of people here may have issues in voting for a black candidate.”

    Though, in fairness, PA did vote for Obama–and so did Ohio, if I’m remembering correctly. Maybe it just takes a long time for things to change. I do try to remind myself that there probably have been more positive changes in my lifetime than I realize, but I just hate seeing SBC using us for his own gain by inflaming stereotypes.

  • Rudy

    @The Gay Numbers: Numbers. I love gay camp – the late Charles Ludlam, Tom Eyen, the work of John Waters, Charles Busch, Paul Rudnick – but aren’t these gay authors writing from a gay sensibility?
    I really don’t see Cohen as coming from that tradition of gay camp – OUR tradition – which is viewing the world through the prism of gay humor and experience.
    I hope I am pleasantly surprised when “Bruno” is released.
    Right now, if I were asked to suggest a satirical skewering of gay stereotypes, I would recommend “South Park” as light years ahead of anything I saw in that “Bruno” trailer.
    It wasn’t that the “Drag Me To Hell” audience lacked a sense of humor – the trailer just wasn’t funny.

  • TikiHead

    Wow — the thread’s all the way up to 69 comments, my fave number. (oops, now it’s 70) My theory is that SBC’s comedy is a foolproof asshole litmus test. Assholes unfailingly react with anger to his act.

    And uh… ‘the trailer just wasn’t funny?’ Wow.

  • Godwhacker

    If Bruno is anything like Borat, Cohen will have done a great service to the LGBT community by exposing those who hate us for the moronic and conflicted individuals they are – all while making everyone laugh. Who could have a problem with that?

  • Alan

    That’s it guys. Assume the position. And don’t complain when straight folks refuse to take us seriously or treat us with honor and respect.

  • annie

    this movie looks funny, and not because it’s for or against gays…we all have an idea on gays and should stick by it WHILE laughing at the movie!

  • DCtoFJ

    Ummm…are you kidding me with this crap? We should be required to tell the audience that we are being satirical and sarcastic? If groups like HRC and GLAAD actually did anything other than throw parties to celebrate how fabulous they think they are, we wouldn’t have to tell people. They would already know.

    To HRC and GLAAD: Get off the cocktail party circuit and get out in the real word and talk to real people so they can achieve real results.

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