Out‘s Aaron Hicklin: You’re a Moron If You Have a Problem With Bruno

Since no journalists will get Sacha Baron Cohen on the line to discuss Bruno‘s alleged homophobia, we must let the talking head troops do it. Which is exactly what Mr. Baron Cohen wants: free publicity! And just like we told you before, when it comes to folks having an opinion on the film, there’s a golden rule: Gay rights organizations hate it, while gay media loves it!

Case in point: This CNN spot with GLAAD’s Rashad Robinson and Out editor Aaron Hicklin, which basically goes like this:

GLAAD’s Robinson: “They just missed the mark in many places, and in overreaching really enforced stereotypes. … Having a movie that portrays our community in such problematic ways isn’t really a welcome thing.”

Out‘s Hicklin: “You’d really have to be quite dense and idiotic to think this is was in any way an accurate reflection of the way gay men live their lives.” Evidently, you may apply that same logic to the cover of Out magazine.

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  • Dabq

    I actually think that he is right, since only morons find this guy funny with his school yard insults/taunts/jokes, which is wrong since most kids are funnier.

  • galefan2004

    Funny that he doesn’t think that homophobes are just this dense and just this idiotic. It must be nice to live in a cushy neighborhood in mostly likely NYC and only have to deal with other gays all day. Maybe this dude should try living in the real world before he starts insulting everyone that deals with real world discrimination every single day.

  • prissysissy

    As the editor of a pointless, fluffy periodical, Mr. Hicklin’s comments are like the pot calling the kettle black.
    As #2 @GALEFAN2004 points out, Mr. Hicklin has probably never been to the not-so-gay-friendly American heartland, where people passionately believe the Bible is literally God’s words, or that God created the world 10000 years ago. Or maybe Mr. Hicklin charitably over-estimates the IQ of the average American.

  • galefan2004

    @prissysissy: Excuse me, but you are wrong, they believe that the world is 6000 years old.

  • Hominy Grits

    OUT mag is so 1999 anyway
    wasnt that the era when only Megan Mullally (Will & Grace’s Karen) appeared on their cover and Sean Hayes bailed.

    I stopped getting these gay rags deleverd ages ago – and dont miss the fluff and Vodka ads one bit.

  • SteamPunk

    That does sound like Hicklin is saying you are a moron if you have a problem with Bruno’s humor. He’s saying you are a moron “if you think this is an accurate reflection of the way gay men live their lives.”

    Seems like a huge difference.

  • Forrest

    I could not agree more with the last sentence of this post. OUT is equally offensive. Since in their world gay= rich, white, fashion obsessed twat.

  • Fitz

    No no no. You are a Moron if you work for a rag called OUT which comes in black plastic wrapper.

  • AlwaysGay

    Rashad is right, Aaron is wrong. Aaron Hicklin is the editor of a supposed gay magazine named Out. Ten or eleven months out of the year a heterosexual is on the cover. It’s no surprise Aaron believes they are knowledgeable and understanding enough to get a positive message about gay people from this movie since he places heterosexuals on a pedestal and believes every word they say. Gay people should endure all the ridicule we get from heterosexuals and should sit quietly by as heterosexuals determine what is gay and what is not according to gay traitors like Aaron Hicklin. Aaron Hicklin is a water carrier for heterosexuals. There are MANY, MANY studies on anti-gay bigotry and they all point to heterosexuals being anti-gay. Let us not forget that heterosexuals voted for heterosexual-only marriage amendments to 30 state constitutions and banned gay people from adopting in 3 states. Let us not forget how heterosexuals punish heterosexual criminals less severely when they commit crime on gay people. Let us not forget how openly gay people are excluded from major league sports and entertainment.

    The worst aspect of this movie is not Bruno’s effeminate, vapid, shallow, and sexual nature it’s his provocative nature. In study after study, criminal case after criminal case heterosexuals always believe gay people behave in a way to provoke heterosexuals (and that whatever negative reaction they recieve is justified). A recent study created a scenario in which heterosexual and gay couples would end up kissing in front of the Eifel Tower. All of the heterosexual couples were judged to be kissing out of love. All of the gay couples were judged to be kissing to provoke heterosexuals, to make a statement. Just last week a heterosexual male was only convicted of manslaughter after he killed Ronald Brown, a gay man in New Zealand. The heterosexual jury bought the defense that the heterosexual killer had reason to kill Ronald Brown because he flirted with him when in fact there was no evidence of that happening at all.

  • galefan2004

    @Fitz: That is just good. Its funny how the men that get Out aren’t OUT at all.

  • homofied

    Mr. Hicklin is somewhat biased in favor of British pop culture generally, to the point of promoting less than interesting (to me at least) people in the magazine simply because they are from his mother land.

    Clearly he is “tight” with his fellow media elite S B Cohen.

    That said, Hicklin is also very intelligent, has brought a quality level to Out that it had lost for a time, and is totally within his rights to call out the fact that the film is a send up, in the same way that a Mel Brooks movie is a send up. Send ups risk offending if they are any good.

    In glaad’s ideal cleansed world, there would be limits on free speech, imposed by gate keepers in advance, instead of by the free choice of consumers to reject what they find dull or offensive.

    Lost in all of this is the fact that the movie itself has flaws that render it weak as a send up. Nothing is more painful than a bad joke, and many of the jokes in the movie are bad. It tires to have a comedic momentum but mostly seems slow and predictable. Its more waddle than romp, and sadly the gay media has chosen to focus on the policy questions instead of the product as a film. For that, we have to turn to straight media like the NYT. And that’s a shame.

    Both the fawning and finger pointing fit too neatly into the conceit of the film itself, and serve that conceit and thus fail in the same way the film does.

  • Burl

    As The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Friday, “Bruno,” the new film starring Sacha Baron Cohen, reinforces negative stereotypes and “decreases the public’s comfort with gay people.” Now, as you all know that is the purpose of these organizations: To make the country comfortable with homos. Bruno instead acts as a mirror on culture, as uncomfortable as it is, that reveals a deep distaste for most things homo, and that may be the films greatest objection: no one wants to be reminded that you are disliked.

  • homofied

    @Burl: If I want to be reminded that I am disliked, all I have to do is try to get it on with my husband.

  • Ben

    You obviously haven’t kept up with the times, Fitz. OUT got rid of the wrapper – apart from those people who ask for it, and who you want to lampoon as closeted. You can’t attack the movie for being homophobic, and then attack Out for taking care to protect those who might suffer from homophobia.

  • DelphKC

    LoL, GLAAD needs to take the stick out of its a-s and have some fun already! What a damn misnomer! They should have called themselves SAAD! :o)

  • Lawl


    “In glaad’s ideal cleansed world, there would be limits on free speech, imposed by gate keepers in advance, instead of by the free choice of consumers to reject what they find dull or offensive.”

    I wish the clueless would realize what GLAAD’s job is and that they were invited in the first place to see what scenes they liked and didn’t like. It would also be nice if people realize what “free speech” and didn’t use it as an ironic strawman to attack people who voiced their dislike about media and for those would like to legally protest/boycott/etc what is bothering them and all that good free American stuff.

    Unfortunately dreams don’t come true and there will still be clueless people who make delusional grandiose claims about certain organizations agendas that are against the defamation of certain groups of people (like GLAAD and ADL).

  • Lawl


    Ugh, I know right? Turn your brain off and have a drink!

  • Shawn

    @Dabq: @galefan2004: @prissysissy:

    Silly old queens strike again! I Think I’m done with this website. Since only old queens with their old ways of thinking are only here…and the writers aren’t far behind.

  • homofied

    @lawl — I am a long time enthusiastic supporter of glaad, actually. I think they are incredibly valuable when they call out media practices that are clearly homophobic, such as a case where TV stations broadcast the names and addresses of individuals arrested in a public sex crackdown. But that doesn’t mean I have to follow glaad in lockstep when they attempt to serve as a editorial propaganda ministry, with out without the help of those subject to the editing. I think it crosses a line in a free society.

  • Johnny

    @Fitz: Out does not come in a plastic wrapper. The magazine has, for several years now, offered the wrapper only to subscribers that request it.

    I agree with Hicklin. He’s not saying you have to like Bruno, but he is saying that if you believe that Bruno is an accurate depiction of most gay men, then you’re an idiot. Granted, many Americans are idiots, but that’s no reason for GLAAD to stand in the way of a movie that really underlines homophobia.

    Sasha Baron Cohen is really a comic genius, and he’s pro-gay. All you have to do is watch the way in which homophobes are made fun of or shown for the monstrous behavior they can exhibit. Every moment of the movie demonstrates that. Memo to GLAAD: I appreciate your mission, but you’ve “missed the mark” (to use your words) here.

  • MTiffany

    No problem with Bruno. Or even Sacha Baron Cohen, for that matter. Just, <> “Next!”

  • Awooooo

    “But that doesn’t mean I have to follow glaad in lockstep when they attempt to serve as a editorial propaganda ministry, with out without the help of those subject to the editing.”

    What does this mean? They simply voiced their concerns about the movie and it’s content and that’s it. Clearly by the interview you can see that they don’t speak for the entire gay community but there are people who agree with them.

  • Krysan

    I saw the film and this is my response to the film. Funny? Yes. Homophobic? Absolutely. What I do find idiotic is someone thinking “Bruno” is exposing homophobia. Right, so I guess Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima were meant to expose racism, as well.

  • galefan2004

    @Lawl: Bruno is already being dubbed dull and offensive by the consumers apparently because it had the largest drop from Friday night to Saturday night in a long time and will probably be at the bottom of the box office this weekend.

  • galefan2004

    @Shawn: I’m sorry Shawn, some of us live in the REAL WORLD. I apologize profusely if we offend your delicate NYC friends and yourself because we have actually faced discrimination.

    I know how hard it must be for someone like yourself to understand us. I mean, just because we come from homes where one parent tried to change us for the last 12 years and one parent hasn’t talked about our sexuality in the last 12 years wouldn’t give us a more unique perspective then some out and proud twink from NYC that has never had people talk openly in front of them of beating up the fags and never attended a gay bar where someone was shot to death in the parking lot just for being gay. So sorry, you know it all, and we are just bitter old queens.

  • Landon Bryce


    You call gay people you dislike “silly old queens.” That means you, whether you are gay or not, on some level believe the stereotypes about gay people that “Bruno” perpetuates. You’re free to enjoy the movie, but please don’t use homophobic language in a public forum. Or, at least, know that you brand yourself as someone whose opinions on gay people are formed in part by bigotry when you do so.

    I pity the gay youth of today in this one regard: they pretty much have to like BRUNO, especially if they are still in school. What could possibly be less cool than not only being gay but being offended by SBC? You are forced to laugh at jokes about how disgusting gay sex is, Shawn; I can understand why you would be angry at those of us who are not.

    I think BRUNO is hugely brave, and I may see it even though I don’t find Cohen funny. I wish I did– I looked forward to and watched with excitement the American premiere of Da ALI G Show many years ago because the concept was exciting. But I was disappointed, and I’ve been disappointed every time I’ve seen him (other than in Sweeney Todd.) Andy Kaufman was a genius. Candid Camera was stupid. Putting them together is not thrillingly innovative to me. I fell asleep during BORAT.

    And Aaron Hicklin, seeing the shit The Advocate has gotten for the Perez Hilton cover, clearly thinks the best defense is a good offense. The thing is, OUT has always been at least twenty percent about insulting real gay people with who it puts on the cover: I would have been stunned if they had not done a Bruno cover, and I don’t think anyone’s opinion of Hicklin is high enough that there would have been a stir if he had used the Perez Hilton cover.

  • WillBFair

    Bruno is bad pr for us only because Cohen doesn’t play a queer. He plays the same part he played in Borat. He’s a vulgarian. And the story is just the same: weird foreigner with funny accent descends on the US.
    I happen to enjoy vulgarity, having been trained by raunchy SF queens. I thought the movie was hysterical because it was crude. And confronting the Phelps people in full harness was priceless. Beyond that, it didn’t have much to do with gay culture. The problem is that the folks in Stickville won’t know that.

  • Flag me, bitches

    Can you imagine if the bitter queens here were in charge of gay magazines? I’d rather eat than read a magazine this little cabal of catty queens came up with. Thank goodness someone is pushing your buttons. If you don’t like Out, don’t read it. I’m with you, Shawn. I’m following my own advice and won’t be coming back here any more.

    And Krysan, YES Uncle Tom was a literary device meant to expose racism. Are you an idiot? (Aunt Jemima is a syrup. She wasn’t married to Uncle Tom.)

  • L

    I’m disgusted with the media that they allow Cohen air-time to do so-called “interviews” in the character of Bruno. Would they do this with Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, or Adam Sandler? Oh, that’s right – it’s ambush comedy. That means we can’t ever ask the creator of the project to explain their process? Very convenient.

    Mr. Cohen is doing nothing to expose ignorance and educate people. He only wants only to titillate and offend. Funny how his targets are only American. Maybe he could take on the British royal family next, or Orthodox Jews, or the Saudi religious police.

  • homofied

    Whoa, L — word, brother.

  • hardmannyc

    Actually, L, he does take on Orthodox Jews in Bruno. He also takes on Arab Muslims. Why don’t you see the movie before spouting your ignorance?

    The movie is hysterical and very, very homo-positive. Everyone, straight or gay, should see it. if you’re offended by this, stay at home with your Hummel figurines and your puppy dog paintings.

  • hardmannyc

    Oh, and Hicklin’s comments are spot on — If I’m completely disgusted by anything, it’s the ignorant headline to this article. How can Queerty have so willfully misread his comments???

  • Fitz

    @Shawn: Feel free to leave. You can come back after you have faced the real world and been bashed, or ripped off. Us “Tired Old Queens” know how to identify threats, and survive a gay-hostile world.. that’s how we got old, sunshine. And to those faggots, and I use the word with as much vitriol as you can imagine, who are into Bruno… you get what you pay for.

  • Shawn

    @galefan2004: Actually, I get called F*G at least one time everyday. I’ve been threatened (although they have never followed through). Heck, even when I was out while serving in Iraq I didn’t get threatened as much. But in my small town of less than 10,000, I fear for my life.

    Whatever you have to say about Bruno though, I have to let you know, that it is making a difference in my small town. With my [once] homophobic family and with my ex-friends, who are finally starting to talk to me again.

    As far as NYC, I’ve been there once.

    As far as me calling people “old queens”…I say that because that is how some people on here act. They fail to see the difference in generations (granting the term Old). As much as you want to call homophobes bigots (and rightly so) and as much as you want to say that they just won’t listen…YOU too fail to listen and just as “stuck in your ways”.

  • Shawn

    @Landon Bryce: I do apologize if what I said offended you, you are not the intended target. However, as much as I never used those terms before now, I felt the need to use them, simply because some of these people on here think that we can’t laugh at ourselves sometimes.

    I hated borat and so did my partner. But we went to see Bruno and laughed the whole time.

    I disagree with your perspective on having to watch and like it. As a younger person myself(and my partner being younger than I) I don’t think it’s like that at all.

    My main point in all of this is that a lot of our community is just as abrasive, just as ignorant, and just as out of it as the bigots on the other side of the fence. galefan2004 proves it again and again by his comments, but he’s not the only one.

    The older generation of the GLBT is simply out of touch with the younger ones and I see it everyday and it often comes up in our weekly Allies meetings. If we aren’t careful and if the older generation doesn’t try and mend differences, I fear the younger generation will jump ship and start its own thing…but then again, maybe that’s what is needed.

    Kissing the same sex isn’t as bad as what it was 20 or even 10 years ago…it happens everyday in school now…and is “just for fun” even for straight people. Think I’m joking? YouTube it sometime.

  • Gimme LOL CATS

    True story: When I first saw “Borat,” my mind was an itty-bitty ENORMOUSLY blown to discover that the Borat’s “Kazakh” village depicted at the beginning was actually a.. Romanian village. The so-called “Kazakh” banter heard in the background from the villagers and his wife are all in Romanian, and I picked up on it immediately, because that’s my native tongue. (Granted, the village + villagers seem to largely belong to a gypsy community, which said communities certainly exist in Romania, but are not reflective of the country itself or its customs.)

    Now, I could have chosen to get offended at that moment for multiple reasons. One, over the fact that Sacha Cohen thinks that regular Americans are stupid enough that they can’t tell (obscure) foreign languages apart. Two, over the fact that he basically insulted my peoples! And called them a bunch of in-breeding idiots. Three.. OH, whatever.

    After I got over my astonishment, I laughed my ass off.

    I led with this anecdote, because although I’m not gay myself, I tried to put myself into the shoes of a gay person, and imagine why “Bruno” would be so offensive and hurtful to her/him. I came up empty-handed.

    Why must we unleash the analytical apparatus on a film like this? It’s just entertainment–equally crass, witty, and barf-inducing.. Those who get it will get it, those who won’t, won’t. Always thought gays tend to have a better sense of humor than the populace at large–it’s part and parcel of a coping mechanism to battle a hostile world. How come they are getting so worked up over this, instead of laughing?

    Please don’t throw a couch at me–I tried to sincerely and politely express my reaction to this whole hulaballoo..

  • Landon Bryce

    @Gimme LOL CATS:

    I’m thinking some Roma might find the way you discuss them in your message and attempt to distance “real” Romanian culture from them pretty offensive.

    Because “gypsies” are a persecuted minority. So are gays. When was the last time an American kid was shot in the head at school just because he was Romanian? When is the last time the rights of Romanians were up to a vote at the polls? I’m not saying there is not prejudice against Romanians in American, but there are no organized media campaigns to impugn Romanians in America. You really don’t have to deal with people screaming in your face that they hate you every fucking day of your life.

    So I think you don’t really have any clue why some gay people are upset about this movie. Many gay people are not bothered by BRUNO. I would guess that most of us see both progress and bigotry in the way we are depicted in this movie.

  • Landon Bryce

    @Shawn: Thanks for your reply, Shawn. Things truly are different for youth today, both gay and straight in terms of acceptance of gay people and same sex kidding around. I am fascinated by how rapidly the way we are seen in comedy is changing. The Daily Show used to make anti-gay jokes often and now mocks homophobes regularly. Colbert gave us the offensive stereotype he played in Strangers With Candy and is now a truly fierce advocate. SNL will still pull out the anti-gay punchline, but the younger, pro-gay Lonely Island contingent is continually more powerful and the homophobic Seth Myers contingent less so. Even The Soup is only occasionally anti-gay these days. I don’t think BRUNO is going to look any better than SOUL MAN in a few years.

  • Gimme LOL CATS

    @Landon Bryce: Dear Landon, I get your POV, but.. must you be so ANGRY? Anger leads to suffering, etc. (however that Yoda quote goes). I’m one of these people who honest-to-God does not think of “gayness” as a primary way to define or experience my friends or acquaintances or people I come into contact with. It just isn’t the first thing that leaps to mind when I think of any one person in my life: their sexual preference. Shoot me!

    Also, re: Roma issue. Dear, I didn’t mean to be condescending to the Roma community (and BTW, there is a huge debate raging in Eastern Euro + beyond countries about THAT nomenclature.. Many feel quite upset that they use the root word “Roma,” > Roman Empire > Which has nothing to do with their heritage or culture. Just reporting here!) But the official statistics are that the Roma population is currently at something like .005% of entire Romanian population. Leaving aside the opinionated views of how and how long they were officially harassed (note I don’t dispute that they were), c’mon: they are, objectively, a statistically minuscule ethnic group and as such NOT representative of Romanian populace.


  • Landon Bryce

    @Gimme LOL CATS:

    You certainly don’t come across as bigoted to me, either against gays or Roma, and I am aware of the controversy surrounding that nomenclature. I assumed, correctly, that you would be, too. I’m not angry about Bruno or about your enjoyment of it. You asked why some gay people are getting so worked up when you were able to shrug off mockery of your country. I responded by pointing out that gay people routinely face types of discrimination that Romanians do not. I used profanity to emphasize not anger at you but frustration at the ubiquity of the bigotry faced by gay and trans people. You seem like a smart, good guy– it is frustrating that you don’t see why some gay people in 2009 have had their senses of humor overtaxed.

  • M Shane

    I think that what seems to be pointed out here is that gay people do in reality have a very different culture and understanding of life than straight people. Thier are huge problems with writing authentic comedy esp or much of anything else that will serve both groups. Of course, heterosexuals don’t share sexually tinged humor that much between sexes.

    It would be kind of strange too if we misrepresented gay people as being monogamous, with as sexually limited a range as straights.

    I haven’t seen the movie but my take is that the negative reactions by gays were a function of their own homophobia and fear that straights would think that they were kinky. Without a doubt that matter is different than propaganda value.

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