Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile

Blogs I Read!

Wayne Besen

Beyond Ex-Gay
(A Survivor's Community)

Box Turtle Bulletin

Chrome Tuna

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Envisioning The American Dream


Ex-Gay Watch


Joe. My. God

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA



Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Wil Wheaton

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site

Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You


Commando Cody Monthly

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade

Other News & Commentary

Lead Stories

Amtrak In The Heartland

Corridor Capital

Railway Age

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime



Page One Q
(GLBT News)

Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story


International News & Views


NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)

News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany

Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s


Photos of the Forgotten


Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams

Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section


Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

July 13th, 2009

Surely No One Could Believe That Stereotype…

Via Sullivan…

Brüno is, in more than one sense, beyond gay. Is any viewer really going to think that this hyperbolically crass and ridiculous narcissist—who wears mesh tops and eye-searing lederhosen, refers to his adopted African baby as a "dick magnet," and drops faux-Teutonic vulgarities about his waxed arschenhaller—represents "the mainstream of the gay community," as one troubled Hollywood "gay insider" put it?

Okay…I have a question for you.  How many top grossing box office movies can you name that honestly represented that mainstream of gay people you speak of?  How many?  No…not just a walk-on token gay character, but a movie About gay people that wasn’t full of the same stupid ignorant stereotypes that are propelling Sacha Baron Cohen’s gayface act to number one?  How many?

That one about the gay cowboys?  The one that couldn’t win an academy award because John Wayne was rolling in his grave?  The one academy members openly said they’d never vote for.  The one they made Bruno-esq jokes about at the award ceremony?  The one that got practically no cable channel airplay after it left the theaters, even though it was nominated for best picture?  That one?

3 Responses to “Surely No One Could Believe That Stereotype…”

  1. Denise Says:

    Interesting point of note is that the entire point of the movie has nothing to do with "gay" – Brüno is just one of the three completely over-the-top characters created out of the comic mind that is Baron Cohen.That Brüno is a "gay fashionista" is arbitrary – a persona to toy with other people’s sensitivities. His characters are designed by their very nature to push people’s buttons. *chuckle* And he’s VERY good at it. I don’t know how anyone with any sense could watch Brüno and make the mistake of thinking that any stereotype is being accurately represented (as is the nature of this particular brand of comedy – sort of like Jim Carrey’s style of extreme exaggeration). He did the same thing in Borat – and pissed off the Jewish community (never mind that Baron Cohen is himself Jewish), and resulted in a couple hundred lawsuits against him for a variety of different things. His aim, from what I can tell, isn’t to offend anyone in the LGBT community (though without a doubt, he will) – his aim is to see just how much he can get away with…how far he can push the comedic envelope into areas that haven’t before been touched – and in real time. It’s like watching a train wreck, and brilliant in its way.
    As for John Wayne rolling in his grave, I have to dismiss the conservative right’s claim on the American icon completely…to include any member of the Academy who would invoke his name. John Wayne, if I had to peg my vote, would have been in complete support of not only the proper representation of homosexuality (such as is the case, say, with Brokeback [as a fictional story] and with Milk [as non-fiction]), but also with comedy. He was, first and foremost, a thespian – and had many close personal friends who were openly gay in an era that was far less progressive than today. I’m sure his staunchest conservative fans will froth at the mouth at my assertion there, but his national politics (like Reagan’s) were very different from his social politics.

  2. Bruce Says:

    The reference to John Wayne rolling in his grave came from actor Ernest Borgnine, who told the magazine Entertainment Weekly at the time that "I didn’t see it and I don’t care to see it. I know they say it’s a good picture, but I don’t care to see it. If John Wayne were alive, he’d be rolling over in his grave."  Borgnine is a voting member of the Academy.  Another was Tony Curtis, who also made public his distaste for the film and his intention to not view it, although Academy members are supposed to watch all the nominated films in a category they are voting on.  It’s a safe bet that both Borgnine and Curtis had lots of help throughout their careers from gay men and women working behind the sets in Hollywood.  Gay folk have loved Hollywood, have adored it over the years.  But Hollywood doesn’t love us back.

    That’s the problem.  Whenever I hear someone saying that nobody in their right mind could believe the crude stereotype of a homosexual man that Sacha Baron Cohen is trading on in Bruno. I have to believe that they know personally some gay folk, and are already well aware of the disconnect between Bruno and reality.  But that’s no thanks to mainstream cinema, and it’s there in the land of the feckless venal Hollywood faggot that Bruno fits snugly in.  People will believe this, because that’s all many of them know about homosexuals and/or because it reinforces their prejudices.  If he’s making fun of bigotry, he’s doing it in a way that allows bigots to feel justified.  Which leads me to believe he is laughing at both bigots and gay people all the way to the bank. 

    Originally the ending for Bruno was to have him and his assistant Lutz attacked at an Arkansas cage match for making out in the ring. The film was to have ended with Bruno announcing they were getting married, as Lutz is shown in a wheelchair drooling from his brain injuries. Ha Ha…  That ending changed when some gay people saw the rough cut and complained.  Now you just see the Arkansas cage match and the angry crowd apparently.  But if Cohen is sympathetic in the least to the toll hate takes on gay people, then why did he have to be told that scene was over the line.

    If Cohen is pushing the envelope, its one that has been pushed into the ground long before now by Hollywood.  The pathetic feckless venal faggot has been standard Hollywood fair for decades, right there along with the dangerous sociopathic sexual deviant.  There is no new ground broken here, only the same tired old stereotype dusted off and waved around for laughs.  And there is nothing else it seems on the menu for gay audiences, even now.  And some of us have had enough of that.  The gay folk who simply share a kiss as they walk down the street in public have more nerve and take more chances then Cohen.  Seen in the context of Hollywood’s standard homosexual, Cohen is actually playing it very safe.  Had he played Bruno more as Borat…a naive average gay man from some imaginary other country where homosexuals are unremarkable…very enthusiastic but just a tad confused about America and American culture, he could have satirized both bigotry and urban gay culture together, and would have tread on much more dangrous ground doing so. 

  3. Denise Says:

    I think that we need to take care to not oversimplify what Baron Cohen is doing as a matter of simply "laughing to the bank." I understand several of the points you’re making (and agree with you – to a point). It’s easy to just dismiss what he’s doing as a matter of satire for the sake of satire itself – which is part of it, but not the entire picture. First, Wiki has a couple of points incorrect (and needs to be fixed) in terms of timelines of the characters. To suggest that Borat is "okay" but Bruno is "bad" is a clear demonstration of misunderstanding of what Baron Cohen is doing. These movies aren’t "pure" script – they’re in real time. Meaning, the risk he puts himself into is very real – life-threatening in some cases. I know of no other actor out there who is any country’s "Public Enemy #1" – especially a country like Kazakhstan. And if Borat is "okay" based upon the above standard, then that’s like saying homophobia is evil (which it definitely IS), but that female subjugation is okay (which it isn’t) or that anti-Semitism is okay (which it isn’t). There is a LOT more to Baron Cohen’s movies than meets the eye – and to solely focus on the gay aspect is entirely missing the point. I am a staunch feminist, and yet because I semi-followed Baron Cohen as Ali G (WELL before the movie Borat was filmed), I knew what his MO was – and was/am in no way bothered by his tactics. Besides, any comedian who can manage to successfully interview a *terrorist* without breaking character and/or getting himself killed – my hat’s off to him. Did you by chance happen to read the Rolling Stone interview with him?
    On a different note, I vaguely recalled the John Wayne reference you were making – and appreciate it. I still dismiss any member of the Academy who would invoke the Duke in defense of their own hypocritical behaviors. Completely. But that’s a story for another day.

Leave a Reply

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories,

What I'm Currently Reading...

What I'm Currently Watching...

What I'm Currently Listening To...

Comic Book I've Read Recently...


This page and all original content copyright © 2022 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to:

This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at Winters Web Works, who also did some custom design work (Thanks!). Some embedded content was created with the help of The Gimp. I proof with Google Chrome on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.