Monday, June 22, 2009

US gay lobby doesn`t get the 'Bruno' joke

Sacha Baron Cohen, alias Ali G and Borat has recently made a new film starring Bruno, an over the top gay man from Austria who travels through the United States. Bruno is a stereotypical gay man, dressed in tight mesh T-shirts and leather, much to the dislike of the gay rights organizations in the United States. Especially the scene in which Bruno brings an adopted baby to a television chat-show and calls it a “man-magnet” is thought to be very offensive. The intention of the film is to show homophobia and arouse a debate about it, but the prospect is that it will only increase homophobia and offend gay people. To prevent this from happening it has been suggested to warn the audience in some way to remind them of the real message of the film. The production company of the film, Universal Pictures, has stated that they do expect the audience to understand the true intentions of the film, which are only very positive. However, the gay community is not the only group offended by the film; the film also includes phrases about Austria that have caused problems. For example Bruno`s wish to “be the most famous Austrian since Hitler.”


To have a clear idea of the film I have watched the trailer. In my opinion the idea of the film is only to entertain, not to start a serious debate. Therefore I do not expect it to have a positive influence on homophobia in the United States and I agree with the organizations that they should prevent it from causing more homophobia. Currently there is a debate going on about same sex marriages in the US and this might have a negative influence on that as well. Apart from this film, Sacha Baron Cohen has insulted other minority groups such as Jewish people in his previous projects. I think that he should try to take other people`s feelings and opinions into account more when he makes a film. It is very easy to say that the intentions are good and that he wants people to look at their own stereotypes, but his films do not have this effect. They only make people laugh at others, nothing more than that.

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