I have always done my best to be truthful and fair when writing. It’s been the goal of this blog since I started it ten years ago. Unfortunately, there are more people than ever who don’t care about the truth, left or right. They simply want to push their agendas and force people to accept or promote ideas they don’t necessarily agree with. That can never be tolerated which is why, after a little more time in the spotlight, the extreme left and extreme right will fade back into the shadows. Average people will simply grow tired of listening to people who don’t represent them. The reason it matters, is because whenever either side needs to defend whatever it is they’re defending, it becomes on one side, a matter of “hating America”, “anti-freedom”, and on the other, “racist”, “homophobia.” There really is no way, or reason to defend these accusations if they aren’t in fact, true, which is why they’re effective.
Following a very disappointing $4.8 million opening for Bros, a Rated-R, gay romantic comedy, Billy Eichner claimed the poor opening was due to homophobia. Straight people didn’t see it because clearly there was anti-gas bias. More specifically, Eichner claimed that “even with glowing reviews, great Rotten Tomatoes scores an A Cinema Score, etc. straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros. It’s disappointing but it is what it is.” More recently he said, “we wanted to make a Nora Ephron movie with horny gay guys, and it’s inspired a lot of think pieces and op-eds.” While his accusations may at first sound justified, why would he think any straight man, even those who identify as liberal, would want to watch a movie about “horny gay guys?” That just isn’t correct or fair. It’s a desperate and angry attempt to shame people. Of course, he’s entitled to his opinion but is it the real reason the movie premiered unsuccessfully?
For the record, there have been some well received box office successes with gay themes including Brokeback Mountain, Paris is Burning, Boys Don’t Cry, Philadelphia and Personal Best, to name just a handful. But should there or will there be more gay romantic comedies? The answer is only time will tell. The misconception of Billy Eichner is that if someone doesn’t want to see the movie, it means they’re anti-LGBTQ. It’s a narrow view that doesn’t take into account the genre in general.
While I don’t claim to speak for all straight, liberal males, romantic comedies don’t interest me. I don’t generally partake in things I don’t enjoy. But as a happily married man, if my wife wants to watch a romantic comedy, I indulge her. I prefer Star Wars, Marvel and the latest season of Cobra Kai, which was awesome. I can tolerate a rom com, but emotional, relationship movies, that include straight or gay sex, just aren’t my thing. I’m probably not the only male who feels that way. Doesn’t make me bad or anti-anyone.
It’s so simple to accuse people of something that isn’t true. It almost defines social media. But it’s a very important conversation to have. People are different and that’s ok. What kind of world would we live in if the only way people could be friends is if they agreed on every issue? Certainly, wouldn’t work in a marriage. Gay and straight men can be friends while understanding there may be differences in our likes and dislikes. I love Jujitsu and boxing. I disklike Broadway and Barbara Streisand. People in the real world don’t break out into song. That’s as far as it goes. But I marched in AIDS rallies in the 80’s and helped assemble part of an AIDS quilt. I lost friends to AIDS and understood that there was unfair hatred and biases that were keeping politicians from supporting AIDS sufferers who required greater support. I shouldn’t have to write it, but it’s important to make that point. So many people want to compartmentalize those they disagree with or simply don’t understand, and that must change.
While it may be a harsh reality that the genre of R-rated gay rom coms never becomes mainstream, reality is sometimes harsh. It may simply be that the vast majority of women want to see George Clooney with Julia Roberts and men have no interest in the genre at all. It’s not anti-anyone, it’s just true! When an important movie like Philadelphia is made, it has wide audience appeal. There will always be homophobia just like there will always be antisemitism. But accusing the vast majority of Americans of anti-gay bias is completely unfair and unproductive in this case. We need to stop pressing the things that divide us and instead promote the things that unite us.