Bruno: The Real Reason GLAAD Doth Protest Too Much

Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming movie, Brüno, is drawing criticism and concern from gay media watchdog, GLAAD.

Brüno is an uber flamboyant gay man that utilizes every gay cliché and every gay stereotype known to humanity.

Sacha Baron Cohen on the cover of GQ as Bruno.

Sacha Baron Cohen on the cover of GQ as Bruno.

Like his previous movie Borat (which Land of Punt thought was one of the best comedies of all-time), SBC uses the character Brüno (who is so over-the-top he couldn’t exist in reality) to expose bigotry and prejudice in others… and along the way makes a few cheap jokes about gay people (it is a comedy after all).

Representatives from GLAAD have seen the movie and asked Universal to cut a scene and add a message supporting gays.

“We have very mixed emotions about the movie,” said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD’s senior director of media programs. “Those of us who saw the film agreed that you can’t critique it as a single film because it’s more like 90 minutes of individual sketches. Some are funny and hit their mark but others hit the [gay] community instead.”

That doesn’t sound like high praise for the movie.

The scene in question involves a picture of a baby situated next to two gay men having sex in a hot tub. Obviously GLAAD is concerned about infants and water safety.

Sacha Baron Cohen at the London Premiere of Bruno.

Sacha Baron Cohen at the London Premiere of Bruno.

So is Brüno offensive?

If you find characters like Brüno offensive, for whatever reason, than the answer is yes. It’s okay to be offended and it’s okay to find Brüno offensive.

But when we talk about something being offensive it usually implies offending a community not offending one individual. After all, someone could find the color “red” offensive but that doesn’t mean a studio is going to edit the “color” red out of a movie.

Having not seen the movie it’s hard to say how offensive it is to any one particular community, but it’s not hard to pinpoint the motives behind GLAAD.

The motives pushing GLAAD’s concerns are purely financial. Protesting the film will gain them publicity and that publicity will help them fundraise.

Certainly in today’s open climate, where there are openly gay politicians, celebrities and former professional athletes, a film like Brüno, even if it is offensive (whatever offensive is in this case) will not cause irreparable damage.

Sacha Baron Cohen at the London Premiere of Bruno.

Sacha Baron Cohen at the London Premiere of Bruno.

After seeing Brüno, no sane person will become homophobic; no sane person will start hating gays.

Conversely, Universal, which screened the movie for GLAAD and even offered to do so a second time, is making sure to do everything in their power to keep GLAAD “concerned.”

Again, protestors, even as docile as GLAAD, mean more publicity and that means higher box office receipts.

Just ask the makers of Angels and Demons. They were highly disappointed the Catholic Church didn’t cause more of fuss over their film adaptation of Dan Brown’s controversial novel.

That’s not to say there aren’t positive motives behind the parties involved, GLAAD does care about the gay community and the makers of Brüno aren’t homophobic extremists, but all this commotion is less about making the world a better place to live and more about making money.


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