I knew it was only a matter of time before I saw an offensive quote from one of the actors in Brokeback Mountain. In an article in Entertainment Weekly, we get this gem from Heath Ledger about filming a gay sex scene:
“For me it was a little easier than it was for Jake. Any kind of nerves I had about approaching that scene, I didn’t have to hide. We were like, ‘F— it, we took on this story and there’s no point in shying away from it.’ Neither of us wanted to do it again any time soon. But in the end, it was just like kissing a person.”
Wait. What? Was he kissing a llama? A doorstop? A turnip? OH. He was kissing Jake Gyllenhaal. I guess Jake is a cyborg? No? Oh, right. Gays aren’t people. Well fuck you, Heath Ledger. Thanks for perpetuating the hate.
I also found this quote from Jake Gyllenhaal pretty effed up.
“What made me most courageous was that I realized I had to try to let go of that stereotype I had in my mind, that bit of homophobia, and try for a second to be vulnerable and sensitive. It was f—in’ hard, man. I succeeded only for milliseconds.”
The entire article (as well as almost every other article about this movie in other publications) is about how BRAVE and COURAGEOUS the two actors are for portraying gay roles on film. And he’s gonna call himself courageous for DOING HIS FUCKING JOB? An actor is paid to act, to effectively portray a character. I’m sure it’s just as uncomfortable for a straight actor to make out with some actress he barely knows in front of a crew of strangers and make it look hot, but does everyone—including the actor and actress themselves—go ON AND ON about how BRAVE and COURAGEOUS they are for doing it? No. Because they’re just doing their job. Shouldn’t it be the same for two male actors? What happened to “not shying away from it?” Why can’t that apply after the movie has wrapped, during publicity? Be a man and just say, “Yeah, we kissed each other. What of it?”
And no, I haven’t read the book. Maybe when everyone shuts up about it—or when I find a copy that doesn’t have that stupid “Now a major motion feature” shit all over the cover—I might get it and enjoy it. But I’m willing to bet that it’s a tragic love story. One of the cowboys probably dies, right? Because gay stories aren’t made into major motion pictures and major star vehicles unless the gay character is afflicted, tormented or dies a tragic death. RENT, Philadelphia, The Hours, A Home at the End of the World…death, torment, tragedy. It’s all palatable for the straight viewers, because the gay guy gets it in the end. And not that end, thank you very much.
What would be revolutionary about this damned movie is if it was released, people saw it and they didn’t say one frickin’ word about it other than that it was a good film. I think that would be fantastic.
What would be BRAVE and COURAGEOUS of these two actors is if they’d donate their entire salaries from the film to LGBT related charities, perhaps recognize the real brave and courageous people—LGBT persons who stand up to their attackers, only to be sent to the hospital; LGBT persons who stand up in courts of law, begging for our rights as citizens in this country; LGBT persons who are vocal about HIV/AIDS, in a time when nobody wants to hear it.
But hey, as long as we’re afflicted, tormented and dying…