Gay rights group GLAAD says its input
on Bruno was mostly ignored by studio executives, the AP
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation President Jarrett Barrios has said concerns the group
expressed about Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno were mostly
“[GLAAD] shared a number of concerns,
and unfortunately, the scenes that we had the biggest concerns about
remained in the film,” Barrios told the news service.
In the film, Cohen plays flamboyant gay
Austrian fashion journalist Bruno. For yucks, he throws his effete
character in front of unsuspecting conservative politicians and right
wingers who inevitably blow a cap at Bruno's over-the-top gay antics.
Filmmakers insist the film's comedic
vehicle unmasks homophobia: “Bruno uses provocative comedy to
powerfully shed light on the absurdity of many kinds of intolerance
and ignorance, including homophobia.”
But Barrios disagreed, saying the movie
is likely to decrease “the public's comfort with gay people.”
Universal Pictures, the movie's
distributor, sought the group's input on the film, but those concerns
were mostly ignored, said Barrios, who gave several examples.
In one of the objectionable scenes,
Bruno shares a hot tub with two naked men and his adopted son as the
men have sex.
“Scenes like that don't help America
understand the hundreds of thousands of gay families who get up every
day, do the carpool then rush home to make dinner and be with their
children,” Barrios said.
Barrios said a mock gay marriage scene
“doesn't help Americans understand the lives of gay couples who are
denied the rights and protections of marriage in 43 states.”
Both scenes remain in the final movie.
And GLAAD's suggestion that the film add a tolerance message at the
end also fell on deaf hears.
“While any work that dares to address
relevant cultural sensitivities might be misinterpreted by some or
offend others, we believe the overwhelming majority of the audience
will understand and appreciate the film's inarguably positive
intentions, which we've seen demonstrated whenever we have shown it,”
Universal said in a statement.
Another GLAAD staffer, spokesman Rashad
Robinson, who watched the movie in June, said some of the movie's
content “hit the gay community.”
“This movie does not unmask
stereotypes … As someone who sat at the back of a focus group
audience … I felt they were laughing at us at times,” Robinson