Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kramer vs Streisand; Hotel Asshat List; Modern Family Gay Wedding

Kramer vs Streisand

As the Memorial Day weekend air date for the film adaptation of Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart, approaches, Kramer has lashed out once again at Barbra Streisand. This time he's alleging that Streisand finds gay sex "distasteful."

“I said, ‘I really think it’s important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it’s time to see two men do so,’” the playwright and activist told The New York Times of his desire to see his 1985 autobiographical play brought to the big screen. “I bought [Barbara] a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful.”

The back story to all this is that Kramer wanted Streisand to adapt The Normal Heart into a film (for years) and she never did it. Evidently, he's been holding a grudge for a long time. I've posted about it a few times, here.

Streisand has responded quietly and with professional dignity:

Streisand -- who has long been a gay icon and gay rights advocate -- responded to the Times story, saying her goal is “to promote the idea of everyone’s right to love. Gay or straight!”

“Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he’s still fighting,” added Streisand, who for a time owned the rights to "The Normal Heart." “But there’s no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings. As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they’re about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It’s a matter of taste, not gender. ... I was trying to reach a large audience, and I wanted them to root for these two men to get married.”

Clearly, Streisand is not only a supporter of LGBTI people, but I would imagine very deeply involved for personal reasons. Her son is gay.

I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person. He is a very gifted actor and filmmaker. What more could a parent ask for in their child? I have been truly blessed. Most parents feel that their child is particularly special, and I am no different. I have a wonderful son. My only wish for my son, Jason, is that he continues to experience a rich life of love, happiness, joy, and fulfillment, both creatively and personally.

In any event, Ryan Murphy of Glee fame picked up the option and he's done the HBO film adaptation that will air this weekend. According to this article, in true Murphy fashion, he gathered up all of Hollywood's most beloved "icons" to star in the film. Originally, Alec Baldwin was set to be in it, too, but that changed fast. 

There's also an e-mail exchange between Kramer and Streisand that was leaked, here at this web site.  This comment by Kramer is interesting.

“Overnight this is going in the press? This will make her mad. But she had every opportunity to make the movie. If she had made it in 1986, it would have been out there a long time ago, doing its job. But I always sensed there was something troubling her about the play that she wouldn’t put into words. I think, maybe, she was uncomfortable directing the sex stuff. We invited her to our opening night [of last year’s revival] in New York, but she never responded.”

If you do a simple search, you'll find even more information about the vituperative attack Kramer has launched against Streisand in public. He makes the jaded politically incorrect expression "mean old queen" look tame in his quest for publicity and attention.

Side note: if anyone is looking for an excellent, comprehensive account of what it was like for people living with AIDS in the 1980's, John Irving's novel, In One Person, is the best I've ever read...and there's nothing self-indulgent or insulting to many gay men about it. The details and research is astounding. It won a Lambda Award last year, and I've reviewed it. This link has all the information you'll need to know.  If I were Streisand I'd go after the film rights on this one, make a feature, and flip the bird to Kramer when no one else is looking, with a great big smile.

Hotel Asshat List

Here's an interesting article involving Twitter and asshats that go to hotels and complain about them on social media.

At the taping of yesterday’s Pando “webinar” I  asked founder Sam Shank outright: By any chance does Hotel Tonight keep a list of whiny Twitter assholes to ensure they get special treatment?

“It’s not a list of assholes,” Shank insisted, thus confirming that it absolutely is.

He wouldn’t tell me precisely how many people were on Hotel Tonight’s asshole list, although he would say it’s “a few hundred.” But again he insisted the assholes on it were referred to in the company as “influencers.”

“What kind of influencers?” I asked.

Shank hesitated. “Heads of state, Victoria’s Secret models, that kind of thing,” he lied.

This is proof that nothing we say or do anymore goes unnoticed. I keep a few asshat lists myself whenever I see something on social media.

You can read more here.

Modern Family Gay Wedding

The gay wedding between Mitch and Cam on Modern Family focused more on comedy than politics and emotion. I haven't seen it yet, but I've read and heard a lot of positive things about it.

'We want emotion we want to send a message but if it's not funny then people are going to lose interest really fast,' show creator Steve Levitan said at a party this week celebrating the episode. 'I think its got an abundance of heart but I also think that it's a really funny episode.'

Eric Stonestreet (Cam) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitch) play the grooms who have been together for several years already and are raising an adopted daughter who was introduced in the show's first episode five years ago.

Stonestreet said at the party: '(Our) first and foremost goal is to make an audience laugh. (The fact) that we have these two characters on our show that also get to check in and be cultural touchstones for people who may have questions or may not know what a gay wedding might be - this TV show transcends that.'

I think he makes an excellent point. Many people still are so unfamiliar with gay marriage and gay weddings it's important to show things like this to the mainstream. It's relevant. And what better way than to do it with comedy?

There's more here.





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