Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brett Easton Ellis Doesn't Think Matt Bomer Can Star in 50 Shades Movie; And Lit Agent Simon Lipskar's Letter to the DOJ on E-Book Pricing...

This seems like the week of asshatery, and Brett Easton Ellis tops the list of asshats by saying this:

Okay I'll say it. Matt Bomer isn't right for Christian Grey because he is openly gay. He's great for other roles but this is too big a game.

In more asshatery, he then said this:

I am NOT discriminating Matt Bomer because of his sexuality. Fifty Shades of Grey demands an actor that is genuinely into women. Get it?!?

Evidently, Mr. Ellis doesn't know about all the women loving and reading m/m romance and m/m fiction. And once again we have Hollywood fail because they hired someone to produce a film who knows nothing about why the book sold millions of copies.

I didn't love "Brokeback Mountain" the way so many other people loved it. As a gay man, I found fundamental flaws in both the book and the film. I didn't like the fact that straight male actors were hired to play gay men when there are so many gay actors out there that could have played the parts just as well. I didn't even know there was such a huge fandom for Brokeback until recently when I discovered that allegedly m/m romance as a sub-genre can be traced directly back to Brokeback. I've heard that all this fandom began as fanfic, much in the same way 50 Shades originated in an ironic twist. Yet I do think the straight actors played the parts well in Brokeback.

And now there's an interesting turn of events with regard to the film version of 50 Shades. It's been rumored that openly gay actor Matt Bomer is in the running for the lead role in the film version of 50 Shades only there are some who aren't sure he'll be able to pull it off because he is openly gay, Brett Easton Ellis being one of them. I find that interesting, insulting, and absolutely wrong in so many ways I could write endlessly about it. The people who don't think Bomer can play the part because he's gay are basically saying that two straight actors can play gay parts without any issues, but gay men can't play straight parts and be believable.

And once again the gay community gets a kick in the ass, from an asshat. I guess Hollywood forgot all about Rock Hudson, and how he played nothing but straight parts all his life. Oh, yeah. He wasn't openly gay so that was okay. And what about all the other closeted gay actors out there right now who are playing straight men? They are there, you'd better believe it. They are terrified to come out because they know they won't get anymore straight parts if they do come out because of asshats like Brett Easton Ellis.

It should be interesting to see how this all plays out in the future, and I'm not just talking about the 50 Shades movie. I'm talking about the way all openly gay men are treated when it comes to getting straight parts. I got slammed in more than a few places when I criticized the Brokeback film because I didn't like the fact that two straight me were playing gay men. People told me there's nothing wrong with that as long as the actors can act...and I knew they were right. But if that's the case there should be nothing wrong with Matt Bomer playing a straight man. We already know he can act. Let's see how Hollywood handles it this time. I would be willing to bet that Matt Bomer WON'T get the part, and we'll still be worrying about those fucking chicken sandwiches over at Chick-fil-a when the real injustice is happening in far more important places than a fast food restaurant no one really cares about anyway.

Simon Lipskar Addresses the DOJ on E-book Pricing:

The settlement with three major publishers recently announced by the Department of Justice demonstrates that the government has a fatally flawed understanding of the economics and history of the emerging ebook industry and, as such, has constructed a settlement that undermines a healthy market defined by robust competition. It is my obligation as the president of one of the industry’s leading literary agencies to write and try to persuade the court not to approve this ill-conceived settlement.

It's a painfully long letter that basically says what most literary agents have been saying all along. There's no mention about the legal issues in Lipskar's letter with regard to alleged conspiracy and doing business in an unfair and dishonest way. It's more emotional than practical. And the law isn't about emotions. The reason why there are laws is to protect consumers from conspiracies.

I. Did the Alleged Collusion Cause Consumer Harm?

The government’s investigation into agency pricing springs from a flawed premise. On Page 8 of the Competitive Impact Statement, the United States makes a claim that is wholly unsupported by fact: “As a result of Defendants’ illegal agreement, consumers have paid higher prices for e-books than they would have paid in a market free of collusion.”

In the most basic sense, I'm taking this to mean that if I speed down the highway at 100 miles per hour in a sixty-five mile per hour zone and I don't have and accident and I don't kill anyone, it's okay to break the law. Maybe I'm misreading this...but it's not something I would have written and released in public if I'd been Lipskar.

What also concerns me is that I've always been taught that agents represent authors, not publishers or book sellers. So why would a literary agent even get involved in something like this? And I'm putting aside all the flaws I saw in Lipskar's letter to the DOJ when I ask this question.

You can read more about it here.


Shelagh said...

Surely the whole point of being an actor is to make the audience believe they're something they're not - or are all actors expected to just play themselves these days?

K.A. Mitchell said...

Well, according to Mr. Easton Ellis, I should step away from the keyboard because what could I as a lesbian say about men in my books. If this was coming from a producer, I'd be annoyed. To hear it coming from a writer, disgusts and repels me. I guess he actually has lots of personal experiences that help him pen American Psycho?

ryan field said...

It's that old double standard that always bothers me about Hollywood. They will pretend to be liberal and fight for gays, and then slam them with something like this. It makes me wonder about the sincerity.

And it's been proven that good actors can play any role well. Brokeback Mountain is an example, and Rock Hudson is another good example.

Personally, I think most women would not mind seeing an openly gay man play the part in 50 Shades. I don't think they care and Mr. Ellis is underestimating them once again.

T.D. McFrost said...

It's all about the money, my friend. They probably would've taken the risk if it were a lesser known project, but since 50 is so huge and has the potential to become a blockbuster series like HP, Twilight and even the HG, they are not taking any chances.

I'm gonna play devil's advocate here: women have built Christain to be this kinky sex god in their heads and producers are wondering if Matt's sexuality will hinder that. Sure, he can play a straight man quite well (having done so in Magic Mike) but will these mommies eager to fulfill their desires vicariously through this character WANT to believe it? And that's the thing, people are fickle, Ryan, you know this; the buying public are sheep with wallets (simple, overly opinionated and easily stirred). Since the film will basically have no plot, it's gonna be about pretty people and sex; and considering most of the film's fan base have none of those things in their lives (I assume), you're gonna need a male lead the women can see themselves with. And that's it, really. For the fantasy to be believable, the women need to see themselves building a life, having long walks on the beach and engaging in non-stop sex with that person. Call me crazy, but I don't think women see gay men in that way.

I suppose this is what producers will think about while casting Christian. In Hollywood, they are afraid the sheep will revolt against the unorthodoxed and stiffle their film's potential in the process. For openly gay actors to have a fair chance, Hollywood needs to give them the parts based on their talent and not sexuality. Overexpose this trend and the sheep will eventually come back home.

ryan field said...

TD: You're probably right about the money factor. If you watch the cable series "Episodes" you get a glimpse of what it's like there.

I'm not sure how women actually look at 50 Shades, not totally anyway. I've seen more than one comment and article where women feel insulted by the term "Mommie Porn," and how the mainstream media has portrayed them. In fact I know some who have been very vocal about it...which again is something you don't see in the mainstream.

And, women are as interested in sex as they are emotional aspects that go along with sex. I honestly don't think they would mind an openly gay man playing a straight man. In fact, I think many would be intrigued by it and more would go see the film.

I think the producers are underestimating the target group who purchased 50 Shades as a book. I first read about 50 Shades on a romance review site before it went mainstream. I know for a fact that many of these women are also fans of m/m romance (another genre not discussed in the mainstream media) and they are very discreet readers. I think one of the reasons why the television industry is failing has a lot to do with the people running things who are NOT in touch with the huge shift people have made in the past few years.

So I don't think women would mind. I think it's the straight men who aren't getting it...Brett Ellis being top of the list :)

T.D. McFrost said...

I see your point. I was trying (badly) to illustrate the thought process behind their selection. I think the women you're referring to are a minority and we all know Hollywood is about the mainstream. Oh yes siree! If the $heep won't get it then fuck the pigs and the chickens. LOL.