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October 2015

From the Twisted, Gay Mind of Ryan Murphy ...

Scream.queens.nickjonas American.horror.story.hotelEarlier this year I wrote a post about gay personalities who at one point in their careers did something that turned them into villains.  Gay screenwriter/director/producer Ryan Murphy, the creative force behind Nip/Tuck and Glee, wasn't on this list.  However, there is something deeply disturbing about two of his shows currently on TV, American Horror Story (in its fourth season) and Scream Queens, that fetishize sociopathic behavior.  (He no doubt got a hard-on from movies such as Saw or Human Centipede.)  What's further troubling is that the entertainment industry enables his demented mind by airing these vile shows.  Because of my strong distaste for watching gratuitous violence as a form of entertainment, I've watched neither, but a few friends have filled me in on the sickening content.  


It puzzles me that we recoil in horror at the real-life slaughter carried out on a regular basis in this country, or the atrocities that ISIS publicizes through social media, yet embrace fictional portrayals of inhumanity shown on TV (many of which are celebrated by critics).  Weren't gay men once celebrated for their style and class?  And while kudos go to Murphy for his gay storylines and homoerotic scenarios, this is neutralized when his gay characters end up being raped, impaled or sliced up with axes.  I suppose this is just another way in which LGBTs are assimilating into the general population (or lowering themselves into it). 




Fast-forward to 2018.  In a captivating profile of Murphy in The New Yorker, he commented that now that he and his husband are raising children he was having second thoughts about the bloody violence shown in many of his productions.  That was encouraging to read, but his critically-acclaimed mini-series The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which aired shortly before the profile was published, continued his glorification of murder.


Versace mini series_cunanan

I prefer gay men and lesbians who use their talents to bring beauty and laughter to the world, persons such as Bob Mackie, Tommy Tune, Lily Tomlin, or Ellen DeGeneres, rather than assault viewers with the horrors of sociopaths Murphy revels in.  In a previous post I called Bravo's Andy Cohen to task for celebrating anti-social behavior with his dreadful Housewives of (Every City in America) series.  Yet, compared to what Murphy creates, Housewives is like The Brady Bunch


Real housewives nyc



A Tale of Two Movies Named "Stonewall"

Stonewall2015.poster Stonewall1995.posterIn September of this year the movie Stonewall opened amid controversy, poor reviews and very minimal box office (grossing less than $200,000).  A generation earlier another movie called Stonewall was released in 1996 (poster, near right) that, curiously, was never mentioned in articles about this year's movie.  Both were fictionalized accounts of real-life events that revolved around a  young, white Midwestern boy, new to New York, who ends up participating in the Stonewall riot alongside new-found friends, who were largely transgendered or drag queens.  Each film also had gay directors.  The earlier Stonewall grossed $616,000, or $1.2 million adjusted for inflation, six times greater than Stonewall 2015.  Additionally, Rotten Tomatoes' score for the 1996 version was 63% while this year's scored an abysmal 9%.



"Stonewall" 2015's protagonist, Danny Winters


"Stonewall" 1995's protagonist, Matty Dean


What I remember most about the first Stonewall was its opening, with three draq queens lip-synching to the '60s song "Boy From New York City"; also, there was a dramatic suicide later in the film.  (And one of the extras in a protest scene was someone I had a few dates with.)


Differences between the two movies?  The earlier one was shot on location while this year's was shot in Montreal due to cost considerations (but it still cost $20 million to make).  This year's was steeped in controversy because, in the hyper-politically correct era we live in, its characters didn't represent exactly the ethnic mix that was found at Stonewall in 1969.  The 1996 movie, however, had no backlash that I can recall.  My issue was that the buffed physique of the lead misrepresented the non-gym physiques of gay men of the '60s. 


Guillermo.diaz.as.lamiranda. Guillermo.diaz.scandalOne of the main characters of the '96 movie, La Miranda, was 20-year-old Guillermo Diaz, now known for his role on ABC's Scandal.  La Miranda was a gay man who defiantly walked around in drag, and who Matty Dean fell in love with.  Another known character actor was Luis Guzman, who played a bartender at Stonewall.  The two best-known actors in Stonewall 2015 were Johnathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman.



Stonewall riot scene, 1996 movie


Stonewall riot scene, 2015 movie