In the comments section of my hotly debated post on Bruno and Sacha Baron Cohen, I briefly touched on a couple things that I didn't expand on because I didn't have any anecdotal evidence to back them up. I mentioned that the film may put "liberals on guard because it makes them question the limits of their tolerance," and I wondered "how much Bruno's antics also point to America's unease with sex and sexuality in general."
I saw that my cursory commentary on those issues began to evolve into something more concrete when Bilerico contributor Yasmin Nair e-mailed me a link to a video clip of Barbara Walters discussing Bruno with her co-hosts on The View.
In explaining why the sex in the movie so offended her, she didn't bother to talk about, say, the straight swingers party that featured wife-swapping and a buxom dominatrix. She more than once expressed her disgust at gay sex. "I don't need to know how you're doing anal intercourse," she says. And then: "I don't like seeing closeups of anal sex."
Watch (starting from the 1:00 mark):
About this, Yasmin wrote (reprinted here with permission, of course):
To my mind, that's a lot more homophobic than anything Cohen/his characters could come up with. I guess Walters is happy to have gay men be her fashion consultants (I've heard her speak delightedly about that), but can't bear the thought of what they might actually do.
This leads me to two other semi-related issues that are much too complex for one post, but I'll mention them:
If religious fundamentalists weren't so hung up about sex and sexuality in general (regardless of orientation), they wouldn't have nearly an extreme reaction to the gay community that they do. Imagine what a shift in perspective these people would have if, at their core, they felt that fucking was okay.
Straight people are far more obsessed about anal sex than gay men are. And I don't think that's an exaggeration.
Alas, those are additional topics for another time.