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Maybe the issue is now not so much what is being done, but the spirit in which it is engaged?

As if on cue, openly gay Oscarcast co-producer Bruce Cohen is facing the ultimate Web sanction for that censored Javier Bardem-Josh Brolin smooch from Sunday night: an attacked Wikipedia bio calling him a “liar” and homophobe in cahoots with ABC. Slow clap, Internet, slow clap.

“Bruce Cohen is a liar who claims he does not partake in the homophobia of the ABC network when clearly he does,” reads the recent addition to Cohen’s bio — a bio that includes Cohen having married his partner Gabriel Catone in 2008, worn a White Knot to the 2009 Oscars in support of same-sex marriage and earned his second Best Picture nomination that same year for co-producing Milk. (He won for his first nomination, American Beauty, in 2000.)

On the one hand, it seems reasonable to assume his immunity to the Esperanza Spalding-ing of his biography. On the other, don’t be naïve! Any and every slag tactic is on the table these days. I’m surprised it took this long, to be honest, or that he wasn’t targeted earlier for his questionable taste in hosts. Thoughts? (S.T. Vanairsdale, “‘Bruce Cohen is a Liar’: Gay Oscar Producer’s Wiki Bio Attacked Over Censored Kiss,” Movieline, 3 March 2011)

We've had such a long period now of seemingly-every-award-show-manifest guy-guy or girl-girl kissing, don't you think? Instinct tells me that two years ago he would if anything felt near ABC-directed to focus on the kiss -- close up: the public demanded yet more instances to demonstrate their too being enlightened, righteous, and of the Now. It may, that is, not have most to do with sexuality as with hints of an unimpeded spirit of indulgence and excess, when the mood has shifted sharply to the austere, self-denying, and deferent. That's the consideration I'm playing with.

When's the last time a guy-guy kiss has been shown on an awards show? Or the time before that?

don't make a mistake about it, ABC decided to cut away from this kiss because they bowed to institutionalized homophobia, particularly when it comes to male affection. It's got nothing to do with some imaginary swing toward prudence by the public. Not at all.

I don't believe Cohen's homophobic as wel, however. The guy just knows who puts food in his bowl. He also knows the Hollywood machine is a vicious beast that doesn't forget. So when someone questions the integrity of his masters, he's going to lie and compromise as much as necessary. (tommyoc, response to post)

Could be. But it does strike me that not so long ago it was definitely the thing to be actually hetero but to show your non-Bushness / non-Tea-Partierness / just-plain-reasonable-headedness by finding someone center of stage of the same sex to kiss, each and every time you possible could, and I think most of America was ALL FOR IT: it became SO mainstream, in my judgment, the censor's ingrained first instinct became to be most wary of FAILING to show rather than to show it, as I just said. This here wasn't about a first man-on-man kiss at an Oscars, a broach through to-the-must-now-be-okay which couldn't be allowed to be okay; it was about adding one more to a huge tilting pile that seemed maybe about to spill all over everyone. Even just a reasonably short while ago, however often it had been done, I don't think this worry would ever have surfaced: each add-on just continued a wished-for momentum that HAD TO be kept going, lest we lose one of the key discoveries to keep ourselves feeling intrinsically righteous, "unneeding" of pause or a sort of self-inquiry there is no way we were going to risk undertaking while going about the constant precarious balance of our lives. We could see two men kissing, and even celebrate it: how more evolved could we possibly become? -- Continue on!

Gay men are going to be allowed, even motioned, aggressively prompted, to kiss, even at the Oscars: so long as "we" know it'll mostly communicate a kind of propriety, circumspection, not lavishness and joining in the fun. If we're looking for homophobia in the next while -- and I think we should be looking for it -- we'll find it in an intolerance for promiscuity and just-plain-indulgent-fun, which for many people is the near natural way of essentializing gayness, not in such like even gay men being impulse-drawn to pull back from men in a kiss, out of fear of the corporate whip and broad mainstream' disapproval. Overt, blatant disapproval for homosexuality may come -- though I don't think it will -- but in my judgment we're going to get a lot more of the likes of the end of "don't tell" before we come to understand that the significant turn against homosexuals actually began with those quite willing to end it. Obama represents the mainstream, not the Tea Partiers: when publically-wished-for oppression comes, it'll make itself seem holy out of its distinct difference to what the Tea Party would expect done.

Maybe some help Movieline: instances of man-on-man kissing a few years ago with what we're seeing (or failing to see) today? Or perhaps, kinds of kisses -- has it maybe actually through time still increased but moved from ravenous tongue-on-tongue to more "polite" lip-on-lip?

Link: Bruce Cohen is a Liar’: Gay Oscar Producer’s Wiki Bio Attacked Over Censored Kiss (Movieline)


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