Monday, November 07, 2011
The Straight Dope
Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Brett Ratner has said something unbelievable crass and juvenile. That's not a shock -- that's Monday. And stop me if you've heard this before, but GLAAD is "demanding action" because somebody famous publicly uttered the word "fag." Put these two things together and you have yourself the beginnings of an honest-to-God Voltron of American pop culture stupid.
Apparently when asked whether he rehearses with his actors before shooting a scene, Ratner told the crowd at a screening of his shitty new movie Tower Heist, "Rehearsing is for fags." Keep in mind that two days before, Ratner had bragged about how he "banged" Olivia Munn back "before she was Asian." If you hadn't figured out years ago that Brett Ratner is the Tucker Max of Hollywood, only without the ability to tell a mildly engaging story, you're just not paying attention; the guy's lack of talent is matched only by the ironically massive size of his ego. He's a museum-quality artifact, a perfectly preserved specimen from that bygone era right around the mid-2000s when douchebags ruled the Earth.
Well, it almost goes without saying that the minute GLAAD got word of Ratner's comment -- which in keeping with tradition would offend anybody who lives in the civilized world and has an IQ higher than 12 -- it sprung into action, firing off an ominous tweet about how it would soon be looking for more than a simple apology from the director. Don't be surprised if the group demands that Ratner be fired as the producer of next year's Oscar telecast -- a job no one can figure out how he got in the first place.
If you're reading this and thinking to yourself, "Jesus, it really sounds like he's exhausted and is just phoning this thing in," give yourself a pat on the back -- you're 100% right. The indignation industry in this country has just finally wiped me out. It always works the same way: somebody says something unbelievably dumb that offends somebody else; somebody else gets incensed and bangs his fist on the table; media goes ape-shit with phony concern; original somebody issues a half-assed apology that's probably to some extent sincere; somebody else isn't satisfied and insists that original somebody be officially sanctioned in a way that costs him or her money or popularity or a general banishment to the cultural netherworld. The thoroughly contrived controversy dies down after a bit and everybody retreats into their holes, the original somebody having learned something important which he or she will then relate to any media outlet willing to chronicle his or her redemption and the somebody else readying himself to strike out again the next time a perceived grievance presents itself (it never takes long).
We're already well into step five of the process in this particular go-round: Ratner has apologized profusely and yet Entertainment Weekly's Mark Harris says he needs to be cut loose from the Oscars as an object lesson because "you don't get a mulligan on homophobia." I hate to split hairs but Ratner wasn't being homophobic. That word implies fear. He was just being a fucking dick, which is exactly what he is. He says things like "rehearsals are for fags" because he's an overgrown frat-boy asshole, not because he's afraid of gay people.
Ratner should've been fired from the Academy Awards telecast about 30 seconds after the Oxy wore off and Tom Sherak realized who the hell he'd just offered the job to. Letting Brett Ratner produce the Oscars is like getting the Kardashians to produce the Emmys.
By the way, if you want to hold him accountable for making an admittedly offensive comment about homosexuals, keep him right where he is. Is there a more appropriate punishment for an alleged homophobe than being forced to spend an entire evening with Bruce Vilanch?
Or fire him -- whatever. I hear Paul W.S. Anderson's free that night.
Fuck I'm tired.