Does 'Bruno' Mock Gay-Haters--or Gays?

Friday, July 10, 2009


Sasha Baron Cohen has made himself famous by mocking himself and others in his roles as Ali G and perhaps most famously as Borat, the Kazakh reporter. Now he's turned his barbs on another group: gay Austrian fashionistas. His film Bruno opens today. Joining The Takeaway to discuss whether Mr. Cohen is mocking homophobia or homosexuals themselves is Alfons Haider, Austrian TV host of Strictly Come Dancing —the number one television show in Austria. Some say he's the person on whom Bruno is based. We are also joined by Rashad Robinson, the senior director of media programs for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

"He’s not against homosexuals. He’s showing homophobia. Excuse me, but if there’s stupid people enough in the U.S. who leave the theater and think gays are like that, then you can’t help them anyway."
—Alfons Heider, Austrian TV show host, on whether "Bruno" sends the wrong message

Click through for a transcript of the discussion with Alfons Haider and Rashad Robinson.

To listen to New York Times Film Critic A.O. Scott's review of the film, click here.

Judge for yourself! Here's the trailer for Bruno


Alfons Haider and Rashad Robinson


Mick B. Krever

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