Wednesday, November 26, 2008

David Letterman Makes Mockery Out of "Milk"

"Milk" is an important upcoming documentary about historic civil rights icon Harvey Milk. In an interview with actor James Franco on the David Letterman show, Mr. Letterman instead of focusing on the historic nature of the film or talking substance about what the movie is about, focuses on the fact that there is a kiss between the two straight men.

Below you can see the interview, and the lack of seriousness and mockery that goes on regarding an epic film that is about to be released.



"Milk" is not a comedy, it is a film about a major icon in the gay rights movement who was assassinated. The fact that David Letterman finds this to be amusing and is focused on one kissing scene that is irrelevant to the movie says more about him than it does about the film.

Contact the Late Show with David Letterman:
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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Dave was making a joke about Franco kissing Sean Penn. He then proceeds to talk about the seriousness of this movie and who Harvey Milk was and what he did. He then goes back to joking about the kiss.

What exactly is your problem here? He doesn't mock the movie, doesn't mock gay people, doesn't mock Harvey Milk. His show is essentially a comedy show. So what's your point with all of this?

Mark said...

MILK is not a documentary. It's a biopic, with actors. The documentary version of Harvey's story is the Oscar-winning "The Times of Harvey Milk" and was released in the late 80's.

Anonymous said...

Come on, lighten up! David Letterman is comedian and Late Night is a comedy show. He actually said that it was a serious movie, brought up Prop. 8, and said the movie is "a valuable document of those times." There are many things that our community needs to get worked up over, but this is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

It's a late night show. They make jokes.
You are crying "wolf". Don't be so damn huffy.

InLookOut said...

While I'm a fan of Letterman, he can be a bit juvenile at times, but honestly wasn't too distressed about it. I was more bothered by the Josh Brolin interview on Leno last night.

http://www.inlookout.com/2008/11/26/josh-brolin-talks-milk-on-leno/

Queers United said...

I am not saying he is a homophobe or anything, I just think he does an injustice to the film by focusing solely on the kissing scene. Big deal, two men kissed. I didn't learn anything about the film from the clip.

Anonymous said...

This is clearly an attempt to stir up a controversy where there is none. David Letterman has been Gay friendly since forever.

You slander a good man with your idle nonsense.

Anonymous said...

this is rediculous be glad he had him on the show to begin with....There was nothing wrong with this interview what so ever. GROW UP!

Mixed Poet said...

Well its obvious that David Letterman's homophobia prevented him from being able to talk about the substance of the film. He was too freaked out by seeing two men kiss for a whole minute. He was also trying to get the actor to participate in his homophobia by trying to get him to complain about the kiss. Props to the actor for refusing to go there with David. We all have to participate in homophobia for it to work. Every time a straight guy resists or interrupts homophobic comments by other men it helps the movement along.

Anonymous said...

I found nothing offensive about Letterman's interview. He talked about the seriousness of Milk, they discussed the historical aspects, and Franco even gave his own opinion on the "No on 8" campaign. This was a very fair and unbiased interview. I'm gay, too, by the way. Lighten up, people!

Laurie said...

I haven't watched David Letterman in a long
time....
I did you hear James Franco say he voted
NO on Prop 8....Makes me like him....


Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

TACKLE YOU HUGS!!!!!!!!!!

Renee said...

Yes Letterman is supposed to be a comedic show, however what is funny about two men kissing. This is the same treatment that Brokeback Mountain received.

Dave would not have spent this much time focusing on a love scene that involved a straight couple. What made this an issue is the fact that it was two men.

BTW to all you naysayers just because you as a gay person may not find it offensive does not mean that another gay person is incorrect to find offense. Your opinion no matter how highly you think of yourself is not the last word on any issue.

BQueer Portal said...

I am not a fan of Letterman, but also do not consider him to be homophobic, and have never had any reason to. You have the right to your own opinion, and readers of your blog have the right to disagree.

So far your opinion is in the minority, which includes mine. I see no controversy arising from the clip you included. For those who think Dave is a homophobe, simply don't watch his show.

For many, seeing two men kissing on screen is still something they rarely see and worthy of discussion. Dave isn't Oprah. His job is to be funny!

Anonymous said...

As someone who works as an out producer in the TV world, I think you got this one wrong. Letterman just sold thousands of additional tickets to Milk. People who would never go see a movie about a gay activists will go see Penn and Franco kiss and, in the process, learn from the movie. Just like Brokeback, a lot of people went to see the Jake and Heath love scenes and learned something. Letterman is not a news show, and from a marketing standpoint, he did a great service to Milk.
BTW, saw this great film a while back at a screening the film's producers. These guys and Focus Films are sharp and have a great marketing plan -- so don't bag on Dave.

Allan over at UsQueers.com said...

I just might transcribe this so that there can be no mistaking what was said by these two men on national tv on the first or second most popular late night talk show in the world. I have the time, I just won't remember to do it.

I watched this TV show as it was edited for the West Coast. IMO, it is wonderful. Two het men, those two het men, being honest and even letting go with a bit of homoerotic playfulness on air, while talking seriously about a very special time in California's Queer history. Wonderful!

The names of the people who were there while the kiss was being filmed... Maupin! Legitimacy is automatic with just his name, but there were more that I can't remember right now and I'm too legally 4:20 to try to transcribe it right now.

Please, I was here in California at the time. I'm not saying my take on this is the only one that is valid, I just want to throw my considerable (250) weight behind giving this whole episode another look-see.

I've been in San Diego since 1976 (so I'm a local, but I'll never be a native, darn it). These serious matters were handled in this clip just fine, the humor was natural and they were being especially sensitive. Naturally Dave would not be as tuned in as the guy who just described what it was like to kiss Sean Penn for more than a minute (only one take?), but he was comfortable letting the actor take the lead during the interview. Part of David Letterman's comedic charm is his insistence on being just a tad juvenile, consistently. I'll bet he and his five-year-old son get along like great pals.

phd in yogurtry said...

I can't wait to see this movie, no matter how stupidly Letterman handled it. I think Sean Penn is one of the best actors of all time. I hope this movie makes a dent in some of the H8 crowd.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a problem with this. lighten up-he talked about how serious it was and endorsed it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other comments, in fact I also think you should remove this post...there are larger issues to be fought...

Seth said...

Attention to the movie is cool. The "hoping to screw it up" and "having to be drunk" to not seem queer is definitely unnecessary and uncomfortable. Franco is awesome for showing that he doesn't associate being queer with something he'd want to avoid.

earlbecke said...

Honestly, none of you are upset or offended at Letterman talking about how one needs to be drunk to kiss another guy because it's just OMG THAT DISGUSTING? The fact that he had to keep coming back to it and emphasize a few times just how "real men" can't kiss another guy for a role in a movie without homophobic macho posturing about it was disgusting. I don't think we can excuse homophobic humor just because it's "a joke" -- just because it was supposed to be funny (and I don't think it was) doesn't mean he couldn't have joked about the movie in a more neutral way without making gay people seem weird and nasty.

But I'll fair, Letterman isn't really funny most of the time anyway, so I suppose it's no surprise this joke fell flat on its face.

Mateo said...

What a mountain out of a mole-hill. Dave even put his fot in his mouth by admitting "we're making fun of the whole thing" but "it's a deadly serious topic", and went on to bring up the concern over Prop 6 and Prop 8. The exchange between Dave and James Franco was lighthearted and positive. Please focus more on the real anti-gay bigots who do way more damage to us like the jerks on FOX and the crazed-out Christian organizations.

Anonymous said...

mateo, i can't disagree more. the biggets perpetuates of homophobia are not the extremist like phelps or falwell. most of us know they're crazy. the biggest instigators of homophobia are main-stream media monguls like letterman who claim to be of support, but continue to teach the country that gay jokes are okay. kids see this and grow up with it. i think letterman ought to be confronted. it takes being on the margins to see how this kind of 'subtle' humor can be of long-term consequence to a marginalized group.

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