'Brokeback' Spoofs Spur Anger, Praise

Whether or not "Brokeback Mountain" wins the Oscar for best picture this weekend, it's already become one of the most talked-about and joked-about films in recent memory.

And The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman says jokes and parodies on the Internet and on late-night TV are eliciting anger, and praise, among gay groups.

She notes that the movie trailer for the gay cowboy lover story includes the line, "It was a friendship that became a secret," and Web spoofers have taken that line and run with it, editing together scenes from such movies as "Forrest Gump," "Back to the Future," "Top Gun", "City Slickers" and "Lord of the Rings" to make it appear as if their leading men are or want to be romantically involved.

In all, Kauffman says, there are more than thirty "Brokeback" parodies online.

The late night comedians have also targeted the movie.

On a recent "Late Show with David Letterman," he said, "President Bush was in Kansas a couple of days ago, and the kids there asked him if he'd seen 'Brokeback Mountain,' and he hadn't. He said he doesn't like westerns where the cowboys ride into town for a day spa."

And, Kauffman observes, some gay leaders are offended at being fodder for the public's amusement.

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force complains, "It's gotten way over the top. There's nothing remotely funny about this beautiful and wrenching movie. It's a very sad movie. And yet, it's spawned this entire industry of essentially anti-gay humor."

Yet, Kauffman points out, other reaction in the gay community is supportive.

Asked if it's possible that all the humor could be healthy, Darrel Cummings of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center told her, "There are things that you can do thru humor that you can't do directly. And I think a lot of the humor from 'Brokeback' is just a mechanism for people to be able to talk publicly about homosexuality in a way that they felt was off limits to them prior to this movie."

Taking the now-famous 'Brokeback' line, "I wish I could quit you," Kauffman remarked that, like them or not, the jokes show no sign of quitting anytime soon.

But 'Brokeback' could have the last laugh: It's this year's most nominated movie, with eight nods.
  • Brian Dakss

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