Dear Hollywood, Your Movie Didn't Fail Because America Is Bigoted

Earlier, my colleague Brad Slager wrote an excellent takedown on the failure that is the movie “Bros,” a flick starring Billy Eichner. In it, he noted that Eichner made a gay-centric movie that not a lot of people showed up for, including the LGB community.


Yet, according to Eichner, the blame for its failure rests squarely on straight America which is apparently too homophobic to buy a ticket to a movie about gays being gay. As Slager noted, this is more of an emotional response from Eichner than a realistic one that weighs all the factors, and it’s a response that will certainly not garner him more ticket sales in the future.

(READ: Hollywood’s Latest Box Office Bomb Is Your Fault, According to Billy Eichner)

One thing Eichner didn’t weigh was himself, or more accurately, people like him, and I don’t mean gay people.

There are plenty of gay-centric shows and movies out there that were actually very well watched and remembered fondly by general America. Not that long ago, I was heaping praise on David Levy’s “Schitt’s Creek” for not only putting on a really good show but for handling the gay issue in such a way that he didn’t alienate any of his viewers for their beliefs, even if they were disapproving of his homosexual lifestyle. It made for a show that featured a gay relationship as its primary focus and yet was fun and entertainment for everyone.

(READ: I Have to Give Props to Schitt’s Creek for How They Handled the LGBT Issue)

But we can go back even further than that to see how America was reacting to gays in movies. In 1996, a little movie starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, and Nathan Lane came out called “The Birdcage.” It was a film based on a French comedy “La Cage aux Folles.”


The film centered around a gay drag club owner in South Beach named Armand Goldman (Williams) and his partner, the overdramatic headliner Albert (Lane). Armand’s son Val wants to get married to the daughter of a conservative Republican senator named Kevin Keely (Hackman) and what follows is a hilarious scheme of attempting to win the senator’s approval for his daughter to marry Val.

The great part about this movie is that you’d expect it to be a one-sided bash-fest against religious conservatives, and to be sure, they’re lampooned…but so is the gay community. Lane plays the stereotypical queen to the point of absurdity, and the gay housekeeper they have is also made into a hilarious stereotype.

The point is, everyone is made fun of but everyone gets to have fun with it. Buried deep within the movie is the message that we’re all human and can get along just fine despite our differences.

“The Birdcage” was number one at the box office when it was released and held that spot for weeks. It grossed $185 million before it finally left theaters and as of this writing, it holds an 81 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Personally, I adore this movie and go back to watch it every now and again. It’s aged very well and I recommend you see it yourself if you haven’t already.

So why did people line up to see “The Birdcage” but not “Bros?”


There are a lot of factors, but one of the big ones is Eichner, or rather, people like him.

“The Birdcage” was a movie for everyone and released at a time when there weren’t so many societal pressures for actors to speak out and preach. In fact, in this interview with Williams about the movie, you’ll see Williams indicate that he has opinions about the state of politics towards the gay community but refused to say anything about it, instead noting that a conservative leader coming in contact with the gay community has great comedic value, which he was right about.

Meanwhile, Eichner promoted his movie by making it seem like refusing to go see it made you homophobic.

This is a pattern you can see from Hollywood types who complain about the audience and then wonder why the audience didn’t show up. Obi-Wan Kenobi called its fans racist before it even came out, the same could be said about Amazon’s “The Rings of Power.” Elizabeth Banks’s 2019 flop of the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot also suffered from Banks demonizing her potential audience before the film even came out.

Hollywood has made such an “us vs them” atmosphere that anytime anything comes out it’s done so with an air of preachiness and divisiveness. Even if “Bros” is free of attacks on any other group it doesn’t matter. Eichner did the same tired nonsense his fellow Hollywood stars did. They preached wokeness and now they’ll experience brokenness.


Wokeness is, at the end of the day, an ideology that creates victims and oppressors out of shallow identifiers. For Hollywood, it signals that you’re not about to get entertainment but propaganda, and few people are going to show up for that, even the audience you aim at.

People are clearly good with entertainment that revolves around gay culture, but not propaganda. The problem isn’t American bigotry, it’s the bigotry of those who wish to preach to America.


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