Monday, September 05, 2005

Dusty's sexuality erased in new biopic

"Film-goers are growing weary of overt scenes of homosexuality," says an executive from Universal Studios, according to this report in The Sunday Times.

This is, he says, the reason why the studio have decided to erase references to bisexuality and lesbian affairs from the big-budget movie treatment of the life of 60s pop star Dusty Springfield, famous, ironically, for songs like “Son of a Preacher Man

Apparently, studios are running scared after Oliver Stone blamed the depiction of bisexuality in his film Alexander for the film’s disappointing performance at the box office. So convinced was Stone that the sexuality issue was responsible for the films flop that he edited out most of the references to homosexuality in his “Director’s Cut” edition of the DVD.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) – who monitor media homophobia – complained, quite rightly, that consumers were being deceived more than just about Alexander’s sexuality. They say:

"Calling this DVD a 'director's cut' and wrapping it up in an attractive new package does a disservice to consumers who believe they are getting something more for their money, not less."

Interestingly, Oliver Stone faced gay protests in 1991 over allegations of homophobia in his film JFK.

But back to Dusty. It seems there may be a little more to this than meets the eye. The actor hired to play the part, Kristin Chenoweth, is a reborn Christian gospel singer and has been a guest on the Pat Robertson’s 700 Club TV show, which also features Jerry Falwell.

However, when challenged about her appearance on the 700 Club by US gay newspaper Gay City News, Chenoweth said:

“I agreed to do ‘The 700 Club’ because I was able to talk in the interview about what I believe being a true ‘Christian’ means. You see, my message is, that people of faith should be more like Christ was. We should not be judgmental; but rather, open-minded and open-hearted to people of other races, religions, and sexual orientations. I merely wanted to bridge that gap, so to speak. Not all people of faith think, ‘if you don’t believe like me, then you’re going to hell.’”

So perhaps, the problem isn’t the actor herself but with the way the studio or her management perceives her core audience. If they want to hush this up, then it is our duty to make as much noise as possible to claim Dusty Springfield as one of our own. Let no one sit down to this movie under any illusions.

For those who would like to see some unadulterated Dusty on the screen, why not check out on her DVD. Better still, read her biography. It least it’s the real thing!

UPDATE: The story is now being disputed in an article on - a website for bisexual and lesbian women. According to the film's director, the claims simply aren't true. They also do a profile of Dusty Springfield.


At 10:41 AM, Blogger Andy said...

'Film-goers are growing weary of overt scenes of homosexuality,' says an executive. Are they, now? And since when did you have to have 'overt scenes of homosexuality' or 'overt scenes' of anything else to show that someone has a sexuality. If a film tells the story, it doesn't much matter - except to those of a voyeuristic nature - whether the movie gets down and dirty or not. I seem to recall plenty of overt scenes of heterosexuality, anyway, and - yes - in the voyeuristic sense. These people are twats.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Bubbles Galapagos said...

I'm assuming the theme here is not the fabulous Dusty but the spineless studio bosses in Hollywood, right? If it is the latter, I heard on Sat morning's R4 that "they" are already bracing "themselves" for the failure of Broke Back Mountain, the screen adaptation of Annie Proulx's gay cowboy short story. The report claimed that explicit boy-on-boy action in movies doesn't go down well (sorry) at the cinema. It's the implicit or non-contact portrayals, like Philadelphia, that make it big (sorry). OK, so maybe that's true for ticket sales but about DVD rentals? How well are mainstream films doing that show real gay rumpy-pumpy? Yet, if I've got the theme wrong, then please, somebody tell my where that ghoulish photo of darling Dusty came from? The poor dear looks like an aged drag queen who's had a bit too much Botox. Tragic!

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Brett Lock said...

And yet "Queer As Folk" was a huge hit in both the UK and US versions... hmmm. Similarly "Bound" and "Chasing Amy" were box office successes. Sometimes I wonder whether these Hollywood prophesies aren't self-fullfilling.

But note the "update" I've just added to the main article - the director denies the story.


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