Bruno Cuts Gay Bashing Scene

One year ago today I told you about a cage match stunt pulled by Sasha Baron Cohen in which two wrestlers kissed in the ring, rather than fought, thereby inciting an Arkansas audience into throwing projectiles and screaming homophobic insults. It took security and police 45 minutes to clear the venue as the actors escaped a guaranteed beating via a special tunnel.

I closed that post with this: “I don’t know, tricking a rural crowd into displaying violent homophobia might have some value. Maybe. I’ll really have to think about this.”

As it turns out, that stunt closes the upcoming Cohen film Bruno, but producers have decided to cut the final scene because it made light of gay bashing.

According to writer-director Richard Day (Arrested Development), who saw the film at a screening in February, “The cage-match kiss resulted in a violent attack on the couple. They then cut to a press event where they are announcing their marriage or plans to, I forget which. But the boyfriend is now drooling, seemingly brain-damaged, and in a wheelchair, played for laughs.” Day notes that he and actor James Plotnick raised a stink about the ending after the screening and, though he’s not sure if their protest had anything to do with the altered ending, it was changed to the less potentially offensive version for one reason or another.

Somebody please explain to me how the now-deleted scene was supposed to have been funny. “Oh, ha ha ha! That kissing faggot has brain damage! Hicks hate homos! Hilair!” Something like that? Really?

I still plan on seeing Bruno because it won’t be fair to take part in what will surely be endless post-release dissections if I haven’t. But right now I have a feeling I’ll agree with GLAAD’s nervous read on the film: “Some people in our community may like this movie, but many are not going to be OK with it. Sacha Baron Cohen’s well-meaning attempt at satire is problematic in many places and outright offensive in others.”