Talk me down -- Brad Pitt hypocrisy?

In a weak moment, I picked up People magazine and read an article where Brad Pitt answers readers’ questions.

Do you think you and Angelina will ever get married?

When everyone who wants to get married can legally do so, we will consider the same.

Fast forward a bunch of questions and we get to:

Who would you rather have babysit your children, George Clooney or Matt Damon?

Who would I rather have babysit my children? I’m going to go with George Clooney because he doesn’t stand a chance against my kids. I’d also like to reiterate that Angie and I will not be getting married until George and his partner can legally do so. Thank you.
Now, I can totally understand his sentiment about marriage; yes, he’s been married before but hey, opinions develop and that’s where he is now. But then, it’s somehow a joke about your friend that he’s secretly gay? This isn’t the first time he and Matt Damon and Clooney, all ostensibly straight men, have joked about each other’s sexuality. Why is it a joke if all people are equal and whatever orientation they are? To me, if you are going to be righteous and principled on the one hand, it’s hypocritical to turn around and make a joke like this.

But all of this takes place in my head, which can get heated…opinions?

I agree with you 100%.

Ehh, I disagree. I suppose I’d be on your page if I believed that all jokes about gays/colored people/Jews (aka Northern Agitators)/the disabled inherently implied the person making the joke regards the group with at least some derision. But I don’t.

Back in WWII, the then-occupied Dutch had a joke “Keep your filthy hands off our filthy Jews”.

I think it’s just humor between friends. I do think that saying that sort of thing is being insensitive to sensitive populations, but then again, it’s just some actor and his statements don’t rise to the level of statemans’, IMHO, so meh.

Also, I bet that the “we’ll get married when everybody can get married” is Angelina’s thing and he’s just going along with it.

I don’t think that merely joking that someone is gay is insulting them! It’s just a joke.

If you’re fully on board with support of gay rights and see no need to distinguish between your gay friends and your straight friends, suggesting that one of your closest friends, a major sex symbol, is gay serves to tweak the popular media for its hypocrisy – it’s not an example of your own.

Also, there have been rumors about George Clooney’s orientation for quite some time, so maybe Pitt is having some fun with those rumor mongers in his joke.

Um, yeah – that’s actually what I meant by “tweaking the media.” Guess it would have helped to have said so, eh? Thanks.

You should cool off. That’s my opinion.

If Brad Pitt outed George Clooney in a prominent national publication and people took him seriously, it would rock the entertainment world and probably seriously hurt Clooney’s career. Casually joking about it highlights what a ridiculous thing it is to even be concerned about and perhaps, in a small way, lessens the stigma.

On the other hand, it’s junior high school humor. But if you turn down the offensometer, there’s something funny about grown men at the top of the profession, bordering on elder statesmen status, indulging in junior high school humor.

Well, the point of the joke is not that it would be bad to be gay, but that Clooney is, which he’s not. Or at least the joke only works if he’s not.

So, the joke rests not on an attempt to shame gayness, but on an assumption that Clooney won’t appreciate being called gay; which could be true for any number of reasons, ranging from he’s homophobic; to he’s secretly a fundamentalist Mormon; to he’s in fact not gay, and would prefer to have the eligible women he comes into contact with be clear on that point.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

I think the joke works because Clooney (probably) isn’t gay, and he doesn’t see it as a grave insult. He and Pitt are pretty savvy guys–they’ve got to be aware of the subtext in the Ocean films, and then, of course, there’s all the teasing that goes on, even in awards shows (I don’t remember which one it was, but they had a short segment featuring themselves, a bathroom stall, and foot taps). Rather than making the jokes with a malicious intent (“let’s all laugh at the queers!”), they do it at their own expense, poking fun at the notion that there’s something wrong with being gay.

So… have you been talked down yet?

:slight_smile: My desire to write a strongly-worded letter to Brad Pitt has subsided. I am leaning toward the “seventh-grade humor” interpretation. He gets the self-righteousness from Angie but his true colors linger.

Yes, it’s 7th Grade humor, which men in their 40’s still giggle at sometimes. I wouldn’t get too mad.

Actually, there were (still are?) quite a few rumors about Matt Damon being Gay back when he first became well known, so that probably made the Clooney/Damon comment funny to them on the set of Ocean’s.

As far as not marrying Angelina until everyone has a right to get married - while I applaud the sentiment, boy does that ever sound like the perfect excuse for a guy - he might as well have said, “Until there is world peace, a cure for cancer and no hunger in the world…”

I always thought that the “we won’t get married until everyone who wants to can do so” was just an offhand way of saying “mind your own f’ing business”. If they really don’t intend to get married, saying so would just prompt a million other interview questions and frankly, it isn’t anyone’s business whether or not they do, and if so, when. I never thought it was a sincere boycott of the institution of marriage, but rather a PC-sounding way to deflect interest in the topic.

I guess I’m not mad, but seventh graders also call things they are deriding “gay”. Would that be OK? Not really.

IIRC, Clooney and Pitt are really, really good friends. That camaraderie they showed in the *Oceans *films? It’s not just an act - they really are that way. And they make fun of each other all the time. Someone will ask Clooney a question, and he’ll say something like “Pitt told you to ask me that, didn’t he?” in that super charming way he has.

It’s just a joke between friends, and I’m 100% certain that Clooney would take it that way.

Did you ever see the Jimmy Kimmel thing, “I’m f#*cking Ben Affleck” in response to his then girlfriend Sarah Silverman’s goof, “I’m f#*ing Matt Damon?” Same thing here, really.

While this may or may not be the case, the real problem is this: The proposition and/or assertion that someone is gay is not funny in and of itself. And yet, the fact is that a lot of people think it is, and go around saying things which they think are funny because they involve something related to gay–even though the actual construction of the joke is flimsy at best. It’s not real humor–or skill in making humor–but the classic human response of humor when faced with things that make us feel uncomfortable.

Most of these jokes are about as clever as the kid in middle-school who yells out, “Is gay!” after the teacher reads his friend’s name from the class roster.

It’s also a big part of the classic we’re-just-guys-aren’t-we complex, whereby men who are really insecure about their sexuality–who seem to number a lot–think that if they make jokes about homosexuality regarding their friends that that “proves” their own heterosexual masculinity. Usually the sole component of “humor” in these “jokes” is the proposition that one of their friends is gay–nothing more than that. (E.g., “Hey Tommy! I saw you last night.” “Oh yeah? Where?” “Down on Castro Street! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”)

That said, it doesn’t sound like this was what Pitt was doing. He was more saying, "We have an in-joke among us Hollywood insiders, and if you’re hip to it you’ll think it’s funny.

No. It’s an attempt at a joke. It’s like basing a “joke” on nothing more than the fact that someone has two sisters, or that someone is a real estate agent.