Billy Eichner Says He Wasn’t Shading ‘Fire Island’

Image via Universal Pictures

Billy Eichner, co-writer and star of the upcoming gay romantic-comedy Bros, has clarified his controversial comments about “disposable” LGBTQ streaming content.

In a new interview with Variety, Eichner praised his new film for not “feeling disposable” like LGBTQ streaming content. After reading that, LGBTQ Twitter users, especially queer men of color, thought of a recently praised streaming movie by Joel Kim Booster and called Eichner out.

To be specific, the full quote from the interview reads as follows:

“I told myself to look around and appreciate how rare and magical this moment is because you are making a movie that looks and feels like all the romantic comedies you grew up loving, but you’re doing it as a gay man,” Eichner said. “And this is not an indie movie. This is not some streaming thing which feels disposable, or which is like one of a million Netflix shows. I needed to appreciate that ‘This is a historic moment, and somehow, you’re at the center of it. You helped create it.'”

After seeing backlash for the comment, Billy Eichner has now come forward to say he wasn’t shading other films that came before Bros.

Related: Hulu’s ‘Fire Island’ Proves to be the Perfect Queer Rom-Com for Pride Month

As he wrote on Twitter last night, “I want to clarify what I said about streaming content in Variety. I was not at ALL referring to the quality or monumental impact of streaming films, I was referring to the way that, historically, LGBTQ+ content has often been considered niche and disregarded by Hollywood.”

Eichner added, “I have been openly gay since the beginning of my career over 20 years ago, at a time when that was very challenging. And I am very proud Bros is one of many projects – theatrical, streaming, online, etc – where so many of us are finally getting to tell our own LGBTQ+ stories.”

“Being an openly gay man and a loud and proud part of the LGBTQ+ community is one of the things I am most proud of in my whole damn life,” the actor concluded. “And from the bottom of my heart I truly am so sorry if I inadvertently offended or insulted anyone. I really am. Thank you.”

Variety, for the matter, didn’t helped the situation. The major news outlet included a shortened version of the quote on Twitter. Specifically, they wrote a tweet, that’s now been deleted, which included the line, “This is not an indie movie. This is not some streaming thing which feels disposable, or which is like one of a million Netflix shows. I needed to appreciate that.”

The tweet, which also had a picture of Billy Eichner, was definitely made to get a reaction. And it did. Only for Eicher, it was bad news.

LGBTQ Twitter users complained that there have been many successful films before Bros. For instance, Moonlight; Love, Simon; and Fire Island were largely brought up by commenters. While Moonlight was an indie film, it won the Oscar for Best Picture. And while Fire Island was a streaming film, it came from Fox Searchlight.

The most obvious contradiction to Bros & Eichner’s claim is 2018’s Love, Simon, which was distributed by 20th Century Studios. It was even directed by a gay man, successful producer Greg Berlanti. One thing Bros. has over Love, Simon, though, is the fact that the film has an all-queer cast. While Love, Simon included many queer actors – like Keiynan Lonsdale, Alexandra Shipp, and Miles Heizer – it’s lead actor, Nick Robinson, was straight.

Ultimately, the problem is in the advertising. Variety slipped up with that cropped quote, which is why the tweet got deleted. And Bros needs to get over this “first to be backed by a major studio” narrative. It’s both untrue and now harming the film’s image.

Source: Variety,

3 thoughts on “Billy Eichner Says He Wasn’t Shading ‘Fire Island’”

  1. People are too sensitive, want to be offended at anything and read in to everything. Leave the gay dude alone and let him celebrate gay history as the first gay rom com made by a major studio! Also go and see it so we can see more gay movies on the big screen. To show them there’s a market for gay movies & we matter.

  2. Someone needs to take him down from his cloud and finally tell him the truth. He is not funny. And no matter the abs, he is not good looking. This movie would have been better without him.


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