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News - October 1996

Gay group takes aim at "Bulletproof"

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned MCA/Universal Pictures' new offering "Bulletproof" as homophobic, citing overblown use of hackneyed anti-gay stereotypes. The Brillstein-Grey/Robert Simonds production, released Friday, stars Damon Wayans as an undercover police officer assigned to protect a small-time drug smuggler played by Saturday Night Live veteran Adam Sandler.

According to GLAAD, Bulletproof's homoerotic subtext -- the ambiguous more-than-just-friends camaraderie between Archie Moses (Sandler) and Rock Keat (Wayans) -- provides the set-up for the film's one-note homophobic punch line. Newsday's John Anderson reported that Bulletproof is riddled with "derisive gay references" and Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News wrote that this "coming-out comedy for closet cases" is laced with "homophobe jokes."

Bulletproof's gay-baiting, however, turns fatal in the film's climactic scene. After drug dealer Frank Colton (James Caan) tries to make good on Archie's promise to perform oral sex on him, Director Ernest Dickerson uses an outmoded anti-gay formula to kill off the character. As he lay dying from a bullet wound Archie tells Colton that he is getting what he deserves. Colton ends up paying with his life for his out-of-the-closet remark. GLAAD asserts that this violent and patently homophobic scene has the potential to lead to anti-gay and -lesbian violence.

"Bulletproof could have elevated the buddy film genre to a higher level, but instead it shoots itself in the foot with sophomoric and dangerous anti-gay taunts," said Alan Klein, GLAAD's communications director. "At a time when Hollywood is making great strides to more accurately represent lesbians and gay men on film, this low-brow feature only serves to exacerbate homophobic stereotypes."

GLAAD is the nation's lesbian and gay news bureau and the only national lesbian and gay media watchdog organization. GLAAD promotes fair, accurate and inclusive representation as a means of challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.