Friday, December 12, 2008

Kiss and Tell, and then Laugh

I'm a little late on this one, but it still pisses me off. A couple weeks ago, James Franco appeared on Letterman to promote Milk. Letterman totally goes the mildly-homophobic-guy-with-an-aging-sense-of-humor route by pestering Franco for minutes about kissing Sean Penn. (And in a ten-minute interview, that's a large chunk of time.)

First, Letterman actually says, "I mean, do you really want to be good at kissing a guy?" And the audience laughs and Franco looks embarrassed and it's like, fuck you, David Letterman. I think it's a harmless skill to have (frankly, I know more than a couple of men who could afford to learn it), and ignoring the homophobia in that question, I'd like to point out that Franco is a respected actor playing a man's lover. So yes, he does want--and, for the role, need--to be "good" at kissing a dude.

Then Franco offers to kiss Letterman, and you know someone with more self-confidence and humor--I'm thinking Stephen Colbert--would have let Franco plant one on the lips. (No tongue; I don't think I'd want to see David Letterman tongue-kiss anybody on camera.) But of course, Letterman offers the cheek, and it's just so weak and so, 'Ha ha James Franco's kissing Letterman! Eww! Gross ha ha!' and the audience eats it up and the whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I'm being oversensitive, or maybe I'm just jealous that it wasn't me Franco was smooching. Either way, I don't understand why it's still considered outrageous to watch two guys kissing on camera.


P.S. I don't know who the two "news anchors" preceding the clip are, but ignore them. They're both idiots, the guy especially.


Steph said...

I watched that live and I hated it, too. Letterman kind of came off like a douchebag.


Mazi said...

Yeah, Franco is an insane method actor. He sat in on a prostitute at work in a hotel room to research one role.

willow said...

You are not being oversensitive in the least. I am appalled that in an interview meant to delve into Franco's role in a movie concerned with homophobia, Letterman perpetuates anti-gay sentiment. Letterman uses Franco's kiss to make a spectacle of gay affection, he dismisses the fact that males actually do kiss each other! in real life! because they choose to! and not to provoke a reaction from an audience. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I had no idea it was aired and am surprised it is not getting more negative publicity.