Arkansas | Film | News | Sacha Baron-Cohen

Crowd Riots Over Gay Kiss at Suspected Baron-Cohen 'Bruno' Prank

Yesterday, I posted that Sacha Baron-Cohen had duped former Mossad intelligence agency Yossi Alpher into a fake interview as his gay Austrian TV reporter persona Bruno for the upcoming film. Today come reports of a "cage fight" last month in Fort Smith, Arkansas where a near riot erupted after a staged "scene" in which two fighters ripped off each other's clothing and kissed:

Fortsmith"The two men would then wrestle, rip away some of their clothes and share a brief kiss reminiscent of one between Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell in the film 'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.' Producers said 'there would be a romantic embrace,' Holland said. 'They said it was kind of to essentially make fun, poke fun at wrestling _ two guys rolling around on the floor, all sweaty.' An elaborate array of mounted and handheld video cameras caught the crowd of 1,600's reaction as the two men 'went right up to the line' of the city's morality laws, Holland said. The two men stripped down to their underwear, kissed and rubbed on each other, the sergeant said. The audience, as well as local fighters drawn to take part in the show, became enraged. 'It set the crowd off lobbing beers,' Holland said. 'They had beers in plastic cups. Those things can get some distance on them actually.' Holland said it took officers about 45 minutes to clear the convention center, as the two actors sprinted away through a specially set-aside tunnel. Those in attendance were told by several signs on display that they'd be filmed, Holland said, and signed waivers before the event. Convention center sales director Karin Hobbs declined to name the event's sponsor Monday."

Seems reminiscent of the rodeo scene in Borat, and sounds pretty frightening, actually. Baron-Cohen's publicist is refusing to comment on the event or its suspected association with the Bruno film.

A cage fight (not the one in question) at Fort Smith, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. you see the same thing in an ultimate fighting caged match with the guys mounting each other, wearing jocktraps, their legs in the air... and how about the wcw and wwf? many a time i've practiced self abuse watching those hot wrestling matches!

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 8, 2008 11:25:11 AM

  2. Right up to the edge of the city's morality laws? How so? Is male kissing illegal in town?

    Posted by: anon | Jul 8, 2008 11:30:41 AM

  3. I can not %#$*ing wait to see BRUNO and could only be more excited if you told me Faye Dunaway was coming out with MOMMIE DEAREST 2: BEYOND THE GRAVE.

    Cohen is a bona fide genius when it comes to exposing fear, hatred and bigotry via his comic brilliance.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 8, 2008 11:35:00 AM

  4. I bet some of the folks in the rioting crowd kinda liked it... The Bruno movie will be awesome!

    Posted by: Aman Chaudhary | Jul 8, 2008 11:39:12 AM

  5. I agree with you John. Very excited about that movie. Cohen is one of those straight men who actually does a lot to promote acceptance gays, and not just tolerance.

    Posted by: Jude | Jul 8, 2008 11:40:40 AM

  6. WHAT? You mean to tell me that there's a correlation between luving packaged violence and hating fags? Next you'll be claiming that Charleton Heston's sticking his rifle in the air at NRA circle jerks er rallies was just political Viagra or that there's some connection between George AWOL er Bush piling up the body bags from Iraq and trying to body bag gay "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" out of the US Constitution.

    And fuck anyone before they write, "Bush/Cheney/Rice aren't really antigay in their personal lives"....and not in the good way.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jul 8, 2008 11:42:34 AM

  7. Bruno is going to provide such an enlightening look at America and some of its ugly bigotry.

    But part of the brilliance of Borat was that I knew nothing about it before I saw it. I may have to stop reading these Bruno posts.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 8, 2008 11:51:09 AM

  8. They should have done the kiss in one of Arkansas' public parks, then you would've only had to worry about a bunch of self-righteous, holy-roller homos coming at you like a lavender lynch mob....for public relations purposes, of course.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 8, 2008 11:51:10 AM

  9. Then let the actor's acceptance of GLBT issues be in political/fund-raising areas. This is nothing more than exploting homophobia and playing into fear. Nothing like violence and hate to sell tickets.

    Posted by: Jack Scribe | Jul 8, 2008 11:58:21 AM

  10. After this incident, their girlfriends will actually want to go see a match.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 8, 2008 12:00:30 PM


    "Even wire hangers couldn't stop her coming back!"

    Posted by: John C | Jul 8, 2008 12:11:58 PM

  12. I wonder what the reaction would have been if it had been two female wrestlers that started ripping their clothes off and making out while wrestling...

    Oh wait, I already know because it's one of the most popular straight male fantasies of the hicks that were at the wrestling match.

    Posted by: John M | Jul 8, 2008 12:12:37 PM

  13. I disagree Jack Scribe; assuming this is along the lines of Borat, this kind of stunt really does provoke and bring out the worst in people so they are exposed for the assholes they are to themselves and the rest of the worst. I think the idea is brilliant and can't wait to see the movie. You should watch Borat first. He really editorializes in a unique way—by forcing people to be their own stupid-ass selves and then showing it to the rest of us in a very unforgiving way.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jul 8, 2008 12:12:38 PM

  14. JACK, I'm in agreement when it comes to those that exploit homophobia, i.e., the GAY ZOMBIE vid that Andy politely pulled from Towleroad. The joke being that the zombies are gay. Yawn. With Bruno, there's a brain behind the humor.

    Sacha Baron-Cohen doesn't exploit homophobia but rather exposes it by shining a bright spotlight directly on it. Case in point... Bruno Goes To Alabama:

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 8, 2008 12:17:57 PM

  15. I loved the Ali G show back in the day; it was fresh and wickedly funny and Cohen's targets (e.g. Pat Robertson) were often public figures who were long overdue for having their prejudices unmasked on TV. But I have to admit I didn't like "Borat" at all. I felt uncomfortable watching him trying to provoke a bigoted reaction from ordinary people who were duped into participating in the movie— many of whom seemed to only go along with his offensive remarks to be polite or hospitable. And the whole Kazakhstan angle was xenophobic and gratuitous; he could have made up a name of a third world country just as easily as ridicule a real third world nation that had nothing to do with his movie. "Borat" felt mean-spirited and wrong, and far from feeling as if I was in on the joke by laughing along, it seemed that the joke was really on us, the nice liberal audience members who were enticed into mocking others in order to confirm our own prejudices. If that was Cohen's real intent it's kind of subversively brilliant, but while I'd like to give him that much credit, he seems to enjoy his own jokes too much to have an ultruistic ulterior motive.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jul 8, 2008 12:18:56 PM

  16. this reminds me of the line in victor/victoria: "kill him but musn't kiss him." maybe this is sort of some strange hettie ritual to remind them of this.

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 8, 2008 12:22:14 PM

  17. LOL I grew up 10 mi from Fort Smith, and until I saw this I had no idea that there was cage fighting going on, this is HILARIOUS. The place is so class-stratified that many, um, "respectable" families would never even know that stuff like this was going on without underclass contacts. One of my favorite memories of my teenage years was when some friends and I were runnin' around in the woods "up on the mountain" north of Muldrow, and we hear, loud and clear, a voice echo through the woods, saying "Five pound cock, five pound cock." It was the local chicken fighting arena just a mile or so away. We couldn't hardly walk back to my friend's house, we were laughing so hard!
    But what I don't think is that this is any reflection on Fort Smith in particular, just a reflection of what kind of people go to cage fights, no matter the locale. I'm sure the reaction would have been just as bad in the Rust Belt as it was in the Bible Belt. And honestly, there are much worse places than NW Arkansas for homophobia.

    Posted by: clint | Jul 8, 2008 12:33:14 PM

  18. So DERRICK, will you be visiting Arkansas any time soon? Looks like there's plenty of that hot, closeted rough trade you say you just can't resist :p Play safe and, er, watch your head! (I kid because I love.)

    "I wonder what the reaction would have been if it had been two female wrestlers that started ripping their clothes off and making out while wrestling..."

    Most of them would have hooped and hollered like it was the hottest thing they've ever seen to mask the fact that they didn't find it sexually exciting at all. Pretty much the exact opposite of what happened with the two fake male wrestlers. The Arkansans rioted because they got hard-ons. Fags.

    Posted by: Chas | Jul 8, 2008 12:48:51 PM

  19. Ha! CLINT! I should have suspected you would comment on a story about Ft. Smith - I never get tired of the "5 lb. cock" story. Hows you durin? Email me - I haven't talked to you in forever.

    Posted by: kappastar | Jul 8, 2008 12:59:10 PM

  20. I'm sure I'd throw my mojito at the stage if I went to see Madonna and found myself at a live taping of Sportscenter.

    Posted by: MedusaSF | Jul 8, 2008 2:59:34 PM

  21. Seriously though... Suppose someone pulled this same stunt with a bunch of gay people? In reference to my earlier post, suppose a bunch of gay guys are promised to a free Madonna concert only to find that it's actually some ultra-conservative, religious orator. I'm sure the reaction would be similar. You could then find the one or two guys that are having a complete mascara ruining melt-down and film them, thus "proving" gays hate Jesus and are a bunch of queeny weirdos. Would this be funny?

    Posted by: Sleepiguy | Jul 8, 2008 3:26:25 PM

  22. There was a study done to measure the sexual arousal of "heterosexual men" while watching male on male violence.

    The hets by a large percentage became very sexually aroused during the male on male violence.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jul 8, 2008 3:33:40 PM

  23. Oh yaah, SLEEPIGUY--'cause fags actively discriminate against Christian on a regular basis. Everyday, little Christians have to go to school terrified of being outed as "Jesusworshipers". Just the other day, a 14-year-old Christian boy was shot in the back of the head by a schoolmate for handing him a 'JESUS SAVES' pamphlet. And let's not forget about The Gays constantly proposing anti-Christian legislation and keeping spousal rights all to themselves. I TOTALLY see your point.

    Posted by: Chas | Jul 8, 2008 3:47:58 PM

  24. There is an article in OUT magazine on cage fighting. They call it 'fuck fighting'... which is what it looks like.

    Posted by: kansastock | Jul 8, 2008 4:10:23 PM

  25. Geez SLEEPIGUY, you need to sleep some more then get thee to a therapist.

    Anyway, Dlisted has more on Bruno and the cage fights here:

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 8, 2008 5:32:12 PM

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