Anita Bryant | News

Anita Bryant Wants a Gay Best Friend, Screenwriter Says: VIDEO

Chad Hodge, a screenwriter working on a film about anti-gay activist Anita Bryant's life, met with Bryant and her husband Charlie Dry, Hodge tells E!'s Marc Malkin:

BryantNow 71, Bryant runs a ministry from an office she shares with her husband in Oklahoma City.

"She was panicked to meet me and I was panicked to meet her," said Hodge, who most recently was executive producer of The Playboy Club.

The two eventually warmed to each other. "We talked about everything," Hodge said. "Religion, homosexuality, her life and every detail of her life. I mean, everything! She really opened up to me. It started very standoffish...but then it slowly took a turn and she opened up and cried to me."


Hodge smiled, "Turns out she wants a gay best friend just like everyone else."

Watch the infamous Bryant pie incident, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I'm in two minds about Anita Bryant. On the one hand, I want to be harsh on her. On the other, I now realize that she had some valid points about the lifestyle of some homosexual men. She wasn't entirely incorrect when she pointed out that gay men sometimes lead extremely hedonistic lifestyles. Anita Bryant's ideas were borne out by the AIDS crisis which hit a few years after she hit the headlines.

    What Anita should have done - and which many conservatives fail to do - is to draw a distinction between the homosexual orientation and the excessive hedonism that the gay male social scene promotes. She should have said that being gay is OK but be careful how you behave.

    She would have won a lot more brownie points that way.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 3, 2011 7:52:38 AM

  2. So, poor sad Anita? If Karma got her, all I can say is good.

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 3, 2011 7:53:15 AM

  3. I'm of one mind about Anita Bryant: I want her to die a slow, painful, impoverished, undignified, humiliating death. That's what she wanted for us so it's good enough for her.

    Then reanimate her corpse and have it die again.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Nov 3, 2011 8:09:17 AM

  4. She can stick it where the sun don't shine.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 3, 2011 8:09:22 AM

  5. Has she ever repented and apologized for her hatred and the way in which she demonized and vilified us -- for playing such an enormous role in promoting homophobia and bigotry? Does anyone know? For years and years she made her living peddling hate -- has she ever said that she is sorry?

    Posted by: kit | Nov 3, 2011 8:13:21 AM

  6. "Jason" you've at last discovered yout true mission in life -- You're Will to Anita's Grace!

    Now get down on your hands and knees and grovel before her.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 3, 2011 8:18:47 AM

  7. Didn't the OJ queen meet any of "the gays" when she stumbled in to ATL's Limelight back in the day? I remember a picture of a "shocked" Anita in the paper as she and her husband were doing some background investigation on the scene.

    Posted by: Nick | Nov 3, 2011 8:26:19 AM

  8. I have no mission in life except to tell the truth. There were elements of truth to Anita's criticism of our community. Of course, if you're addicted to hedonism, like many gay men are, you'll fight tooth and nail to maintain your addiction. Your resentment towards me is understandable in this context.

    Having said that, it's beyond doubt that Anita demonized the homosexual orientation when she should have just reserved her comments to aspects of the gay male social scene and its incitement to promiscuity. Donna Summer was careful to make this distinction but even she was treated like dirty dishwater by those in the gay community who are hellbent on promiscuous sex.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 3, 2011 8:28:22 AM

  9. Please don't lift Bryant from obscurity by trying to humanize her.

    Florida is still living with the damaging effects of her misguided use of her celebrity.

    Real gay people & their families. Help her by letter her go-away.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Nov 3, 2011 8:32:21 AM

  10. Anita Bryant will be remembered for 2 things.....her Blatant BIGOTRY towards gay people and Orange Juice...THE END!

    Posted by: Gay American | Nov 3, 2011 8:33:22 AM

  11. The Queen of the Dominionists.

    Posted by: Skooter McGoo | Nov 3, 2011 8:38:59 AM

  12. Anita Bryant is still the nasty person she was in the 70s and still playing the martyr. Right Wing Watch (reposted by Jeremy Hooper) wrote last summer about the liner note Bryant provided for the new book by one of Oklahoma's most vicious homophobes, Sally Kern: "Reading The Stoning of Sally Kern was at times like déjà vu, reminding me of my stand in Dade County in 1977."

    Posted by: EnzoInOmaha | Nov 3, 2011 8:41:01 AM

  13. I don't hate Anita and there are way bigger fish to fry. Some of you carry a grudge much too long and that is only going to eat you in the end. Let it go and put your bitterness towards those who are oppressing us now.

    Or are you all talk and no action?

    Posted by: Marc C | Nov 3, 2011 8:41:48 AM

  14. She has finally decided to do something about her hair and make-up. LOL

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Nov 3, 2011 8:44:22 AM

  15. @ Jason: Spare me. You know as well as I do that Bryant was demonizing ALL gays, not just promiscuous ones. Her arguments had absolutely nothing to do with social commentary; they were pure unadulterated bigotry, on par with "all Mexicans are filthy" and "all black people are drug dealers on welfare." She was using the actions of a minority to smear all of us with opprobrium, and to incite a popular backlash against us. To say "she didn't mean to do what she did" is asinine, not to mention a gross misreading of the historical record.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 3, 2011 8:50:38 AM

  16. Some of you decry Anita Bryant - and proably for good reason - but you are also hypocrites. There are tons of homophobic rappers and hip-hop performers whom you fail to criticize despite their promotion of anti-gay themes.

    At least Anita didn't sing about hating us.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 3, 2011 8:50:58 AM

  17. @ Jason (again): No, she just mercilessly campaigned to curtail our rights, spoke publicly and privately about how we were recruiting and molesting children, and used her not-inconsiderable influence to have laws passed against us.

    But you're right. At least she didn't *sing* about hating us... she's a bloody saint.

    Incidentally, you clearly haven't been paying attention, because homophobic rappers, hip-hop artists, and Jamaican dance hall singers have been getting an ENORMOUS amount criticism on these pages.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 3, 2011 9:02:56 AM

  18. No, Jason, she didn't have a point about what you call the hedonism of some homosexuals, because the conclusions she arrived at were, by and large, specious moralizing. She made claims about homosexuality that inextricably tied it to what she considered to be execrable behavior.

    Sex between consenting adults isn't immoral, whether or not you engage in it in the way some gay men do or not. That I choose to do so in committed relationships doesn't distinguish me morally from people who are more promiscuous, it means I have a different relationship to sex.

    More importantly, one doesn't need to be a part of the gay party scene (I'm not) to recognize that there's nothing valid about transforming people sexual habits into a question of morality. AIDs didn't bear out her claims--that's a facile and logically faulty assertion, unless you have no idea what her claims actually were. AIDs was a sad and unfortunate reality about which gay men during her heyday knew nothing. If anything, the crisis bears out the community's ability to react to horrific events and adapt their sexual practices to curb the spread of a disease. As almost anyone in public health can tell you, the community's response and organizing around the issue was quite impressive as a cohort-driven reaction to a public health disaster.

    As for Donna Summer, I'll give her a break, but her memory of her comments cleans it up just a bit. At the end of the day, though, she is the one who wants to moralize about sex, which is what gay people, promiscuous or not, tend to object to. It's unclear to me why that is at all confusing. One doesn't need to be "addicted to hedonism" as you condescendingly claim to realize and object to that. One just needs to be addicted to sound reasoning.

    Posted by: BCLance | Nov 3, 2011 9:06:10 AM

  19. I'm not moralizing about sex, I'm moralizing about how you treat your body and how you treat the concept of sex. I am entirely within my rights to do this. I have seen too many gay men behave like sex-mad zombies as they hop from one stranger to the next in a dark, smelly maze of cubicles.

    I would be just as harsh on straight guys who act like this with women.

    What gay men need to realize is that the days of hiding your promiscuity behind the gay rights banner are over. Finito, kaput. You will be criticized like anybody else.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 3, 2011 9:11:07 AM

  20. Anita Bryant did backtrack in the 80s after she had some bad things happen to her in her personal life. She became a "what people do behind closed doors is none of my business" type of person after that -- not perfect but definitely better than she was.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 3, 2011 9:12:22 AM

  21. Rich F,

    The Jamaican murder musicians may be getting a lot of attention on Towleroad but what about the American rappers and hip hop performers? American gays seem to be too afraid to criticize American performers.

    For instance, Eminem got away with blue murder when he was at his peak using words like "faggot" in his songs. Where was the gay community then? America's young people bought his CD's in droves, so what does that say about the American youth of today?

    Anita did say some horrible, prejudicial things about gay men that were totally incorrect and defamatory. However, she never sang about hating us in the way a number of musicians do today. At least give her credit for that.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 3, 2011 9:16:54 AM

  22. Is there really enough interest in Bryant's life to warrant a film? That amazes me. No one under 30 knows who she is and no one over 30 cares, except Bryant, who is probably still dodging debt and stands to get some money and publicity out of this. She'll end up thanking gay people for that pie in the face when a movie about it brings her a cash influx from the Sally Kerns of the world.

    Posted by: Troy | Nov 3, 2011 9:23:01 AM

  23. Jason, I think you're confusing gay people with men.

    Posted by: brian | Nov 3, 2011 9:24:39 AM

  24. @ Jason (yet bloody again): You clearly haven't been paying any damned attention. At all. Ever.

    And, once again, I don't bloody care that she didn't sing about her hatred of us. The fact that she ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNED AGAINST US FOR YEARS, INSTIGATED AN UNPRECEDENTED OUTPOURING OF PUBLIC HATRED AGAINST US, AND FOUGHT IN FAVOR OF LAWS THAT ABRIDGED OUR RIGHTS far far far outweighs that little tidbit, which for some reason you seem to view as a saving grace.

    I think homophobic rappers are idiots, and potential instigators of violence. However, by and large they're not politically engaged, and therefore the damage they cause can be contained and counteracted. Anita Bryant's political connections and national soapbox for her propaganda were infinitely more damaging to us.

    Your inability to see the forest for the trees is demoralizing, to say the least.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 3, 2011 9:46:22 AM

  25. I was a junior in high school in Miami during the Anita period. Just coming into my own, and figuring out who I was. I watched in horror as WTVJ a local news station aired a live news report at Miami International Airport. Here Jerry Fawell had arrived to meet and assist Anita with her cause. He began the news conference with a prayer and then started to spew the most hateful, homophobic, demonizing retoric I have ever heard. Then Anita chimed in reinforcing Jerry Fawells words. It scared me! It scared me so much that I went right back in the closet for years.

    I always hated them for that. It changed me from a usually happy gay boy to a sometimes bully teenager who was conflicted and angry. Eventually, I grew out of the closet and made my life whole. But, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Anita and Jerry had not entered my life. Just sayin........

    Posted by: mymy | Nov 3, 2011 10:19:40 AM

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