Brett Easton Ellis | Bullying | Dharun Ravi | News | Tyler Clementi

Bret Easton Ellis Blasts Dharun Ravi 'Witch Hunt', Blames Parents


Bret Easton Ellis chimes in on the Dharun Ravi trial:

"Dharun Ravi might be a jerk but if a jury convicts him because Tyler Clementi killed himself then the US justice system is seriously f**ked...If Tyler Clementi had not killed himself we would have never heard of Dharun Ravi. This is a witch hunt pure and simple and it sickens me...Bullying=Suicide? Personally I blame the parents and an entire culture that indulges a childproof world where pain and losing doesn't exist....I was bullied. It was awful. But I learned a lot. I learned how to cope. It taught me things: people are cruel, the world sucks. I grew up."

The jury deliberated for four hours today and will begin again on Thursday morning.

Jury Deliberations Begin in the Case of Tyler Clementi's Roommate, Dharun Ravi: VIDEO [tr]

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  1. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. At a time when I was recovering from being almost murdered by a child molester, and dealing with the impending death of my abusive father from cancer, I had to go through six years of daily gay bashing in high school and junior high. I was suicidal from it the entire time - but what Ravi put his victim through was over the top! This guy is a complete jerk - I'm sorry. He needs time in jail for his role. If you cause another person's death in a vehicle, you go to jail. Doing something this stupid, you're absolutely right he belongs in jail.

    Posted by: Craig | Mar 14, 2012 9:34:48 PM

  2. (1) He wasn't charged with bullying. He was charged primarily with invasion of privacy and bias intimidation (and other charges related to evidence tampering). The evidence is indisputable on invasion of privacy and is pretty compelling on bias intimidation.

    (2) Who the f**k is Bret Easton Ellis?

    Posted by: John Equality | Mar 14, 2012 9:38:22 PM

  3. To second John Equality... Who is Bret Easton Ellis and why is he relevant?!

    Posted by: TMT | Mar 14, 2012 9:42:00 PM

  4. Bret Easton Ellis is my favorite author (if you don't who he is, you're really not well informed).

    I don't dispute that he's an utter assshole though.

    Posted by: endo | Mar 14, 2012 9:48:52 PM

  5. Who?

    Posted by: LW | Mar 14, 2012 9:49:55 PM

  6. To answer John and TMT, he is a sad closet case who can only chase his former fame through manufactured controversy. He is like a less famous and less interresting Ann Coulter, if that is even possible. Just ignore his inflammatory statements and he will fade back into irrelevance.

    Posted by: Dave | Mar 14, 2012 9:50:05 PM

  7. "grew up"??? possibly in his imagination. He's confused the issues of privacy and intentional interference by Dharun Ravi with parental instilling of self-worth by Tyler Clementi's parents. Two separate issues. Separate issues collision resulting in suicide. Where's the responsibility of Ravi's parents in this if you want to go down the road of parental responsibility? interesting where there is a clear and proven connection to devious action - unknown and uwanted exposure through predetermined and intentionally maneuvered technical means - someone would place blame on the victim. "Grew up" ... not likely. Sounds more like sour grapes for not being in the spotlight. Write another book if you want attention. Spouting off with this incoherent childish babble isn't garnering you accolades from your readership.

    Posted by: D Battler | Mar 14, 2012 9:51:35 PM

  8. I don't think it makes one "uninformed" to not know the author of American Psycho off-hand...

    Posted by: TMT | Mar 14, 2012 9:56:04 PM

  9. He just entered the "old dinosaur that needs to go away" territory.

    Bullying is horrible, ruins lives. Yeah, ultimately it's the kids who commit suicide who are ultimately to blame, but that doesn't mean the bullies are blameless.

    In that regard, Rhavi isn't being tried with murder. He's being tried with things he's (allegedly) done, including harassment and targeting someone because of their sexual orientation.

    Everyday, we ask straight people to try to remember that our brains work differently, and that just because they're attracted to the opposite sex, it doesn't mean that everyone will.

    Well, people need to remember that about everything, not just sexual orientation. Just because Ellis, or I, could overcome that bullying, it doesn't mean everyone can. Some people's brains just work differently and make them more at risk. That's why we need to ensure that we stop bullying, because all too many people *can't* just brush it aside.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 14, 2012 9:57:57 PM

  10. "I don't think it makes one "uninformed" to not know the author of American Psycho off-hand..."

    You can ignore the book nazis. They can turn something as personal as reading a novel into a statement on intelligence. You'll never win with them.

    Secondly, he's going to be found guilty. Because this is not just a simple case of "Oh, I webcammed my gay roommate!" It was borderline obsessive. Like, Dharun got SERIOUS kicks out of watching this stuff. Sick closetcase.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 14, 2012 10:10:48 PM

  11. I wish people would take the time to brush up on the facts of the case before they starting running off at the mouth about witch hunts and injustice. SMH. That sickens ME.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 14, 2012 10:30:53 PM

  12. To find the kernel of sense in those tweet rantings, I suppose it's true that if Clementi hadn't killed himself, Ravi would never have been tried with a crime. The most he likely would have gotten was college discipline, perhaps up to being expelled.

    But oh well, them's the breaks. Every umpteenth bullying episode is going to be the one that leads to someone's suicide, and Ravi took his chances with his despicable acts. I'm not sure the evidence painted him as a raging homophobe, but I hope the rather obvious guilt on the invasion of privacy and obstruction of justice counts gets him deported from the U.S.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 14, 2012 10:40:11 PM

  13. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, as poorly worded as his statement is, Bret Easton Ellis is kind of right.

    If you go and read through what actually transpired between Ravi and Tyler, if you go read the messaging conversations that Ravi and Tyler had with their friends online as the New Yorker has published, if you look at the actual timetable of events... It doesn't look as though Ravi committed any crime other than being an idiot with little respect for anyone's personal boundaries who took almost took an awful prank too far. While Ravi advertised on his twitter account that on the second night of Tyler's tryst with an unnamed man he would make the stream available for more people to see, he never actually went through with the mass viewing. It doesn't seem from the testimonies of those close to Ravi that he was particularly homophobic, but rather socially dysfunctional and would've treated a straight roommate in a similarly invasive way.

    After the first night of Ravi and his friend briefly spying on Tyler, Tyler was well aware of what happened and though he complained to a friend who urged him to take the issue to his R.A., Tyler did not feel threatened or in need of a room change at that time.

    I think perhaps because the media initially reported Tyler's suicide as cause by Ravi's taping, broadcasting and outing of his roommate... I've felt pity for Ravi. The reality was there was no taping, there was no broadcasting in the most general terms and there was no outing. Tyler was already out. And in the wake of all those suicides by gay teens that the media gave attention to, it was too easy to lump Tyler's case in with the whole lot.

    I hate to throw the "i tried to commit suicide so listen to what i have to say about suicide" card out there, because I feel like most gay men can identify with those emotions, so instead I will say that suicide is an irrational action. We, those of us left behind, try to make some sense out of what caused this young boy to end his life prematurely, but frankly we will never know Tyler's mind as he jumped to death. Tyler's suicide is tragic and Ravi's actions unquestionably wrong, but they don't seem criminal.

    But it is not for me or any of us to determine criminality, we just must trust that the court will do the right thing, whatever that may be.

    Posted by: Ray | Mar 14, 2012 10:53:19 PM

  14. Some people overcome bullying by becoming bullies themselves, as Mr. Ellis seems to have done.

    Posted by: Jexer | Mar 14, 2012 10:53:27 PM

  15. Ray, he would be right if Rhavi were being tried for murder or something like that. Rhavi's not. Rhavi is being charged with intimidation and charges of bias, not murder.

    The court gets that Rhavi didn't push him off the bridge, but that doesn't mean he didn't break the law and set off a vulnerable teenager through bullying and intimidation.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 14, 2012 11:05:56 PM

  16. Yes it's for us to determine criminality "Ray"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 14, 2012 11:06:03 PM

  17. Bret is no longer in the closet. He finally came out about three years ago when his lover died.

    He should have stayed in.

    He describe wathcing "Glee" as being like "stepping into a pool of AIDS."

    Charming fellow, no?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 14, 2012 11:11:11 PM

  18. Under that logic so when we torment children with sexual abuse we are now to call the prosecution of their perps a "witch hunt?"

    In this particular case, Ravi is guilty of invasion of privacy not of bullying or the suicide of Clementi. In fact bullying is more like harassment. And you can get fired from many places if you harass other employees. But in Ellis' logic such employees shouldn't complain and they should learn how to deal with the bully, which is somewhat true, but that doesn't mean that the bully is allowed to continue the harassment.

    Posted by: Jose S | Mar 14, 2012 11:12:53 PM

  19. I do not know who this Bret Easton Ellis is, but he does make, I feel, a good point, but only to a point.

    One cannot . . . well one can, but probably should not, compare Dharun Ravi to other typical bullies we have heard of in stories where gays were murdered, or hospitalized; that he is any more homophobic than the typical ignorant American who asks stupid stuff like: "Which of you is the girl, and which is the boy?"

    Manifestly Ravi is a jerk, and I think he had every intention of humiliating Clementi, but those intentions may have been based more on intolerance and ignorance than actual hatred . . . in short he is a huge JERK.

    Can malicious intent be proved? Gross disregard for the feelings of others? That would be easier to prove, and likely much closer to the truth.

    I very much doubt Ravi is gratified that Clementi killed himself. He should do some sort of time for invasion of privacy ( I hope for at least two to three years) . . . but ten years seems a very long time for just being an insensitive jerk.

    There is an ongoing campaign telling kids that Things Get Better . . . a campaign that is directed primarily to high school aged kids. Clementi had already gotten through the worst of it.

    If it took so little for him to sacrifice his life, having already been on the further side of the night mare called "high school' what other obstacles in life might he have encountered where suicide would have, once more, been his solution?

    Should everyone go to prison because they were clumsy enough to push Clementi over the edge?

    Posted by: Ricco | Mar 14, 2012 11:14:32 PM

  20. Bret Easton Ellis has a lot at stake if juries begin tossing assholes behind bars. Based on his past statements, he'd be going down for life.

    I, too, am surprised a largely gay or 100% gay group of commenters isn't 100% informed of who he is, but then again, he's never been a judge on RuPaul's show...YET! There are lots of things I think everyone must know then I realize I'm older than I thought, etc.

    If you've never heard of him, you are not missing much. Terrible writer. TERRIBLE. And lots of people think I'm terrible, so terrible X terrible. They did make a great movie out of his atrocious AMERICAN PSYCHO novel, though...

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Mar 14, 2012 11:21:33 PM

  21. I echo ZLICK's last line. I hope Ravi is deported.

    Abuse like his has gone the "wink-wink, look the other way, "boys will be boys" for a looong time. This is why Ellis is taking the "tougher" stance. Ellis can't bear to accept that he was bullied in a WORSE manner than other forms of bullying.

    I hope they make a humane example of him, but I doubt he'll go to jail. His life is already pretty much ruined here in the US. Send him back, and the message will be clear and he'll still have a chance back in his homophobic country of India.

    There are SO MANY Indian natives here in the US that are so grateful, humble and improve our lives in huge ways. He's a disgrace to them.

    By the way, Ellis is a semi-closet case. I met him in a gay bar, The Bar, on Second Ave in NYC years ago with his friend, a lesser known author who's name I'm trying to find on the internet. It was in the mid-1990's, and his friend had just published a novel (the jacket was yellow). Anyone know of this book?

    Posted by: TomJck | Mar 14, 2012 11:33:06 PM

  22. Who? Why do I care? Pay him no mind.

    Posted by: tim | Mar 14, 2012 11:39:48 PM

  23. After reading the New Yorker article and having had a college roommate, I concluded that technology has made a shared room into a battleground. Rather than working on a relationship face-to-face, they electronically investigated each other and drew conclusions before they'd even met. If that is standard behavior, I fear for all college freshmen. Regardless of the verdict, the jury and the judicial system are doing their best to deal with a rapidly changing tech environment.

    For those of us who were bullied either recently or a long time ago, we can describe our experiences and express how we survived. Those who committed suicide don't have that luxury and sadly, we have no way of knowing what caused them to make that final fatal decision - and we'll never know.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Mar 14, 2012 11:45:52 PM

  24. Big words from a talentless hack who writes about horrid people very similar to Ravi.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Mar 14, 2012 11:47:18 PM

  25. You know, I get really annoyed - no, frustrated - no, exasperated - with ANYONE who says, "I survived (whatever), so just suck it up, learn and grow (ad nauseum)."


    Infect two people with the flu virus. How they react and cope will depend not only upon whether or not they had the vaccine that year (and how effective that particular vaccine is that particular season), but also upon age, general health, specific stressors, genetics, etc.

    The possible does not guarantee the probable.

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 14, 2012 11:50:11 PM

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