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Director Nick Cassavetes Thinks Incest and Gay Marriage are Comparable

In a discussion about his new film Yellow, about a woman's incestuous love affair with her own brother, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Fest, writer-director Nick Cassavetes compared incest to gay marriage, The Wrap reports.

CassavetesSaid Cassavetes:

“I have no experience with incest. We started thinking about that. We had heard a few stories where brothers and sisters were completely, absolutely in love with one another. You know what? This whole movie is about judgment, and lack of it, and doing what you want....Who gives a sh*t if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”

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  1. Who are gay people to judge incestuous couples? It's not for me, but I don't disdain incest.
    On a different note, it would have been helpful for Cassavettes to actually meet some incestuous couples to understand it before making his movie.

    Posted by: Andy | Sep 11, 2012 11:22:41 AM

  2. Did we read the same quote? How did you get to your headline from that quote?

    Posted by: Mastik8 | Sep 11, 2012 11:36:07 AM

  3. Lying headline is very misleading.

    Seriously, can towleroad not attack those on our side please?

    Posted by: John from MN | Sep 11, 2012 11:38:46 AM

  4. "Who are gay people to judge..."

    Seriously, some of the pearl clutching over the headline seems like trolling to create the impression that gay people are "okely dokely" with incest.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Sep 11, 2012 11:51:10 AM

  5. For god's sake change the headline.

    Not that there's anything wrong with two people falling in love. Who happen to be brothers.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Sep 11, 2012 11:56:57 AM

  6. JASON is the ONLY one who is making ANY sense here.

    Cassavetes may not have explicitly said that gay marriage is the same as incest, but he doesn't need to. The implication is subtle yet alarmingly clear...not to mention really dangerous to our struggle as gay folks.

    Taboos aside, an incestuous couple can choose to get married, and as such, will have access to all the rights and privileges that gay couples do NOT currently have!!!!!

    Let's not lose sight of what we're fighting for, folks.....EQUAL RIGHTS.

    The stupid "Love who you love" rhetoric means nothing if we don't ALL have the same rights!

    I don't ever comment here, but I'm getting really tired of the lack of critical thinking of SOME of those in our community. It'll be great if we step outside of our sometimes bandwagonist tendencies, and THINK!

    Posted by: Kev | Sep 11, 2012 12:00:51 PM

  7. This is one of those times that I appreciate very much the thoughtful and intelligent commentary from the Towleroad community.

    I agree emphatically that Andy has done a great disservice by posting this article with such an incredibly misleading headline.

    My own take is that Mr. Cassavettes could have made the case for an open-minded acceptance of his film just a little bit more elegantly than he did. No, I don't think he was comparing same-sex marriage or same-sex attraction to incest, but he came awfully close--damnably close.

    I have to agree with Jason. In the fight for civil equality, my same-sex orientation (not a big fan of that word) is the essence of my humanity. It is essentially my natural being. It is immutable and unchanging. It is not chosen. It is the same as for a heterosexual person.

    In the highly-charged politics of today and the vehemence with which same-sex marriage is opposed (as well as opposition to the existence of gay people in general), one must be cautious in giving our legion of enemies any opportunity to equate one's natural same-sex desire with incest, which is a chosen, fetishistic behavior unrelated to one's inherent sexuality.

    Liberally speaking, I might agree with the sentiment "love who you want". But, where incest is concerned, such "love" has very harmful consequences, particularly if the result is procreation. Look no further than the European dynasties of the 16th to 20th centuries, where marriage between first cousins was quite common, to see the empirical and genetic evidence of the tragic consequences of in-breeding.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 11, 2012 12:09:26 PM

  8. I agree the headline is very misleading, and though I understand the political sensitivity of this in light of attacks against us using "slippery slope" type arguments, so long as no one is being co-erced or harmed I don't see any problem with any loving relationship and think in this day and age most of the arguments against such things are easily circumvented with family planning. (shrug)

    Posted by: Shelly | Sep 11, 2012 12:23:52 PM

  9. He's not equating gay marriage with incest. He's saying love who you want to love. He made his point in a rather absent-minded way, but it's not boldly stating this is the same as that. He screwed up his syntax. It happens.

    Let's not all start becoming vicious cattle following the herd. Calm down.

    Posted by: Beau | Sep 11, 2012 12:29:53 PM

  10. The herd is pro Cassavantes so you're right up with the bulls.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Sep 11, 2012 12:34:47 PM

  11. So all you people who believe that incest should be outlawed based on genetics agree that a couple that has been shown to have a higher risk for genetic abnormality in their offspring shouldn't be allowed to marry? Because that's exactly what you are saying, no matter how many words you use to say it, or how nice you try to make it sound.

    And who are you to say that consent can't be present in an incestuous relationship? There are many cases of siblings being separated and meeting, then falling in love, as well as other relatives not knowing their shared descent meeting and falling in love. Incest? Check. Consent? Check. Love? Check. The power dynamics in a family are not always present in incestuous relationships.

    Posted by: Winston | Sep 11, 2012 12:39:37 PM

  12. Oh, and it has also been shown that the risk for genetic abnormalities increases with the age of the parent. You people also think we should outlaw older people who can still reproduce from getting married because of this, if the risk is the same as those in an incestuous relationship?

    Posted by: Winston | Sep 11, 2012 12:43:49 PM

  13. Yeah, Andy, the headline is not cool. That's not what he means at all.

    Posted by: Kári Emil | Sep 11, 2012 12:47:24 PM

  14. What's damaging here is the headline. Shame on you, Towleroad! This sort of banner is something I would expect from the sensationalist tabloid press, not you.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Sep 11, 2012 12:51:36 PM

  15. I don't agree with him at all. Incest destroys families and this is one taboo we have as a society for very good reasons.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Sep 11, 2012 1:08:24 PM

  16. I don't agree with him about incest (as it clearly would affect other people, ie. your family) but it's obvious that he's not trying to belittle or equate it to being gay.

    Posted by: DanSwon | Sep 11, 2012 1:09:49 PM

  17. You can tell when a person is being crazy, they start equating things as equal when they are not. Saying incest and gay marriage are the same is like saying a dog is a cat and that is crazy talk people.

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 11, 2012 1:17:52 PM

  18. Ditto to the previous comments pointing out that the headline is misleading, though I wish Cassavetes had made his point more carefully due to the potential harm of slippery-slope arguments.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Sep 11, 2012 1:46:32 PM

  19. Can't believe you guys are standing up for this faux liberal!! And supporting incest! No wonder people think gays are sexual freaks! And please, bros and sis who meet up later and "fall in love" KNOW that they already look like each other and feel a weird connection.

    It's a kink and a really bizarre one at that which happens from sexual abuse.

    Nice one commenters!

    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 11, 2012 1:47:41 PM

  20. I promise you...had a conservative politician dared to utter incest and gay marriage in the same sentence (which has been done COUNTLESS times), MOST of the commentators here would be spitting bile about the audacity of the source, and would have had absolutely no problem with picking up on the implied connection of what was being said.

    I promise you...we would not have been talking about Andy's "misleading" headline, had such been the case.

    I'm reminded of some of my white acquaintances who, with smiles on their faces, announce "Omg, I have tonnes of black friends", or "Wow, you black people can play sports SO well..."

    They're not racists...not at all! But, just because a message is delivered under the umbrella of "inclusiveness" and "liberalism", as the "love who you love" one is, doesn't mean that we shouldn't be vigilant about pointing out the harmful associations that can hurt our cause, which in this case is equality.

    Anything less will be hypocritical of us...and unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of that in these comments.

    Posted by: Kev | Sep 11, 2012 2:05:06 PM

  21. Talk about illogical. Yep, and oranges are like beef tenderloin, because, well, they're both something you eat. And mushrooms and people are the same because both are living beings. . . If you draw the category wide enough you can equate any two things on earth.
    Incest is incest and gay sex is gay sex. Not sure that incest should be outlawed, but I find it a bit creepy, but I wouldn't make A LAW against it. That would be idiotic.

    Posted by: dan cobbb | Sep 11, 2012 2:18:17 PM

  22. Surprise, surprise! Jason thinks HE IS equating the two when any rational human can see the headline is incorrect. If you actually read the quote you would see that. Then he gets his panties in a bunch and farts out one of his sermons. Ugh

    Posted by: MATT | Sep 11, 2012 3:50:39 PM

  23. To Polyboy:

    "Seriously, some of the pearl clutching over the headline…"

    I'm not a troll. What does that even mean?

    Have gay people taken a unanimous stance on incest? Some gay people ARE ok with it. I don't know anyone who is attracted to their kin, but I know they're out there. And they're not hurting anyone.

    Posted by: Andy | Sep 11, 2012 4:17:39 PM

  24. Reading Nick's quote, he's exactly right.

    Posted by: Randy | Sep 11, 2012 4:22:20 PM

  25. I'm sorry, but incest is NOT OK. Family reunions should not double as dating services.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Sep 11, 2012 4:31:02 PM

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