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James Franco: Shame on 'Shame' for Being Shameful About Gay Sex

FrancoIn a brief essay for VICE praising Michael Fassbender for his work in Twelve Years a Slave, James Franco takes an aside to criticize the gay scene depicted in another Fassbender film, Shame:

He wasn’t such an addict in my opinion, though. I mean, what did he do? Watch porn and screw a handful of people a week? I could point to quite a few folks who do that. And that scene where he’s at his lowest point and wants to f--k and goes into a gay club, and it’s depicted like the seventh level of hell... I mean, it goes back to the horrible representations of gays in the 70s, where the gay club is meant to signify everything dark and depraved. Then the guy gets a minor blowj-b, from, Oh no, a man! The horror!

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Comments

  1. Does Franco present depictions of homosexuality that are not depraved, freakish, subculture, and dark? Is he presenting homosexuality in his art as healthy, moral, relationship-oriented, and desireable?

    Posted by: Luke | Nov 13, 2013 11:16:08 AM


  2. American movie makers and their continuing homophobia toward gay issues. SHAME on them!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Nov 13, 2013 11:18:00 AM


  3. Oh piss off Franco.

    Why does James Franco keep stealing gay roles from gay actors.

    We are always told that actors can't come out for fear of alienating straight fans.

    Yet heterosexual James Franco has built a career playing gay characters.

    Effectively he is part of the problem that keeps gay actors closeted. He plays the roles that should be played by gay actors.

    F*** you Franco - you greasy sh!t.

    Posted by: MaryM | Nov 13, 2013 11:19:02 AM


  4. Congrats for Franco. Hooking up gay or straight is nothing to be ashamed of. People watch porn, masturbate and get laid. The bulk of internet porn purchases are in Red states who try to tell everyone that sexual expression is sinful. Get over it! No orgasms after you die so get them now.

    Posted by: terry | Nov 13, 2013 11:21:52 AM


  5. Stealing gay roles from gay actors? Please. They are not "gay" roles - they are roles. Straight actors playing gay roles is hardly a problem - and has little to do with famous people staying in the closet. Talk about sophomoroic.

    Posted by: Travis | Nov 13, 2013 11:22:47 AM


  6. I thought the same thing, James! Take off your shirt and let's talk about it some more.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Nov 13, 2013 11:24:53 AM


  7. I would welcome the opportunity to see James Franco show us how it's done. Perhaps with Michael Fassbender

    Posted by: danswon | Nov 13, 2013 11:29:55 AM


  8. yes, down mary.

    Posted by: Sean | Nov 13, 2013 11:31:03 AM


  9. @Luke

    Franco presents varied images of gay characters. He doesn't present it in only one scene in his films where it's meant to signify a heterosexual character's ultimate degradation. Which was his point about "Shameless."

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Nov 13, 2013 11:31:21 AM


  10. Franco's often insufferable, but I saw Shame and had exactly the same reaction to it.

    @MaryM - So only gay actors should play gay roles? It would follow, then, that only straight actors should play straight roles...? I get that casting is sausage-making - nobody wants to know how it's really done - but maybe we should agree that, all things being equal, the best actor for a part should get that part, regardless of whether he likes to make out with dudes.

    Posted by: scott | Nov 13, 2013 11:39:33 AM


  11. You know, Franco is kind of amazing. He's fearless in his creativity and astoundingly active, evidently to the dismay of a lot of people but I think their comments are undeserved and envious.

    Posted by: Bryan L | Nov 13, 2013 11:44:36 AM


  12. Exactly. (agreed w franco's post.) My thoughts at the time: where was the gay press on this 'shameful depiction'..?: All atwitter over fassbender's cock shots. Big surprise.

    Posted by: jeff | Nov 13, 2013 11:45:10 AM


  13. I'm hijacking all the threads today. Can we please call on andy to update this commenting system with ratings? The negative and horrible comments here are getting to be more of a draw for some people than the stories. People are constantly being attacked in the comments and in real life through other means of communication. Getting into a fight here could and HAS led to stalking and violence in the greater net. People also love to post as others and further disrupt conversations. This has to stop and it's up to us to force Andy's hand here, he is supporting a lot of anti-gay people.

    His twitter is @AndyTowle and his FB is https://www.facebook.com/andytowle?fref=ts

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 13, 2013 11:46:37 AM


  14. He makes a point though ..

    Posted by: Poe | Nov 13, 2013 11:46:58 AM


  15. I like JF a lot, open minded, creative and many ways fearless to discuss these issues, so rare in today's Hollywood.
    @MaryM, gay roles should be played by gay actors? Why? It's called acting, nothing really happens, they act.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Nov 13, 2013 11:59:28 AM


  16. i generally like james f. but i saw the movie and didn't take it this way. i saw it as a heterosexual man who was so addicted to sex that he was was willing to do something sexual with another man to get his "fix". going against his own nature to satisfy an urge was what seemed dark and depraved to me, not the act itself.

    Posted by: Joe | Nov 13, 2013 12:00:19 PM


  17. I'm w/ DANSWON @ 11:29:55. Seconded.

    Posted by: olympiasepiriot | Nov 13, 2013 12:00:39 PM


  18. The same type of depiction of gay sex in the movie "Less than Zero" came to mind when I read this article...

    Posted by: Doug | Nov 13, 2013 12:03:32 PM


  19. @MARYM And what great things have you done for LGBT people lately? What interview have you given taking a director to task for his shameful portrayal of gay sex? Nothing? None? Sit down and shut up.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 13, 2013 12:07:53 PM


  20. I love the movie Shame, but this is exactly what I said about the gay scene (in fact, I posted as much on Towleroad when it was reviewed here).

    What's worse is the BJ scene is intercut with scenes of Fassbender's sister attempting suicide, to further belay the point that he'd reach the depths of his addiction. (And it was most definitely addiction... he was skipping work and using work resources for starters.)

    That said, the character and his behavior are not meant to be depicted as positive representations by any means. He's a very tragic figure. So engaging in homosexual activity was no more or less tragic than his heterosexual activities.

    Posted by: crispy | Nov 13, 2013 12:23:30 PM


  21. BTW, isn't VICE the same company that sponsors Dennis Rodman's trips to North Kore? Talk about shameful representations.

    Posted by: crispy | Nov 13, 2013 12:26:29 PM


  22. I'd like it if Fenrox went away. Hall monitors are tedious.

    Posted by: Tiger | Nov 13, 2013 12:33:28 PM


  23. He has a point. The sad part is that "Shame" comes from gay filmmaker Steve McQueen. I guess he felt compelled to describe getting a BJ from another dude as the ultimate form of shame.

    Posted by: Felix | Nov 13, 2013 12:44:46 PM


  24. James Franco says something obvious, correct and supportive and the Trollroad trolls attack.

    Must be a day ending in "y".

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Nov 13, 2013 12:45:53 PM


  25. Marym, you are a delicious little moron, aren't you?

    Posted by: Jenny 0 | Nov 13, 2013 1:01:30 PM


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