You know how people say, “Never meet your idols”? Well, our generation should also include “Never follow your idols on Twitter, because you’ll realize they suck just as much as everybody else does.” Bret Easton Ellis: I’m looking at you (and weeping silently).
Yesterday Ellis tweeted about filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, expressing his opinion that
Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting film-maker if she was a man but since she’s a very hot woman she’s really overrated.” Bigelow, whose movie “The Hurt Locker” won several accolades, had quite a few defenders who accused Ellis of making sexist remarks.
Famous folks rushed to defend Bigelow’s name, as well, including screenwriter Damon Lindelof, who tweeted, “I would be so much more successful if I was hot.
#BretEastonEllisIsAnEffingMoron” as well as actor Ellen Barkin, saying, “@BretEastonEllis & if u were a ‘very hot woman’ you’d still be a shit writer.”
Bret Easton Ellis is no stranger to Twitter controversy, having said in the past–among other rants–that watching “Glee” feels like stepping “into a puddle of HIV,” (GET IT? IT’S BECUZ THEY’RE GAY & GAY PPL HAVE HIV!!…sigh). His online presence has even become the tail end of some television jokes, like that episode of “The New Normal” where the conservative Nana joins Twitter, Ellis follows her and she blocks him instantly.
It’s not like he simply said, “Kathyrn Bigelow is an overrated director”; he specifically brought her gender and appearance into his opinion. Women are frequently not taken seriously by others because of their looks, so is it any wonder that insisting Bigelow only won an Oscar because of her appearance ruffled some feathers? Is he somehow unaware how many attractive women and men attempt to be successful directors each year, and are not making heavily praised, critically acclaimed Oscar winners? A director does not simply show up to set, say, “I’m hot, so no need to do much, this should work out for me!” and send head shots along with copies of her film to judges so they’ll be sure to give it an award. And even if Bigelow’s film shouldn’t have won, it wouldn’t be the first to be considered undeserving; did all the other “unjustifiable” winners win simply because they were directed by attractive women (even if they weren’t), as well?
To be completely honest, I love some of his books. Rules of Attraction, Less Than Zero, American Psycho, Glamorama; they’re really fascinating, sharp reads. But then you remember that authors have a long-running theme in their work (in Ellis’ case, apathy and affectation), there can be a lot of that in their personalities. Now, Ellis is doing the same thing every celebrity does when people get annoyed with an idiotic statement they made–continuing to talk about it in that, “Well fuck you, if you don’t like what I’m saying, don’t read it!!! Now here I’m gonna say it again in an incredibly obvious effort to keep this attention I’m going.” And this makes me so sad. Watching this 48-year-old man call a bunch of people “pussies and snowflakes” for criticizing his opinion–thereby criticizing their opinions–that he chose to put out in public feels not dissimilar to seeing Donald Trump or Chris Brown’s e-sass (albeit Ellis at least uses correct spelling) at people who have criticized their ramblings.
I’m sure I’ll still love his writing; I suppose I’m just disappointed that somebody whose work I’ve always enjoyed falls into the same “obnoxiously childish Twitter ranter” category as several other celebrity idiots. So ignore your idols online, guys–it will probably only end in e-tears.
Photo by Graeme Robertson