The Failure Of “Bros”: Why Don’t Minorities Accept The Right Of Majorities To Feel Like They Do?

Gee, what a shocking development! Non-gay audiences haven’t flocked to see a romantic comedy that advertises itself like that!

I’m a movie fan. I have lots of gay friends, family members and associates: I worked in the theater for decades. I respect them all; I support their right to live and love and marry whomever they please; I want them to be treated like any other law-abiding Americans in all things as they are judged solely on the content of their character, and regard discrimination and bias against them as despicable and unconscionable.

But I don’t enjoy watching gay sex and related activities.  I have every right to feel that way. I would no more pay, or take time out of my sock drawer duties, to see “Bros” than I would watch an NFL game, or attend a one-man show by Alec Baldwin. So sue me. But I think there are millions of Americans with similar tastes, and they span the generations.

Apparently the makers of “Bros” convinced themselves that non-gay (I will say “cis” when there is a loaded gun at my head and not before) Americans, who are, believe it or not, the majority, would go to see a romantic comedy about gays because they have been told that they should, and are bigots if the don’t comply. Non-gay America replied, “Bite me!,” and good for them. Advance word on the film, which is guided by Billy Eichner, an openly gay comic  actor who has a following in the LGTBQ community, was strong. Critics gave it a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 91% positive. Audiences rated it highly.  Optimistic pre-release estimates had the movie generating an opening box office return of between $12-$20 million. Wrong!  “Bros” drew a disastrous $4.8 million in its first weekend.

How could this be? Well, movie critics are disproportionately gay and wanted the film to succeed. Non-gay critics didn’t want to accused of anti-gay bias by their colleagues. The audiences rated it highly because mostly gay audiences went to see a gay romantic comedy. This isn’t a tough question, and moreover, anyone with a basic understanding of human behavior and American culture could have and should have seen this result coming from miles away. Nevertheless, Eichner tweeted,

That’s just the world we live in, unfortunately. Even with glowing reviews, great Rotten Tomatoes scores, an A CinemaScore etc, straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros. And that’s disappointing but it is what it is.Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight! You will have a blast! And it *is* special and uniquely powerful to see this particular story on a big screen, esp for queer folks who don’t get this opportunity often. I love this movie so much.

Well you wrote it, bro, I would hope you love it. But if I don’t rush out to see the thing, I’m a “homophobic weirdo”? We have listened to whining by every minority group that they want to see “people like them” in movies, TV commercials and TV show casts. In a (misguided) effort to mollify their sensitivities, we now have to watch stories from some parallel universe where virtually every couple is inter-racial, every boss (at least the non-evil ones) are something other than male, white, and straight, and no ensemble is without a same-sex love interest and a handicapped character. I get it: the idea is to eliminate the innate disadvantages of minority groups by over-representing them in the popular culture so the public doesn’t see them as minorities any more. It’s social engineering and slow-motion reprogramming.

That’s swell, but the problem is that minorities can’t have it both ways, and they insist on having it both ways, thus undermining their credibility and moral standing. Sorry: if you get to demand “people like you” in entertainment vehicles,I get to prefer seeing “people like me.” Calling me, or anyone, names if my tastes don’t comport with your culture, makes you a hypocritical jerk, and makes me less likely, not more likely, to be sympathetic to your plight and interests.

Not wanting to listen to hip-hop doesn’t make me a bigot any more than not liking Frank Sinatra records makes my gay neighbor anti-white, anti-male, or anti-Italian. I know it’s tough being a minority. I may have been in the majority in my life as a white male, but I’ve also felt isolated and on the outs with my environment in many ways and at many times. I was supportive of the Vietnam war on a campus that shut down in protest of it. I was a straight artistic director in the D.C. professional theater community. I was the crazy law student at Georgetown Law Center who concentrated on building a theater company rather than trying to get on a law journal. I’m a lawyer who concentrates on ethics, and you can’t be more of a minority than that. I know it’s often uncomfortable swimming against the tide, but that’s life. Suck it up.

So much of the coercion, “diversity, equity and inclusion” oaths, teacher indoctrination of kids into pro-trans propaganda, even Disney’s injection of LGTBQ themes into supposedly mainstream, middle class entertainment is part of a radical strategy of eliminating the problems faced by minority groups by force-feeding the majority of the public tastes, ideas and values that it doesn’t want or like. The majority reacting by saying, “Hey, you do what you want, that’s fine. I won’t hold it against you. Just don’t tell me I have to watch, promote it, or applaud it ,” is  reasonable, natural, and ethical.

39 thoughts on “The Failure Of “Bros”: Why Don’t Minorities Accept The Right Of Majorities To Feel Like They Do?

    • Not a daring choice at all. Making the chubby, short-haired glasses-wearing character gay is typical. If they really wanted to make a kid’s cartoon character gay – because that’s apparently so important – they could have picked Daphne.

  1. So, I think the one thing missing from my first analysis was what was working in the back of my mind. “R” rated comedy, ok, fine, but from the people who brought you June Pride Parades? I just don’t know if I’m ready for whatever surprises are up their sleeves. Give me a PG13 version and I’m going to be more likely to go see it. I went and saw the newest Suicide Squad movie from James Gunn which was rated-R. I saw way more of John Cena than I bargained….and that was in passing in one distinct scene. I can only imagine what most of Bros will be…. so it’s not for me. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s also okay if I’m right. It’s just not for me. I’m glad this audience has a movie they want to see. I’m just not part of the audience and I don’t like being guilted or manipulated into shelling out for a theater visit. I’ll probably watch it on some random Thursday at home when it’s on Netflix if the stars align and word of mouth is positive….but a guilt trip? Get lost.

  2. The entertainment industry has gone off the deep end when it comes to portraying the LGBT community in movies, TV, etc.

    This blog post fits nicely in what I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, Interesting Trend In Entertainment

    Here is an excerpt…

    Now I think we’ve all heard that in some ways what we see in our entertainment world can normalize certain things in our society and can actually drive social trends but I really don’t know if that is statistically provable; however, if it does normalize and drive social trends then what we are seeing being intentionally normalized is so far off what’s actually considered “normal” in our society with regard to the LGBT community that I think there is some obvious virtue signaling motivation behind it. It’s beginning to appear that our entertainment industry is trying to make that which is not “the norm” appear as if it is “the norm” and that is intentional manipulation. Intentionally presenting manipulating misrepresentations of our society is a lie. Not being “the norm” is not a judgement on right or wrong, it simply means that it’s not “the norm”, but intentionally lying about “the norm” to virtue signal and manipulate is wrong.

    • Furthermore…

      There is truth in saying that LGBT advocates bastardize tolerant as being equivalent to agreement and these things are not the same.

      Tolerant is showing willingness to allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.

      Agreement is the act or fact of having the same opinion.

      Let’s be really honest and face the undeniable factual elephant in the room, heterosexuals and the LGBT community simply do not agree with each other on sexual orientation and they never will, so to say or imply that heterosexuals and LGBT community being tolerant of each other’s sexual orientation means that they agree with each other on sexual orientation is absolutely absurd. Me, I’m by definition tolerant plus I just don’t give a damn what people do sexually in the privacy of their own homes, it’s their choice and none of my damn business, period.

  3. I mean…. I haven’t seen it. Kind of want to… Will wait for home viewing.

    I think this is about fostering realistic goals. It’s about the audience. There are fewer adults than there are viewers. The most successful R rated movies are Joker, Deadpool and Deadpool at 1B, 780M, and 780M the most successful films ever are Avatar, Avengers, and Titanic at 2.9B, 2.7B and 2.2B.

    You know what none of those are? Romantic Comedies. Sure, “Titanic” had romance, but it was an actiony disaster film, next down the list might be #129 (Twilight) at 700M. 50 Shades came in at 189 (Although I would hardly call that “Romantic”) at 560M… In fact there wasn’t a single rom-com in the top 200. The most successful rom com, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, grossed 220M. Which isn’t chump change…. But it shows you what percentage of the viewing audience might see a romantic comedy.

    Now we’re going to talk about a *gay* rom com?

    What did you expect?

    • I hadn’t considered the fact that romantic comedies are a dead genre right now, but you are clearly right. back when Meg Ryan didn’t have trout lips and Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts were in their primes, there seemed to be a new hit romcom coming out every week. Jennifer Lawrence looked like she would be the successor to Meg, Julia and Sandra, but she didn’t grab that opening. Was it “MeToo” that killed the romcom?

      • Jennifer Lawrence or Kristen Stewart or even She Who Shall Not Be Named (Amber Heard).

        I don’t think the problem was #MeToo so much as it was the strong woman persona thing… What all three of those actresses have in common is epic RBF. What none of them have is romantic appeal.

    • The closest comparison for this film, that I can think of, would be “Bridesmaids” which opened to $26M. People were talking about it and I eventually saw it…and I didn’t get it. I did not think it was funny and now I can’t even remember it. That was 2011, pre-pandemic. pre-me-too. pre-streaming wars. Further, Bridesmaids was more or less “a female Hangover”, not a rom-com. It also had much bigger names in Kristen Wiig, Rebel Wilson, etc. Billy Eichner has a name of his own, but it’s associated with the nasal sounding annoying guy that accosts random people on the street.

      Yes. The more brain power I put into this, the more the box office numbers make sense. Hell, at this point, this film is a box office over-performer with all things considered.

  4. This is what happens when minorities get a little too powerful and a little too influential. To this day I have yet to see the movie Schindler’s List and I don’t feel incomplete or morally deficient for not having seen it, despite most of my Jewish colleagues having told me I HAD to see it. I never wore a red AIDS ribbon when that was a “thing” in the late 80s and early 90s, and I never felt the need to. I won’t wear a rainbow pin in June and I won’t wear pink in October (or any other time, the color just looks awful on me). Come this coming Monday I’ll still be celebrating Columbus Day and I believe if they found a day in the calendar for a second black holiday (Juneteenth) they can find another spot in the calendar for an indigenous peoples’ holiday.

    I am damned tired of this or that group claiming holy victim status and telling me what I must and must not think, must and must not say, must and must not celebrate, and must and must not do. Telling heterosexual people that they need to show up for a gay themed movie or be deemed homophobic is no different than telling white people they need to show up for BLM or be considered racist or telling men they need to show up for the women’s march or be considered sexist. It’s moral blackmail, coercion, and press-ganging, and no one has to stand for it.

    We’ve all got our causes. I for one would like to see everybody turn out on November 11th with a red poppy in his lapel and a flag in his hand for the veterans, as well as doing for our veterans, like taking your veteran neighbor to medical appointment if he needs a ride or going to the grocery store for him if he needs it. I would like to see everyone backing the blue and cooperating with the police if they need it. I would like to see everyone turn out for the fireworks on the 4th of July. However, if that’s not your thing, I’m not going to think the less of you if you choose not to. I don’t think it’s unfair that I ask you to extend me the same courtesy, however passionate you may be about your cause.

  5. I am still waiting for a long overdue and well-earned National Superheroes Day but will not begrudge those who do not celebrate with us because I am nice.

  6. I am not a big consumer of movies, however in my admittedly inexpert opinion romantic comedies appeal primarily to women. I have always thought the the male audience for romantic comedies consisted to a large degree of men courting women. I think that a rational analysis of the potential audience of a movie like this one would conclude that the audience would be small. I think the problem with this film is that it is a big budget heavily promoted movie. There’s probably a niche for films like this. The rational way to approach it would be to make it on shoestring with unknown actors and promote it in the gay community. It could become cult hit. This movie will never make enough money to justify the price of production and promotion.

  7. As near as I can remember, when I was coming of age and becoming somewhat aware (an ongoing process) back in the ‘sixties and ’70s of my high school and college days, gay guys simply did their thing with each other. They seemed content to be and preferred to be amongst themselves and away from “breeders” and other uncouth idiots. I don’t remember gay guys seeking the approval of straight people and culture. Why would they? Gay culture was deemed vastly superior. I would think older gay guys would consider this groveling for approval pretty darned unbecoming and beneath any self-respecting gay guy.

  8. This post is quite timely. Some time ago the issue of the hardship of being a minority was mentioned here which got me thinking about relative minority status.

    At some point in time we are all minorities relative to the group we are involved. The new employee is a minority among established employees and must adapt to the group norms and culture. I was a minority in junior and senior high schools I attended in Baltimore in late 60’s and early 70’s. I would bet that white members of certain groups such as the NAACP are minorities and must adapt to the norms, culture and biases of the groups to which they wish to belong.

    The common denominator in ensuring group cohesion is a similarity or congruence of tastes, preferences or ideas. The entire concept of assimilation is predicated on a set of common beliefs. In the US those beliefs used to be a belief in self reliance, innovativeness, merit based rewards and other non-immutable characteristics.

    When we start dividing ourselves into little isolated groups based on immutable characteristics or belief systems we ensure that we remain relative minorities to all others not permitted to be in our group.

    Ironically, despite demands from minority groups for others to accept them and embrace their culture, when they hold majority status relative to a smaller less powerful group they demand that their culture not be appropriated by the relative minority. The only group that has not issued cease and desist demands is that racial group that is still the relative majority in the US.

    That too is now human nature.

    • Back in the late 80s, a survey revealed that an astonishing percentage of Americans believed the black population of the US to be between 35-40%, when it has never topped about 15%. Why? Because the noble Civil Rights Movement morphed into a media driven ‘need’ to pay especial attention to the black population, whether the issue at hand was race-related at all. Every issue had to include a ‘black perspective,’ as if the black population was one monolithic group with the same opinions, experiences, and lives. It isn’t.

      The same thing is happening now with the LBGTQ community. At probably less than 5% of the population it is getting undue attention by those who choose to give it to them. Do I care who is gay, lesbian, bisexual? Nope. I know some of my friends are gay or lesbian but it does not come up in the friendship — not because it is hidden but because it has nothing to do with our relationships. I do think that of the gays I know and have known, they’d rather just live their lives as they have every right to do, and not be selected out as a suffering minority. Yes, at one time they were just that, but recent history has shown that tolerance proceeds apace, slower then some would like, but it does occur, and without the need to turn people into martyrs for a cause they do not choose.

  9. Eichner wants desperately to believe himself an oppressed victim, fighting the Establishment just to be who he is. But for gays, that was 20, 30 years ago. The reality is that he’s one of the new Puritans, an Establishment gatekeeper who thinks he can shame the masses into being entertained. He can’t have it both ways. Oppressed countercultures just don’t have that kind of power, only cultural hegemonies can even dare imagine that they do.

    • Here’s the thing, if you take the position that your “truth” or your experience is unfathomable by others, it’s really not fair that you ask others to listen to you talk about it ad nauseum. If as a gay person you don’t think that I, a straight person, can ever “get it” from your standpoint, why should I listen to you at length and why would you want to tell me something I’ll never “get?” That’s also why I don’t understand why so many white people bow and scrape to Black Lives Matter. Their position is that white people don’t “get it” and can never “get it,” but they still want to subject them to endless lecturing and hectoring to try to do the impossible.

      • “That’s also why I don’t understand why so many white people bow and scrape to Black Lives Matter. Their position is that white people don’t “get it” and can never “get it,” but they still want to subject them to endless lecturing and hectoring to try to do the impossible.”

        Maybe that is because the “endless lecturing and hectoring” is/was never about teaching or enlightening others.

        • Nope, it was about verbal and moral bullying. Unfortunately, too many white people drank the BLM Kool-Aid… although when a de facto militia is waiting to beat you up and destroy your property and the authorities won’t do a thing about it, I’m not sure I blame them.

          • “although when a de facto militia is waiting to beat you up and destroy your property and the authorities won’t do a thing about it, I’m not sure I blame them.”
            Okay yeah if you have a family to consider but otherwise, blameworthy yes.

            I get what you are saying and not to be completely insensitive or unrealistic but the 2nd Amendment does provide options.
            Sure there will be casualties just like in any other conflict but: “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

  10. One would literally have to put a gun to my head to force me go to see this movie. Just like the movie brokeback mountain, I have absolutely no interest in watching a couple of homo’s buggering each other. If that makes me intolerant in the eyes of the queer community, so be it. And if it makes them feel better, they can call me all the names they like. They can live their lives as they wish, but for them it’s not enough since they constantly seek cis approval and resort to name calling if it’s not forthcoming.

  11. Eichner getting raked on social media by people noting that movies like Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain, etc. have been able to attract diverse audiences, and that maybe he just didn’t make a movie that many people want to see.

  12. I enjoy romantic comedies, I enjoy books with romance plots, I enjoy books where the main plot is romantic where a shy bookish woman somehow lands a dashing man who it turns out has a massive personal library that sorely needs a book lover to manage it–though I only read a handful a year preferring adventure stories. I don’t care if the primary couple is straight or gay if it’s a shy bookish man who finds a dashing man with lots of books, well I could be into that. A Taste of Gold and Iron worked for me after all.

    They make stuff I like, that’s good. They also make stuff I don’t like–such as horror–and that’s fine. A diverse media landscape is to everyone’s advantage. We can all see movies and read books that we like and skip the ones that don’t appeal.

    • Is that the kind of shy, bookish woman who suddenly becomes a hottie once she gets contacts, a more becoming hairdo, and a wardrobe upgrade? Just for the record, I think those stories are kind of unfair to real people who aren’t model level (i.e. 90% of humanity).

        • Nope, they didn’t exist until 1887, although I was thinking of modern rom-coms, where the bookish librarian or frumpy waitress can transform into cover girl material at the drop of a hat. It isn’t fair to the non-model level (i.e. most) women in the audience, nor is something like Chicago Fire, where all the female FF/PM leads and substantive supporting roles look like models while every extra female FF/PM is ugly or butch.

  13. … “Bros” drew a disastrous $4.8 million in its first weekend. How could this be? Well, movie critics are disproportionately gay and wanted the film to succeed. Non-gay critics didn’t want to accused of anti-gay bias by their colleagues. The audiences rated it highly because mostly gay audiences went to see a gay romantic comedy. This isn’t a tough question, and moreover, anyone with a basic understanding of human behavior and American culture could have and should have seen this result coming from miles away…

    You have reminded me of something I noticed here in Melbourne a few years ago, that I found curious, when I went to a showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I was not surprised to see as many of the audience who presented as homosexuals as I did see, for I knew that Truman Capote had followed the old coding technique so often used by homosexual writers in a less tolerant* time and place, of recasting it as a heterosexual story (which makes things like Brief Encounter read oddly, at least to my sensibilities).

    No, what surprised me was that disproportionately many of the audience presented as female homosexuals, or lesbians. That surprised me because I would have thought Capote would have appealed more to male homosexuals, who are more numerous in the population anyway. Perhaps it was an artefact of how many of each demographic were willing to present, so to speak. Yet there it was.

    * Read: apathetic, intimidated, etc., as appropriate in this present context. Contra SW, and very material to insight into supporters of the French Revolution and into its British critics, tolerance is not a mere negative quality like apathy, but involves some level of respect for either the view tolerated or its holder.

    … I’m a lawyer who concentrates on ethics, and you can’t be more of a minority than that

    99% of lawyers … you know the rest of that saying.

  14. Jack: “ Apparently the makers of “Bros” convinced themselves that non-gay (I will say “cis” when there is a loaded gun at my head and not before) ”

    Slight point of clarification: non-gay is not “cis.” The opposite of non-gay is hetero. “Cis” is the opposite of “trans.”

    So, save this comment for a few years when Bros II features a rom-com starring Bradley Cooper as a gay man dating a trans man played by Jennifer Lawrence.

    I am sure it will be a hit with all the heteros.

    Otherwise, I share your sentiment.

    -Jut

  15. Am I a homophobic weirdo if I just don’t like watching movies in theaters? Or if I just don’t like romantic comedies? What if a gay guy doesn’t want to watch Bros, because he doesn’t like watching movies in the theater, doesn’t like romantic comedies, or just isn’t interested in watching Bros specifically? Does that make him a homophobic weirdo?

  16. What seems to be missing from the Eichner’s analysis is that, based on a weekend box office of $4.8 M, it doesn’t seem that the gay community flocked to see this movie either.

  17. Sometimes a bad movie is just that, a bad movie. I refuse to be forced to watch a bad movie with gratuitous sex. A few weeks ago there was a movie that began with three sex scenes in the first ten minutes along with the utterance of the word FucK with every word of dialogue. Fuck was used as a noun, verb, and adjective by each of the six characters. I didn’t make it past those ten minutes and now I can’t recall the name of the movie.

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