Monday, January 9

Is Jack Twist a "Sexual Predator"?

Gene Shalit's gay son has responded to the GLAAD-induced frenzy about his father's review of Brokeback Mountain.

Honestly, both Shalits strike me as extremely naive to have missed the implications of calling the more -- shall we say -- aggressive suitor in a gay romance "a predator." The son's open letter to GLAAD vouches for his dad's lack of homophobia but skirts this issue of basic social ignorance. We're talking about a critic whose coveted spot on the Today show gives him unusually wide influence in middle America. If the senior Shalit (a resident of Massachusetts) and his son (Seattle) didn't live in a blue-state bubble, they might appreciate the sensitive undercurrent and be a bit more repentant.

Maybe Oprah's rumored Brokeback show can repair some of the damage.

P.S. I happen to agree that Jake Gyllenhaal plays Twist a little too creepy, a little too Donnie Darko -- especially during that joyous summer when the then-teenaged cowboys first meet. I didn't get that from the short story at all.

Gene apologizes.