That people expressing politically incorrect views are subject to an unofficial blacklist in Hollywood has been an open secret for some years. The latest actor to be criticized, not for his acting talent, but for his taste in movies, is Ernest Borgnine.
According to the LA Times, Borgnine’s sin was that he didn’t care to see “Brokeback Mountain,” the explicit film about a tragic love affair between two gay cowboys.
“While Borgnine’s work ethic is admirable – he has three films due out this year – his personal politics are less than laudable. Four years ago, he waded into the discussion about the merits of the movie ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ the first film to feature A-list talent in a gay love story. As Borgnine told Entertainment Weekly, ‘I didn’t see it and I don’t care to see it. I know they say it’s a good picture, but I don’t care to see it.’ Then he added, ‘If John Wayne were alive, he’d be rolling over in his grave!'”
Mind, if John Wayne were alive today, he had better not be in a grave at all.
It appears that Borgnine is being accused of homophobia because he didn’t want to see a movie that showed two cowboys having gay sex. It is as silly as being accused of hating Italian food because one will never see “Eat, Pray, Love.”
The LA Times suggests that Borgnine should be denied a Screen Actor’s Guide lifetime achievement award, one that the paper admits he has earned on his merits, because Borgnine won’t see a movie about two gay cowboys. The LA Times infers homophobia from this fact, even though, so far as anyone knows, Ernest Borgnine has never publicly expressed any view about gay people one way or another.
The one thing that is remarkable about Borgnine is that he is 93 and still working. For that alone, Borgnine needs some kind of award.
The movies and TV shows Ernest Borgnine has been in are almost without number. Borgnine won a Best Actor Oscar for the title role in a filmed called “Marty,” about a lonely guy who gets a chance at love while meeting a lonely woman in a bar in the 1950s.
My favorite Ernest Borgnine movies are “The Viking,” in which he played a Norse chieftain; “The Dirty Dozen,” in which he played an irascible general; and “The Wild Bunch,” in which he was a mercenary at the turn of the last century.
Borgnine, remarkable for a man of his age, has five films in various stages of development, including “Red,” a Bruce Willis action flick.
Of course, like anyone of a certain age, my favorite memory of Ernest Borgnine is his role as Lt. Commander Quinton McHale of the PT-73 who, with his crew, endeavored to use World War II as an opportunity to make money while occasionally fighting the Japanese.
It is bad enough that a lot of people who adhere to the “politics that dare not speak its name” are compelled to live in fear in Hollywood. It’s even worse when someone’s taste in movies is now a reason for blacklisting. At least the commies in the 1950s were being made to suffer for something a little more substantial than that.
Should SAG be honoring Ernest Borgnine?, LA Times, August 19th, 2010
Ernest Borgnine, IMDB