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Should Oscar voters forgive Mickey Rourke's gay slur?

November 13, 2008 |  4:25 pm

"The Wrestler" star Mickey Rourke sure picked a lousy time to rough up gay people. Just days after California voters shot down gay marriage, he piled on top with an insensitive slam that could have serious impact on his bout for the best-actor Oscar.

Earlier this week, as he squired a leggy blond around town, Mickey Rourke was asked by reporters if he's romantically involved with Evan Rachel Wood, who portrays his daughter in "The Wrestler."


As Elizabeth Snead reports at The Dish Rag, Rourke roared in response: "Do I look like I'm dating Evan Rachel Wood this evening, guys? C'mon, get a grip. She's a good friend, that's about it." Then he shouted a gay slur and a curse word: "Tell that . . . who said all that . . . in the paper, I'd like to break his . . . legs."

Immediately after the outburst, Rourke got slammed right back by rights activists demanding an apology. Rourke issued this statement: "I want to sincerely apologize for the derogatory word I used. It was insensitive and inappropriate of me and I am deeply sorry that I may have offended anyone."

This Oscar year was supposed to be especially gay-friendly, considering "Milk" is in the mix. The biopic starring Sean Penn as gay political martyr Harvey Milk gives academy voters a chance to disprove suspicions that they may be secret homophobes, as many Oscarwatchers claimed after front-runner "Brokeback Mountain" lost best picture to "Crash" three years ago. Instead, Rourke — a longtime Hollywood fixture — may have accidentally expressed the town's secret, if it really exists.

There may be an interesting Emmy parallel to this current Oscar situation. Last year Isaiah Washington lost his job on TV's "Grey's Anatomy" for using this same gay slur to characterize one of his co-stars. He apologized afterward, but many observers didn't believe he was sincere. Washington realized he had little hope of winning an Emmy so he took his name out of the running.

Should Rourke do the same in this Oscar race? Or will voters throw this wrestler out of the ring? Even if he wants to stay in, Oscar voters may choose not to buy his apology. Academy members, remember, are notoriously intolerant of bad boys. Russell Crowe — once an academy darling (best actor winner, "Gladiator," 2000) — hasn't been nominated since his dark side came to light. Crowe was snubbed for "Cinderella Man" and "Master and Commander." The latter oversight was particularly odd, since everybody associated with the film, it seemed, reaped bids except its own master and commander. In 2003, it was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture, but not best actor.

Photo: WireImage

The comments to this entry are closed.


I dont know who this guy is but I just saw his acceptance speech... ...he started out by kissing the producer on the lips. this dude is a gay hypocrit.

love mickey and don't know why anybody has to analyze actors. they should be recognized for their talent. mickey should've won the oscar.

I've never quite understood how being a bigot somehow disqualifies you from being an awesome actor....bullcrap.

In the voting, I find it compelling that there is no "Don't forgive him, but vote for him." The Oscar should be given to the best performance, period, and personal lives should not be involved. I do understand there's desire to make "Hollywood" appear to always do the right thing ethically, but the very concept of giving the Oscar to the best performance should trump activities in the real world which may be unsavory. This is indeed a slippery slope, and failure to only look at the actor's performance renders the Oscars a political contest, a beauty pageant of ethical behavior and good conduct, and not a true contest for best performance, thus rendering it all meaningless to me.

Here's a novel thought: vote for or against Mickey Rourke based on whether he gave the best performance by an actor in a starring role.

I don't consider myself anti-gay, I'm more anti-BS than anything else, but I still don't understand why we're supposed to pretend to have respect for some twisted perverts who have adopted a disgusting sexual practice. Where do they come off attacking people who don't agree with what they do, repressing them into silence? Homosexuality is just a perversion that wants to pass itself off as an ethnicity, no matter how they spin it. A lot of people are getting sick of their aggressive social engineering, and I think it's high time for someone to show some courage and push back. Proposition Eight was barely the beginning.

Mickey Rourke is an old school tough guy and old school tough guys aren’t P.C., that’s what we like about them. He has played gay characters (Jan the Actress in Animal Factory) worked with gay people and has gay friends. Anyone who says’s he’s a homophobe knows little about him.
BTW, he should have been nominated for his roles in Animal Factory & Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Let's be honest, Rourke is old school tough guy. He spends his time with tough crowds and worked as a bouncer at a gay bar years ago (matter of record, look up old interviews). Fact is, he probably did (and maybe still does) mix with the rougher side of town. These kinds of words are thrown about with abandon by gay, straight, bi etc etc etc. The precious and politcally correct with their middle class elitism may cry foul at this but to me it's a total non issue given the context of Mickey and where he's from. Rourkes about as much of a homophobe as Madonna.....

I also believe Mickey's response was to what openly gay blogger Perez Hilton posted on his website This is exactly what Perez posted on his site, "Evan Rachel Whore is probably already f**king Mickey Rourke - and his mom - as we speak!"
The homophobic Academy will applaud Mickey for his remark.
Hateful gay bloggers like Perez Hilton take the gay community swimming in bilge water.

The Cesars, oh yes, Dave in Northridge I agree. The French love Mickey. 9 1/2 Weeks ran there for two years straight.
Mickey's comment was vulgar. A sensitive gay person was offended, and Mickey apologized, end of story.
By the way, Perez Hilton, gay blogger who posts hateful, biased news and rumors on Hollywood's most-hated web site thinks it's all about himself.
He posted a hateful blog on Evan Rachel Wood saying she broke up with Manson and is probably f*****g Mickey and his mother.

Too much is being made of this. The man has several gay friends. The media brouhaha has seem forced and contrived, and thankfully hasn't really found any traction on a large scale.

I doubt Mickey Rourke will care whether he's nominated or not. The Cesars, however, THAT's a different story.

Please. If anything all of those old homophobes in the Old Guard of the Academy probably like that kind of blustery machismo.

I don't think THAT gay slur hurts Mickey Rourke's chances per se. If the AMPAS wants to ignore him, well... I think he COULD be THE snubbed performance of that season. He's a persona not grata in Hollywood. His personal life (Bad movies, scandals and boxing career) hurts his chances. But maybe I'm wrong!

I believe I'll read this story on another site that actually tells what the quote in question is. How can you take out all of the negative things that were said and then ask peoples honest opinion about it? Get a clue ... heads!

I guess it's interesting to see on Oscar Nomination Day, if the allegation "hurts" or "boost" Mickey Rourke's chances with a Best Actor's nod. As much as the current heatwaves evolving around his chances of being ignored come Nomination Day, you never know if the gay haters' voters will insanely go all out to support the Wrestler based on his gay backslash remarks. We know why "Brokeback Mountain" lost the BEST PICTURE, I won't be surprised if anti-gays and old-timer voters will cast their votes for their heroic Mickey Rourke... since they ain't going to cast for gay characters anyway (Yes..Sean Penn.. it's you! Maybe James Franco too...)



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