Sacha Baron Cohen, Bruno, Out Magazine

Art Streiber / Out Magazine

Sacha Baron Cohen's Brüno may have been No. 1 at the box office this weekend, but it's not at the top of some gay activists' must-see movie lists.

In fact, GLAAD issued a statement from its incoming president, Jarrett Barrios, on Friday, the day of the movie's release, expressing disappointment in Cohen's use of too many gay stereotypes...

"This is about the gay kid in Nebraska who gets pushed around in school and when he goes back to school this September, he's going to be called 'Brüno,' " Barrios explained to me this morning.

GLAAD had hoped its many discussions with the film's studio, Universal Pictures, would convince Cohen & Co. to tone down some of the more offensive scenes in the movie. However, Universal has continually maintained that Bruno's intent is to challenge homophobia.

"We are concerned," Barrios said, "that too often in its attempt to expose homophobia, it ends up opening up gay folks to new discrimination and violence."

Meanwhile, Brüno appears on the August cover of gay magazine Out.

An accompanying Q&A with the flamboyant Austrian fashion journalist (Cohen always does press in character) addresses such topics as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Michelle Obama and Sex and the City.

"Yes, he is puerile, offensive, and utterly inappropriate, but so what?" the magazine's editor in chief, Aaron Hicklin, writes in his Editor's Letter. "The same has been said of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, and Sarah Silverman, comic geniuses all, whose humor rests on having the balls to say 'boo' to the ghost in the room. The ghost in this case is homophobia, although whether it's being lampooned or perpetuated is part of the tension that makes the movie work."


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