Kirby Dick Is Outraged!
BY Erika Milvy
April 27 2009 12:00 AM ET
In 1983, Edwin Edwards,
a famously corrupt Democratic politician from Louisiana,
boasted, "The only way I can lose this election is if
I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live
boy." He voiced what most closeted politicians fear most:
Getting outed is comparable to murder -- or, at least, career
Having taken on the
MPAA ratings board in
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last week,
director Kirby Dick lays bare a long list of
right-wing politicians who fight against gay rights and work
even harder to make sure they don't get caught with a live
In working on
Dick found that for people outside of politics, both gay and
straight, the revelations are surprising. "I prefer to make
films where the people don't know the subject matter
backwards and forwards," he said. "I don't want to make
another film on global warming."
Not that there's
anything wrong with that.
maintains that D.C. is crawling with high-powered closeted gay
men. You spill the beans on politicians like U.S.
representative Ed Schrock of Virginia, U.S. representative
David Dreier of California, Florida governor Charlie Crist,
former New York mayor Ed Koch, and others. Does this film
actually out anyone who wasn't already outed?
They're all people who have been outed in some other forms;
one of the themes of the film is that while the gay press has
been writing about these issues for almost two decades now, the
mainstream press, for the most part, has not picked this
Do you really think this is a "brilliantly orchestrated
conspiracy" to conceal homosexuality among D.C. politicians,
as your film attests? That seems to suggest a unified plan?
Well, it revolves around the definition of conspiracy.
Certainly there's collusion -- there are not people sitting
in the same room, but there's a lot that's unspoken
that can go on. A powerful journalist is going to be reluctant
to ask a hard question, say, to Larry Craig or Charlie Crist
even, because it could mean that he or she would lose access to
The thing about Larry
Craig was there was an incredible amount of news, late-night
talk show hosts made some very funny jokes, but the media did
not go deeply into the issue. They did not examine the
political circumstances, the hypocrisy or the psychology of it.
For the most part, they treated it in a tabloid way. When
something like Mark Foley or Larry Craig happens, the media
treats it as anomalous -- this one person has been exposed --
not that there's a system at play. It's really more about
the closet than an individual person.