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Brokeback fans raise $18K for Variety ad

Brokeback fans raise $18K for Variety ad

Group hopes to encourage more gay films from Hollywood.

Crushed that Crash won the Academy Award for Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain on March 5, more than 400 members of an online discussion group have pooled their resources to buy a "thank you" ad in Daily Variety. The ad, which can be viewed online, will appear in the Friday, March 10, issue of the film industry newspaper.

Dave Cullen, whose Web site hosts the Ultimate Brokeback Forum, told The Advocate that the group's message to Hollywood is simple: "You can make more of these. The red states are ready for them." Cullen lives in Denver.

In less than three days the forum raised more than $18,000 to pay for the advertisement. The idea, Cullen said, came from "a poster called Texas Girl. When we were all in mourning and in shock [after the Oscars] and looking for something to do about it, she said, 'What if we put an ad in Variety?'"

The Variety ad thanks the cast and crew of the film and lists more than 20 other "best picture" honors the movie won. "We really wanted to thank the cast and crew of the film and highlight the fact that the movie won an unprecedented number of best picture awards from around the world," John Wells, a forum member and freelance publicist from New York City, told The Advocate. "A lot of people were very disappointed [in the Oscars]. This is the Big Kahuna of awards. People associated with the site who were deeply and positively impacted by the film want to help make sure it reaches as wide an audience as possible."

How disappointed was Cullen when Jack Nicholson read aloud the title Crash as the Best Picture winner? "My first response was that there had been a mistake. I just gasped," he said. "I was shocked. I really could not believe it. I think they were afraid. I don't want to try to read their minds, but I think they were clearly afraid of it. One part of the Hollywood Academy was scared to death of it." (

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