Brokeback fans raise $18K for Variety ad

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." (Advocate.com)

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