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John Waters on the Mainstreaming of Gay Culture

John Waters on the Mainstreaming of Gay Culture


Film director John Waters says he supports marriage equality but wonders about the cost of becoming too politically correct, in an interview with Slate.

Though the stage musical and subsequent film version of his 1988 movie Hairspray introduced him to a wider audience, Waters somewhat laments gay culture becoming more mainstream and the treatment of gay characters becoming more P.C. "I miss it," Waters says of an earlier era of gay culture. "I'm for gay marriage. I don't want to do it, but I certainly think people should be allowed to, and I wouldn't vote for anybody that would be against it. But at the same time, why do we have to be good now? Why can't we be villains in movies?"

Waters is still upset over the commercial disappointment of his last film, 2004's A Dirty Shame, which was given an NC-17 rating, then a box office kiss of death. "Dumbbell censors are easy," Waters says. "You use their quotes in the ad. Liberal censors are much harder to fight."

The director, who still tours the world with speaking engagements and is the subject of two new books (John Waters Interviews and Low Budget Hell), still hopes to get financing for his long-postponed film Fruitcake. The script for the Christmas-themed movie focuses on a boy runs away after he's caught shoplifting and meets a girl who has run away from her gay fathers to search for her birth mother. Plans to film the screenplay were shelved two years ago when the production company folded. Waters thinks his first "children's movie," as Fruitcake was referred to at the time, "would be incredibly commercial."

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