The trailer to Billy Eichner’s Bros finally hit the Internet, which marks the introduction to a historic move in the Hollywood landscape for LGBTQ storytelling. However, the reactions are predictably mixed, as the story inspires some and upsets others. The Bros trailer is a huge step in the representation of white muscle gays.
Billy Eichner’s ‘Bros’ is a historic win for mainstream LGBTQ filmmaking
Bros is making history as the first gay romantic comedy featuring an all LGBTQ principal cast made by a major Hollywood studio, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller took the seat behind the camera and co-wrote the script alongside Eichner.
The story follows Bobby Leiber (Eichner), who has commitment issues. He meets another man with his own problems named Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), as they navigate the hardships of committing to a relationship. However, the world wouldn’t know the exact tone until the Bros trailer hit the Internet.
Billy Eichner highlights white muscle gays in the ‘Bros’ movie trailer
Universal Pictures released the NSFW trailer for Bros. It begins with Eichner talking about producers who approached him to write a gay rom-com. However, Eichner’s Bobby teases the typical Hollywood comments, such as making it accessible for straight audiences. However, he humorously explains how straight and gay relationships aren’t the same. It takes a stand against catering to straight audiences – not every feature needs to be for everyone.
The Bros trailer is worth celebrating for its landmark achievement as the first Hollywood gay rom-com featuring folks who are a part of the community. There isn’t enough LGBTQ inclusion in the Hollywood landscape that isn’t simply tossing these identities into supporting characters that hold no weight. The LGBTQ characters are typically the comedic relief, the roommates, best friends, or the token family member.
Additionally, many LGBTQ roles go to straight-identifying actors, while actors who belong to the community fight for scraps. Bros is a big step in the right direction to change that for future productions.
However, it’s possible to simultaneously both celebrate an achievement and still call out its shortcomings. The Bros trailer leans more heavily into its vulgar sex comedy roots than its romantic side, which isn’t necessarily shocking coming from this comedy team.
The LGBTQ community often puts cisgender, gay, white, muscular men on a pedestal and the Bros trailer follows suit. It pokes fun at exclusionary and exploitative conduct on gay dating apps, but it also shamelessly celebrates it with nightclubs full of ripped, shirtless light-skinned men. This is not the majority of actual gay nightlife, which contains LGBTQ folks of varying skin colors and body types.
Meanwhile, Macfarlane’s Aaron calls Bobby “physically very frail” in a supposedly endearing fashion. This is an attempt to create a sentimental moment where a very fit, attractive man finds worth in a man who isn’t. It’s cringe-worthy and caters to privileged white muscle gays, once again leaving the rest of the LGBTQ community in the dust.
The toxic, homophobic discourse
Naturally, the Bros trailer is earning a lot of negative, toxic, and homophobic discourse. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily surprising in a landscape where Hollywood films often bury their LGBTQ characters.
Some viewers are taking to Twitter to share throw-up emojis, poop emojis, and asking why the studio released the Bros trailer in the first place. Unfortunately, there will always be a segment of viewers who respond this way. However, nothing will change as long as Hollywood doesn’t take the opportunity to explore these narratives.
European and independent filmmaking have always been ahead of the curve in LGBTQ filmmaking and this remains to be true. Hopefully, Bros is only the beginning of Hollywood giving LGBTQ creatives the opportunity to explore their own narratives. However, a lot will rely on the box office numbers that Bros brings in.
Bros lands in theaters on Sept. 30.