Outrage (2009 film)
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- For other uses of the term, see Outrage (disambiguation).
|Directed by||Kirby Dick|
|Produced by||Amy Ziering|
|Written by||Kirby Dick|
|Music by||Peter Golub|
|Editing by||Douglas Blush|
|Studio||Chain Camera Pictures|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 24, 2009 (Tribeca Film Festival)|
May 8, 2009 (USA)
|Running time||89 minutes|
Outrage is a 2009 American documentary film written and directed by Kirby Dick about closeted gay politicians who promote anti-gay legislation. It premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival before being released theatrically on May 8, 2009.
Outrage argues that several American political figures have led closeted gay lives while supporting and endorsing legislation that is harmful to the gay community. The film focuses particular attention on Idaho Senator Larry Craig, an outspoken opponent of gay rights who in 2007 pled guilty to disorderly conduct for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a public bathroom. Outrage features interviews with several people who claim that Florida Governor Charlie Crist has led a private gay life while publicly opposing gay marriage and gay adoption. The film suggests that Crist's 2008 marriage to Carole Rome was a strategic political decision designed to deflect attention away from rumors about his sexual orientation.
Other politicians discussed in the film include former Virginia Representative Ed Schrock, California Representative David Dreier, former New York City mayor Ed Koch, and former Louisiana Representative Jim McCrery. Outrage also includes interviews with openly gay politicians Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jim Kolbe, James McGreevey, and Neil Giuliano.
One media personality, Shepard Smith of Fox News, is mentioned. When asked in an interview why Smith was chosen, Dick replied, "his complicity with the network's homophobic agenda rises to a level of hypocrisy that I felt was worthy of reporting."
The film examines the media’s reluctance to discuss issues involving gay politicians despite the many comparable news stories about heterosexual politicians and scandals. Outrage describes this behavior as a form of institutionalized homophobia that has resulted in a tacit policy of self-censorship when reporting on these issues.
People interviewed in Outrage include:
- Tammy Baldwin (US House of Representatives, D-Wisconsin)
- Elizabeth Birch (Former Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign)
- David Catania (Washington, DC City Councilmember)
- Kirk Fordham (Former Chief of Staff to Mark Foley, R-Florida)
- Barney Frank (US House of Representatives, D-Massachusetts)
- Neil Giuliano (Former Mayor of Tempe, Arizona)
- Patrick Guerriero (Former Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans)
- Dan Gurley (Former Field Director, Republican National Committee)
- Jim Hormel (Former US Ambassador to Luxembourg)
- Jim Kolbe (Former US Representative, R-Arizona)
- Larry Kramer (Founder, Act-Up)
- Tony Kushner (Playwright, Angels in America)
- James McGreevey (Former Governor of New Jersey)
- Kevin Naff (Editor, The Washington Blade)
- Michael Rogers (Founder, Blogactive)
- Michelangelo Signorile (Author & Radio Host)
- Andrew Sullivan (Columnist, The Atlantic)
- Rich Tafel (Former Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans)
While some journalists named the political figures discussed in the film, other prominent news organizations, such as The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR, refused to report names. Dick questioned this reluctance, saying, “The press often reports on things that are very painful to the subjects they are writing about. [Closeted gay politicians] are public officials; this is reporting on hypocrisy, and there is an obligation on the press to write about it.”
Film critics responded, for the most part, with positive reviews. Scott Foundas of The Village Voice praised Outrage for its well-honed arguments, sound sourcing, and journalistic boldness, and The San Francisco Chronicle's Jonathan Curiel described it as “essential viewing”. Other critics, like Variety's John Anderson, lauded the film's aesthetic sense while disagreeing with its position on outing.
Critic Armond White disliked the film, calling it "no more serious than the spiteful gossipy clown Perez Hilton", and writing that the decision to only out conservatives "influences ideological separatism, encouraging the idea of elite gay privilege".
In an interview with New York Post, Ed Koch denounced the film and claimed that it mischaracterized his record on gay issues. He did not respond to the film's assertions that he had failed to adequately respond to the New York's AIDS epidemic, or to the film's allegations that he had had a boyfriend whom he had pressured to leave New York and remain silent about their relationship.
In a review for NPR, film critic Nathan Lee mentioned that Outrage's primary subjects were Larry Craig and Charlie Crist. NPR altered Lee's review by removing these references to Craig and Crist . Lee responded in a comment on NPR's website:
“I personally disagree with NPR’s policy - there is no other area of ‘privacy’ that elicits such extreme tact. [I] also feel that it is a professional affront to my responsibility as a critic to discuss the content of a work of art, and an impingement of my first amendment right to free speech and the press.”
NPR deleted this comment as well . An NPR editor later explained these actions, noting that, “NPR has a long-held policy of trying to respect the privacy of public figures and of not airing or publishing rumors, allegations and reports about their private lives unless there is a compelling reason to do so.” . This statement drew immediate criticism, as NPR had previously speculated on the sexual orientation of public figures such as Adam Lambert and Queen Latifah . This led to questions about why closeted entertainers presented a “compelling reason” for reporting while politicians did not .
Michael Rogers appeared on a Washington, DC local news program, News Channel 8's Let's Talk Live, to discuss his work and his involvement with Outrage. One of the show's hosts, Doug McKelway, aggressively criticized Rogers for reporting on closeted politicians. When Rogers suggested that McKelway's views were homophobic, an incensed McKelway told Rogers that he would like to “punch [him] across the face”. After the show, Rogers requested an apology, but McKelway, in an on air rebuttal, refused to give one .
- ^ 'Outrage': Kirby Dick kicks open Washington's closet door, Patrick Goldstein, Los Angles Times, April 23, 2009.
- ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-listi/ioutragei-an-interview-wi_b_203225.html Outrage: An Interview with Director Kirby Dick], Brad Listi, Huffington Post, May 13, 2009.
- ^ Turan, Kenneth (2009-05-08). "Movie Review: Outrage". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/08/entertainment/et-outrage8. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Foundas, Scott (2009-05-06). "Outrage: Dick Outs, Gays Hide". LA Weekly. http://www.laweekly.com/2009-05-07/film-tv/dick-outs-gays-hide/. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Reinhard, Beth (2009-05-01). "New film doesn't 'out' Gov. Crist". The Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/418/story/1028512.html. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ a b Leiby, Richard (2009-05-06). "Documentary's Camera Aims To Shed Light On D.C.'s Closet". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/05/AR2009050503851_pf.html. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ "Outrage: New film outs gay politicians". CNN. 2009-05-03. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro6QYhiYqb4. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ "White-Hot 'Outrage' Over The Capitol Hill Closet". NPR.org. 2009-05-08. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103875747. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Foundas, Scott (2009-05-05). "Kirby Dick's Outrage Outs Closeted Pols and the Media that Protect Them". The Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-05-06/film/kirby-dick-s-outrage-outs-closeted-pols-and-the-media-that-protect-them/.
- ^ Curiel, Jonathan (2009-05-08). "Review: Outrage". The San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/08/MVBM17GGMI.DTL.
- ^ Anderson, John (2009-04-25). "Outrage". Variety. http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=print_review&reviewid=VE1117940124&categoryid=31.
- ^ White, Armond (2009-05-06). "Outrage". New York Press. http://www.nypress.com/article-19762-outrage.html.
- ^ "Koch Has Right to Be Outraged". New York Post. 2009-04-29. http://www.nypost.com/seven/04292009/gossip/pagesix/koch_has_right_to_be_outraged_166670.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ a b c Hernandez, Eugene (2009-05-11). ""Outrage" Review Spiked for Naming Names". indieWIRE. http://www.indiewire.com/article/outrage_review_spiked_for_naming_names/. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Baron, Zach (2009-05-11). "NPR Censors Its Own Review of Outrage, Cites "Old-Fashioned" and Quite Possibly Dishonest Policy". The Village Voice. http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/archives/2009/05/npr_censors_its.php. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ a b Buchanan, Kyle (2009-05-11). "NPR's Hypocrisy: Outrage Review Censored, Gay Idol Speculation OK". Movieline. http://www.movieline.com/2009/05/nprs-hypocrisy-outrage-review-censored-gay-idol-speculation-ok.php.
- ^ "Why Is NPR Picking And Choosing Which Public Figures To Out?". Queerty. 2009-05-12. http://www.queerty.com/why-is-npr-picking-and-choosing-which-public-figures-to-out-20090512/. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Buchanan, Kyle (2009-05-22). "NPR Responds to Movieline's Accusations of Hypocritical Outrage Handling". Movieline. http://www.movieline.com/2009/05/npr-responds-to-movielines-accusations-of-hypocritical-outrage-handling.php. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ Heywood, Todd (2009-05-07). "DC Anchor to outing blogger: I would like to 'give you a punch across the face.'". The Raw Story. http://rawstory.com/news/2008/DC_Anchor_to_outing_blogger_I_0507.html. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- ^ "Doug McKelway Still Really, Really Wants to Punch Mike Rogers". Queerty. 2009-05-08. http://www.queerty.com/doug-mckelway-still-really-really-wants-to-punch-mike-rogers-20090508/. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Official website
- Film trailer
- Outrage at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with film director Kirby Dick at Salon.com