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01/11/2006

Shalit be known: I simply misspoke

by Jeremy Hooper

   "Today" show film critic Gene Shalit (pic.) has offered GLAAD an apology for labeling Jake Gyllenhaal's character as a "sexual predator" in his recent review of Brokeback Mountain. Shalit says, in part:

"In describing the behavior of "Jack" I used words ("sexual predator") that I now discover have angered, agitated, and hurt many people. I did not intend to use a word that many in the gay community consider incendiary. Baron Lytton wrote in 1839 that "the pen is mightier than the sword," and this matter proves again how hurtful words can be. I very much regret using them."

However, the mustachioed reviewer also requests a little make-good from GLAAD, saying:

"The GLAAD website carried an assertion that instead of reviewing "Brokeback Mountain", which is my job, I "used the occasion to promote defamatory anti-gay prejudice to a national audience." This is untrue. It is unfair to me and must be corrected. Everything in my life and in my family's life demonstrates beyond doubt that I am not homophobic. Indeed, the contrary is true, and everyone who knows me knows it."

Well, we're happy to report that the GLAADers have accepted Mr. S's regrets and have applauded his response, leaving all interested parties happier than Ann Curry on days when she gets to fill in for an ailing Couric. Here's just hoping they never re-make a certain 1987 Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic as a bodice-ripping romantic thriller, as we have a feeling that the phrase "a sexual Predator" is a descriptor now forbidden in the "Critic's Corner."

Today show reviewer regrets Brokeback comment [GLAAD Release]

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