Who better to deliver some thoughts on the latest Mitt Romney story than entertainment.ie's Sarah Murphy.
As a Boston liberal, I don’t need to work too hard to dislike Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He makes it wicked easy with his well-documented issues against women’s rights and gay rights, and in favor of corporate rights. There is no need to get into his Stepford wife and kids, or the creepier bits of his religion like post-mortem baptism of unwilling Mormons who died unaware they would be saved a place in Mormon afterlife...
There are some new reasons to dislike the GOP candidate now. In the last few weeks, Romney been outed as a bully who lead a 1965 attack on a fellow student at his very posh prep school, John Lauber, because he looked "too gay" with newly bleached locks. One of the fellow attackers, who went on to be a teacher and a principal, bumped into Lauber at an airport in the mid 1990s and they discussed how horrific the attack had been, with the principal saying "I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help in the situation." Other men involved in the attack have since come forward to corroborate the incident and express regret about its homophobic-motivation.
Romney has not used this as an opportunity to come out against bullying, but instead has chosen to say he doesn’t recall the incident which "might have gone too far", but denied the attack had anything to do with Lauber being gay.
Emmy-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, is busy releasing his new feature length documentary Bully, which follows the lives of five families in four different states and documents both the misery and mistreatment of their children at the hands of other young people, and the denial and indifference with which adults in positions of responsibility treat the problem. In two of the documented cases, the stories end in the victim's suicide.
Hirsch has called on Romney to make amends, telling The Hollywood Reporter, he hoped for something more. "This could be a true presidential moment for Mitt Romney. My hope is that he would recognize that we are past framing bullying as horse play or pranking around...This is an opportunity for Romney to really lead on this issue. His apology fell short of that. That's not to say he won't feel different after some soul searching. I would hope anyone standing for president would take the opportunity to set a clear example on this issue. We're looking to do away with language that minimizes bullying."
Romney’s cavalier attitude to a bit of "harmless" homophobia was documented as recently as last month when he was caught by a Fox Mole on video mocking a gay voice when considering a pink tie.
Gawker humorously got Hollywood voice coach Bob Corff, whose many areas of expertise include recognizing and eliminating male actors' "gay accents" to comment on the idiom: "I would say he is doing his impersonation of an effeminate man. I think it was his attempt at being funny. My advice to him is he shouldn't give up his day job."