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Heath Ledger Lashes Out At Gay Cowboy Ban


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Heath Ledger Lashes Out At Gay Cowboy Ban

by Peter Hacker, 365Gay.com Sydney, Australia Bureau

Posted: January 10, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) "Brokeback Mountain" star Heath Ledger says that two theaters that have cancelled the film because of its gay content is akin to racism.

Ledger made the comments Monday night at the Australian premiere of the movie in Melbourne, as the film was picking up more awards in California.

Theaters in the states of Washington and Utah have pulled the movie.

"I heard a while ago that West Virginia was going to ban it. But that's a state that was lynching people only 25 years ago, so that's to be expected," Ledger told the Sydney Morning Herald.

So far no theaters in West Virginia officially have cancelled the film.

"Personally, I don't think the movie is (controversial) but I think maybe the Mormons in Utah do. I think it's hilarious and very immature of a society.

"If two people are loving . . . I think we should be more concerned if two people express anger in love, than love."

About 1000 people turned out to see the Australian born Ledger and his wife Michelle Williams walk the red carpet.

Last week the movie mysteriously disappeared at Salt Lake City's Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons, despite ads for it in Salt Lake City's two major newspapers.

The theater is owned by prominent Mormon businessman Larry H. Miller. The manger of the Megaplex refused to say why the film had been cancelled. A Miller spokesperson did not return calls.

The film which has received numerous award nominations and glowing reviews has been under attack in Utah by the powerful Mormon Church. Whether that influenced the decision to pull the film is not known.

The Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative group that backed the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and regularly fights other LGBT issues praised the decision not to run the film.

The decision by Miller Group to drop the film came a day after another chain suddenly decided not to show the movie in Poulsbo, Washington. (story)

The Regal multiplex movie theater ran ads for "Brokeback Mountain" in Thursday's edition of the Kitsap Sun newspaper and was promoting pre-sale tickets at the theater.

But when people went to the theater posters had been removed and the film was not available.

The theater is owned by the Regal chain of movie house. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based Regal is one of the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world.

Monday night "Brokeback Mountain" won a leading three awards, including best picture and best director for Ang Lee, but it was Philip Seymour Hoffman's entrancing portrayal of Truman Capote that captured the best actor honor Monday at the 11th annual Critics' Choice Awards.

Hoffman plays the gay author in the film "Capote".

©365Gay.com 2006

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