Brooks Barnes’s much-anticipated piece for Sunday’s Times on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Brüno upsetting gay groups is online early, and, since nobody’s actually seen the movie yet, the controversy can basically be summed up by this quote from a GLAAD spokeswoman: “Some people in our community may like this movie, but many are not going to be O.K. with it.” For the time being, slightly more troubling is the revelation that one of Brüno’s most-talked-about scenes is as fake as Baron Cohen’s stunt at the MTV Awards.
In one scene Brüno appears on a talk show holding a baby who is wearing a T-shirt reading “Gayby.” The sequence flashes back to Brüno having sex in a hot tub while the baby sits nearby. (A person who worked on the movie noted that the flashback consists of still images that were Photoshopped — no baby was actually present — and that the sex is only strongly implied.)
So, even though ads for Brüno guarantee “real people, real situations,” there was actually no baby physically present during the filming of the hot-tub sex scene. Outrageous! Universal tells the Times that “the vast majority of the people who appear with Mr. Baron Cohen had no idea they were being filmed for a Hollywood movie.” But were they all added digitally during post-production?