Hanna Rosin Apologizes For Her ‘Cruel’ View Of Joel Kim Booster’s Fire Island
Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang in Fire Island. (Hulu)
American author Hanna Rosin has apologized for a controversial tweet that said Joel Kim’s queer romantic comedy Booster Fire Island failed the Bechdel test.
The Hulu film sees four queer pals take a trip to Fire Island Pines, New York’s gay paradise, and experience love, dating and, of course, singing karaoke with Britney Spears.
The Jane Austen Update Pride and Prejudice starring Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Jang received favorable reviews – but Rosin wasn’t one of them.
In a since-deleted tweet posted Monday, June 6, Rosin, 52, took a swipe at the film’s female portrayal.
“So @Hulu #FireIslandMovie scores an F- on the Bechdel test in a whole new way,” she wrote. “Are we just ignoring dull lesbian stereotypes [because] cute gay asian boys?
“Is this revenge for all those years of gay best friend?
The Bechdel Test, named after lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel, measures how many named women discuss anything other than men in movies and other media.
Twitter users quickly poked holes in the Are men obsolete? author’s point of view, pointing out that the film offers gay Asian men a level of visibility that has long been denied to them.
Among Rosin’s critics was Yang himself. Posting a photo on Instagram of him posing with former adult entertainer Robin Bryd, the 31-year-old Saturday Night Live the host wrote: “F- on the Bechdel test.”
As gay singer Simon Curtis confronted Rosin with the reality of his ‘extremely cruel’ comment.
“How do you think an Asian gay ‘boy’ in the US feels having literally never seen himself in a movie?” curtis tweeted.
“Are you really so self-absorbed, so unable to step out of yourself for a moment, that you can’t see that maybe this isn’t *supposed* to be about you?”
Bechdel herself even joined in, making it clear that the film passes its namesake test well. She referred to a Fire Island scene in which Noah (Booster) and Howie (Yang) discuss their favorite Alice Munro short stories.
“OK, I just added a corollary to the Bechdel test,” she says. tweeted. “Two men talk to each other about the female protagonist of an Alice Munro story in a script structured on a Jane Austen novel = happening.”
Other users, however, did what Twitter does best – literally turn anything into a joke.
i was having a conversation with myself and i failed the bechdel test 🙁
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) June 7, 2022
i fail the bechdel test because i don’t talk to anyone
— iana murray (@ianamurray) June 7, 2022
The movie Fire Island did not pass the bechamel test. Featured homosexuals have never prepared bechamel once
— Vinny Thomas (@vinn_ayy) June 7, 2022
When the gay porn I watch gets an F on the Bechdel Test pic.twitter.com/dg1DcLR5hG
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) June 7, 2022
So @ hulu #JustInFrontofMySalad scores an F- on the Bechdel test in a whole new way. Are we just ignoring dull lesbian salads bc cute kitchen boys gay? Is this revenge for all those years of gay best friend? pic.twitter.com/PPOlQhrmCa
—Slade (@Slade) June 7, 2022
Amid the backlash, Rosin deleted the “careless” and “offensive” tweet and stressed that she had “a lot to learn.”
“I deleted a tweet that many of you rightly pointed out as offensive,” she said in a Tuesday post along with a screenshot of the now infamous tweet.
“I have read your answers and I hear you. My tweet was careless and thoughtless.
I deleted a tweet that many of you rightly called offensive. I have read your answers and I hear you. My tweet was careless and thoughtless. Really. The movie told a story of gay AAPI men, whose experiences don’t come up enough in the movies or anywhere else 1/3 pic.twitter.com/FEI0sDqXJe
— Hanna Rosin (@HannaRosin) June 7, 2022
“Really. The movie told a story about queer AAPI [Asian American Pacific Islander] men, whose experiences do not appear enough in the movies or elsewhere.
Rosin added, “What I had to say was irrelevant, let alone a buzzkill about a fun summer movie. It’s a cliché but the fact that I didn’t see it coming means I have a lot to learn.
“The last thing I want to do is pit members of my community against each other. I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt by my words.