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Writer Bret Easton Ellis is taking a step back from the controversial series of tweets he sent out earlier this month that criticized Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow as “overrated” because she is “a very hot woman.”
Ellis, who is best known for writing American Psycho, began his rant on Dec. 6, adding that he has been unimpressed with her movies, including 2009’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. Bigelow’s win for the film made her the first female director to win an Oscar. “Are we talking about visionary filmmaking or just OK junk?” Ellis wrote.
He continued the rant the next day, telling people to “get the F over it” and “I still believe that if The Hurt Locker had been directed by a man it would not have won the Oscar for best director.”
He also wrote, “The only time I felt a woman director deserved the Oscar was Sofia Coppola for Lost In Translation because it had a no bulls**t female tone.”
However, on Monday, Ellis wrote a column for the Daily Beast titled “Dear Kathryn Bigelow: Bret Easton Ellis is Really Sorry.” In the editorial, Ellis goes tweet by tweet, breaking down the thought process behind every comment.
He wrote that his first “overrated” tweet “was my Twitter-casual response to both the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle awarding Bigelow best director of the year, and awarding her new movie Zero Dark Thirty, about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, Best Picture. I hadn’t seen Zero Dark Thirty but thought, in the Twitter-moment, can it really be that good? Marc Boal and Kathryn Bigelow and another war film?”
The one tweet that Ellis really seemed to feel sorry about was “Barraged today by people who think I'm "sexist" and "toxic" for thinking the beautiful Kathryn Bigelow is overrated because she's a woman...” He noted that this specific tweet “has become a problem” for “Twitter Me; my Twitter consciousness, just wanting to have fun and be a bit of a provocateur in 140 characters. And then realizing ... err, that’s not really fun or that provocative.”
Ellis adds that he knows that there was some sexism in his tweets. “A lot of this hand wringing has to do with the dismantling of a casually unconscious sexism that has long been tolerated in the culture (“Duh? You think, Bret?” I can imagine the National Organization for Women groaning). Those big proclamations I made about Bigelow’s “hot” looks: where does that come from? Because clearly I haven’t been mentioning her male counterparts looks or lack thereof. And being gay you’d think I might’ve gone there (sorry Martin McDonagh),” he explained. “Out of all the Bigelow tweets there are only one or two I can kind of stand by.”
Ellis later writes that he plans on taking a Twitter break through the holidays, but he still had a few words left to say. He did finally see Zero Dark Thirty, which he called “the most morally dubious, obtuse and overrated movie of 2012.” He then wrote, “1975 Best Picture Nominations: Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Nashville. Depressed at what's next?”