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Fire Island’s Joel Kim Booster forgives Billy Eichner’s LGBTQ film comments

"God knows I've said plenty of dumb s**t without a publicist's help," Booster tweeted.

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Searchlight Pictures and Universal

Joel Kim Booster has weighed in on Billy Eichner’s controversial comments about his upcoming LGBTQ+ rom-com’s theatrical release, over a streaming debut.

Eichner, star and co-writer of Bros, spoke about his pride that his film is receiving a wide theatrical release as opposed to “some streaming thing which feels disposable, or which is like one of a million Netflix shows,” in an interview with Variety.

Many online accused Eichner of shading gay rom-com Fire Island, which was released on Hulu/Disney+ in June, with the aforementioned comment.

On Sunday (4 August), the Fire Island star took to Twitter to share his take on Eichner’s comments.

“It seems like he was pretty inarticulate in his excitement about his movie getting a theatrical release, which is really f**king cool and something I’m sure the studio and his publicist is making him constantly talk about,” Booster wrote. “God knows I’ve said plenty of dumb s**t without a publicist’s help.”

He continued: “I’m so proud of my movie and all the people who helped make it happen and am so grateful it was accessible to so many people on streaming, and don’t see it as any less valuable because of that.”

Booster went on to note he and Eichner have cleared the air and that he doesn’t want people to pit the films against each other, instead focusing on supporting and uplifting LGBTQ+ projects.  

Eichner responded to Booster’s response with a heartfelt message on Twitter: “Thank you Joel. I adore you as an artist and as a friend and I have insane amounts of respect for you.” 

“You inspire me to be better and wiser and bolder in my work. That’s the truth. We are all in this together. Thank you so much for this note.”

Eichner jokes that having been cancelled, the pair’s remake of the 2007 buddy comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry has been shelved until further notice. 

Following the initial backlash to his comments, Eichner posted a Twitter thread to address and clarify what he meant and apologise “from the bottom of my heart” to anyone who was offended by his remarks. 

“I was not at ALL referring to the quality or monumental impact of streaming films, I was referring to the way that, historically, LGBTQ+ content has often been considered niche and disregarded by Hollywood,” he wrote.

He added: “I am very proud Bros is one of many projects – theatrical, streaming, online, etc – where so many of us are finally getting to tell our own LGBTQ+ stories.”

Fire Island is available to stream on Hulu now and Bros is in UK cinemas on 28 October.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.