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Fire Island’s Joel Kim Booster on pulling off ‘the biggest scam in the world’ with the film’s gay orgies

The writer and actor of the gay rom-com marvels at getting Disney to include the film's sex scenes.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Hulu/Disney

Joel Kim Booster, the writer and star of the hot gay rom-com, Fire Island, has said he feels like he pulled off “the greatest scam in the world” by getting Disney to produce a film which includes gay orgies. 

Fire Island was released on Hulu and Disney+ on 3 June and sees Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice getting a queer makeover taking place on the gay haven that is Fire Island in New York.

Speaking to NPR recently, the comedian said he was keen to include sex in the film because that is a “big part of the island and people’s experiences of Fire Island”. 

“No pole”

As he discussed growing up “worshipping at the altar of Nora Ephron” Joel said he wanted to honour iconic rom-coms such as When Harry Met Sally, but that he also wanted to make a film that was authentic to the queer experience. 

“Sex is big part of the island for a lot of people’s experiences of Fire Island,” he told NPR.

“A lot of people go there and don’t have sex. But it is a part of that authenticity and the reality that I was looking to depict. I’m going to include all of the racism and I’m going to include all of the joy and I’m also going to include all of the sex.”

Asked about the film’s gay sex scenes he added: “It feels like I pulled off the biggest scam in the world that I’ve gotten Disney to produce two gay orgies now on film.”

“We were told we could have as many butts as we wanted but no pole, that was the only real pushback that we received,” the comedian continued. 

On turning Pride and Prejudice into a queer rom-com Joel says it started off as a joke idea before he realised how similar the plot was to the culture on Fire Island. 

“Jane Austen writes so beautifully about class and class differences and the ways people communicate across class lines and how people eventually dismiss some of those class lines and break out of them and ignore them completely.

“I thought it was so beautiful, because as wonderful and transformative as Fire Island is, it is a really great example of what happens when there’s no one around to oppress us. We do begin to oppress each other and create artificial class lines, which have to do with money, sure, but also body image, masculinity, and race.”

As much as it started out as a joke, Joel says he was also keen the film show “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of life in Fire Island.

The Attitude May/June issue is out now.