Saturday, January 9, 2010

A case of Holmesophobia?; (London) Guardian, 1/6/10

Ben Walters, (London) Guardian; A case of Holmesophobia?:

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously had a soft spot for fairies. The same cannot, it seems, be said of the keepers of his literary flame – not, at least, of Andrea Plunket, who lays claim to the remaining US copyrights relating to Conan Doyle's most iconic creation.

According to IMDB, Plunket has reacted with fury to Robert Downey Jr's suggestion on The Late Show with David Letterman that Sherlock Holmes, whom he plays in Guy Ritchie's film, could be perceived as "a very butch homosexual". Introducing a clip in which Holmes lets off some steam bare-knuckle boxing after offending Watson, Downey also floated the possibility that Rachel McAdams's character, with whom the detective is apparently besotted, "could be a beard. Who knows?"

"I hope this is just an example of Mr Downey's black sense of humour," Plunket reportedly fumed in an interview with Total Film. "It would be drastic, but I would withdraw permission for more films to be made if they feel that is a theme they wish to bring out in the future. I am not hostile to homosexuals, but I am to anyone who is not true to the spirit of the books."

It's hard to think of the last time so much befuddled, hateful knee-jerk reaction was funnelled into so few words. Oh, wait, no, it isn't – Jan Moir's Daily Mail article on Stephen Gately will be hard to top on that front for some time. Still, Plunket does awfully well, insisting that the idea of a beloved character being gay is not just a joke but a sick joke before offering a declaration of tolerance to stand alongside "I've nothing against black people" and "Don't get me wrong, I love women"."

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