Scene From Bruno Cut Out Due to Michael Jackson's Death
We already brought you one hilarious new Bruno update today, so how about another not-so-hilarious update? Steven Zeitchik over on the Risky Biz Blog confirms that Universal is cutting out a scene from Bruno that references Michael Jackson. The studio re-cut the film just hours before its Los Angeles premiere last night. They're considering removing it from all of the prints before it opens nationwide on July 10th. I personally find it absolutely ridiculous to remove this scene, but I think Universal is making a smart decision in order to prevent a backlash from moviegoers. Who knows if they'll ever re-release it.
The scene comes from the first half of the movie and when Bruno was interview LaToya Jackson in his unfurnished home. He proceeds to ask about her brother Michael and his high pitched voice and trademark white glove. He even asks if she can call him, and when she says no, he gets her to give up her iPhone, proceeds to flips through it to find Michael Jackson, and in German reads off the phone number for his assistant to write down. It's a pretty good scene, especially in the context of the moment (as it's very early on and it plays hilariously). I would hate to see it go, but if Universal thinks it's for the best, then so be it.
I'm not trying to be insensitive or disrespectful, but I think it's a part of the movie that works well, and it just seems crazy to keep it removed in the final cut because of Michael Jackson's shocking death yesterday. The movie comes out in a few more weeks, which will give fans and moviegoers enough time to grieve if they so desire. As far as I recall, it wasn't as offensive to Michael as it was to LaToya, making her look like the idiot. And if it doesn't make it in the movie now, it'll end up on DVD or on YouTube later anyway. Sacha Baron Cohen is all about controversy and this is exactly that, but obviously Universal is getting cold feet.
"We decided to take it out for tonight and we'll reassess before the release whether to keep it out," director Larry Charles said at the afterparty. A spokesperson for Universal also confirmed that they had not come to any decision on future showings. So even though the scene was removed yesterday, which I do think was an appropriate and respectful decision, it may still be in the movie when it hits theaters in a few weeks.