Billy Eichner is deep into the press cycle to promote his upcoming gay rom-com Bros, but one particular statement set the internet ablaze over the last few days.
During a recent interview with Variety, Eichner talked about the importance of Bros being released in theaters. “This is not an indie movie,” the comedian noted. “This is not some streaming thing which feels disposable, or which is like one of a million Netflix shows. I needed to appreciate that ‘This is a historic moment, and somehow, you’re at the center of it. You helped create it.’”
Some felt like Eichner was taking a jab at Fire Island – a gay rom-com that was released before Bros via streaming on Hulu. But now, Fire Island writer and star Joel Kim Booster has taken to social media to react to Eichner’s statement.
“Oh woof. I’ve been in the desert for 10 days with no phone so I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I feel like I should say: Billy was my first comedy boss, is my friend and has supported me in countless ways in the process of making Fire Island and ultimately our movies have very little to do with each other. It seems like he was pretty inarticulate in his excitement about his movie getting a theatrical release, which is really f*cking cool and something I’m sure the studio and his publicist is making him constantly talk about. God knows I’ve said plenty of dumb sh*t without a publicist’s help.”
“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. That being said, I’m also excited to see Bros on the big screen and wish Billy nothing but the best. I truly hope you can enjoy both or neither of our movies without pitting them against each other (even though that is obviously a very fun thing to do and basically what gay Twitter was created for). I’ve spoken to Billy and we’re cool, and I’m way too busy reading my 769 unread text messages and writing jokes about Burning Man to focus on this, so that’s a wrap for me. Thank you to everyone for being so supportive, that’s really cool.”
“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. And might I add, I’m sorry that I was cancelled and that our remake of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry has been shelved. Hope you had fun at Burning Man. See you on the dance floor.”
Booster and Eichner are clearly not interested in fueling a rivalry between two gay rom-coms in Hollywood and chose to shut down this discourse as soon as possible. Besides the comedians’ long history of working together, Fire Island and Bros are incredibly different movies that can absolutely coexist within their own frameworks.
Though it is true that Eichner’s comments didn’t sit well with the viewers who loved Fire Island, it seems like Booster just felt like burying the hatchet instead. In the end, queer people want more LGBTQ+ movies and TV shows to exist, so pitting one project against another just feels counterproductive.
Fire Island is now streaming on Hulu. Bros opens in theaters on September 30.