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Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon Features an Old, Tired Homophobic Trope

Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon Features an Old, Tired Homophobic Trope

Zack Snyder Rebel Moon
Netflix

Who had Predatory Gay Alien on their 2023 bingo card?

Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon has been highly anticipated by sci-fi fans and his die-hard fanbase all year, and the film is finally out now on Netflix.

While Rebel Moon has been lauded for including a nonbinary character, one specific scene unfortunately dredges up a tired, old homophobic trope: the predatory gay.

In one scene (around 49 minutes into the film), main characters Kora (Sofia Boutella) and Gunnar (Michiel Huisman) are in a bar very reminiscent of a Star Wars cantina. As they talk about their plan, a large, ugly, male alien approaches the two, licks his lips, and asks Gunnar, “Is this your owner? Everything’s for sale in this place, so, how much? You know, I have a room upstairs with relatively clean sheets.”

Netflix

When the two say no, he then goes further, forcibly grabbing the man’s crotch, sexually assaulting him, and saying, “I guarantee you by morning, you’re gonna be begging me for more.”

Netflix

Netflix

The alien then pulls out a knife, further threatening the two and calling Kora a “jealous little bitch.” That’s when she goes all badass on him and grabs his arm and flips him onto the ground.

With so little queerness in the film, this scene sadly stands out. In the year of our gay lord 2023, Zack Snyder decided to write and film a scene where a Predatory Gay alien sexually assaults one of the heroes.

The Predatory Gay (or Depraved Homosexual) trope is as old as media itself. These characters have a queerness that is dripping with sexuality and threats of rape. His role is to scare the straight characters and make them uncomfortable.

Famous examples of this trope include Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) threatening James Bond while stroking his chest, neck, and thighs in Skyfall, Sandy Ryerson in Glee (he even admits he’s “what they call predatory gay”), and just about any prison movie or TV show where someone threatens to rape a new inmate.

Snyder isn’t exactly famous for his positive portrayal of queer characters in his movies.

In 300, the villainous Persians are depicted as wearing a lot of makeup and jewelry and their leader, Xerxes, is the most effeminate character in the film. In Watchmen, a lesbian superhero and her girlfriend are brutally murdered during the opening credits.

300 also has a scene where the hero Spartans insult the Athenians by calling them “boy lovers” and Watchmen has a scene where The Comedian threatens to out the gay superhero Hooded Justice. (To be fair, both of these movies are adaptations of other people’s work.)

There’s also a gay man in Dawn of the Dead, who we know is gay because we see him trying on high heels and he tells some prisoners about how he realized he was gay as they complain and act like they’re being tortured having to hear about it.

Other than that, queer representation in his films has been hard to find. Tig Notaro played a helicopter pilot in Army of The Dead, but her character’s sexuality wasn’t brought up.

Rebel Moon is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.