Author and cultural critic Bret Easton Ellis clarified his tweets over the weekend in which he said he would forego having political discussions with dinner guests, telling Breitbart News that it is not liberals or conservatives he is most frustrated with, but the media as a whole.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, the American Psycho author wrote that he had been called a “Trump apologist” and accused of “colluding with Russia” by an unnamed individual as he was leaving the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday.
“Is the left f*cking NUTS?” Ellis asked.
The author, screenwriter and podcast host also said he would no longer engage in political discussions with anyone.
“Too much insanity,” he wrote. “Another dinner ruined. People are f*cking crazy. Get a grip.”
In a follow-up email to Breitbart News, Ellis — who has regularly criticized liberals in the wake of Trump’s election for “losing their sh*t” and becoming consumed by the so-called “Resistance” — filled in the details on his experience over the weekend at the Sunset Tower Hotel; and explained that it is really the American media with which he is most “appalled.”
Bret Easton Ellis:
“Hey, I was with a friend (a Hollywood producer), and it was a private conversation. I brought up something about fake news in relation to a movie I’d seen (Baby Driver is the cinematic equivalent of fake news, I think was the line), and she started to go ballistic on me for using that term. I defended not only my use of it, but the use of it in a wider context, and then all hell broke loose. I kept it together but she lost it, even attacking my socialist millennial boyfriend who she has known for 7 years (he wasn’t there) when I told her he has stopped watching MSNBC and Rachel Maddow (his goddess for awhile) after being disappointed and turned-off by their fake news (not that my boyfriend agrees with the term ‘fake news’ either, but the MSNBC bias was not moving the needle for him fast enough), empty promises from Maddow in terms of the Russians and impeachment and taxes — nada, nothing, nada. MSNBC was replaced by the Food Network and Japanese animation for him.
On Saturday, I just listened — sometimes disagreed — and mostly let her talk, but when defending the Electoral College and how the system works (I didn’t vote for Trump), she accused me of being on Trump’s side and therefore colluding with everything he represents. Once home, I threw a couple of tweets out frustrated and a little buzzed; nothing out of the ordinary, just how a lot of people are feeling. I try not to tweet anything political just because I’m not that interested, as my boyfriend pointed out — my boyfriend thought the tweets were ‘pious’ and ‘low-vibrational.’
I don’t do interviews regarding politics, so I say no to just about everyone. Sometimes I’ll talk about it on my podcast, but really it’s the media that I’m appalled by. As for whoever’s in the White House — they got voted in, what can you do? What I’m critiquing has nothing to do with Left/Right, liberal/conservative — I don’t believe in those labels, so, whatevs.
I also want to make clear that this doesn’t happen all the time: people know better and there’s a lot of groupthink out here, so the idea of things being constantly ruined isn’t necessarily true. There are tribes; Beverly Hills went red for Trump, so L.A. being 100% anti-Trump is not that clear cut. For me, as a gay man living in West Hollywood, it’s really only a few people so fatally immersed in the bubble that can get my usually chill self somewhat pissed off. My dinner partner on Saturday said she had never heard that Comey admitted the NY Times had gotten a series of stories wrong. She thought I had made that up. When I told her the world isn’t this — gesturing around the dark opulence of The Sunset Tower — and that the divide is real, she dismissed it with Trump’s approval ratings without acknowledging the media’s approval ratings are lower than Trump’s. She pointed out that MSNBC was killing it in the ratings and I told her that Maddow and Hannity are basically neck-and-neck any given night–and yet I was thinking, ‘I don’t watch either one!’ So why am I even engaging in this?”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum