Bruno is involved in the whole Michael Jackson foofaraw, of course. There's a scene in the film where the Austrian gay toys with LaToya Jackson and tries to get her brother's phone number from her BlackBerry. Should Universal cut it?
The Wrap is reporting that the studio already has nixed the scene where LaToya eats sushi off a naked Latino gardener and Bruno fiddles with her PDA. Supposedly this kind of extremely last-minute (the film comes out on July 10th) edit will cost Universal millions.
Kim Masters writes about the "controversy" in a more speculative tone, wondering if the edit is even necessary.
"It so transgresses the question of taste-you cut it, I think," says a former studio president not associated with the film. "You certainly have a conversation about it. You examine it very carefully."
A veteran marketing executive disagrees. "It wasn't like they shot it and [Michael Jackson] was 85 years old and they expected him to die," she says. "It's just another one on the list of controversial issues surrounding Brüno." But if the Jackson family asks that the sequence be deleted, she adds, that will create a problem.
The point about the expectation of death is a good one. To avoid the matter entirely, to blot it out like it never happened, seems a bit scaredy-cat. The intentions are what ultimately matter, and while Sacha Baron Cohen's intentions are never altruistic, he certainly never intended to make a morbid death joke.
But, yeah, if the family asks nicely? We say cut the damn thing. There's always the Special Edition "Wacko Jacko" DVD, after all.