Tonight Show Guests Made Uncomfortable By Taking Woodstock Gay Kiss

August 18, 2009
Last night on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, guest Demetri Martin talked about his role in the upcoming Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock and the discomfort he felt when he realized he would be playing a gay man and would have to kiss another man.At this point, guest Shaquille O'Neal scoots away from Martin on the couch and the audience and O'Brien begin laughing hysterically. Towleroad's Andy Towle posted a rough transcript this morning:
Tonight Show - Demetri MartinMARTIN: There's a scene in the movie where I have to kiss a guy, where I have to make out with this guy. (big laughter as Shaq moves away on couch) . Ang [Lee], the director said, listen, in that scene you have to kiss a girl first, and then you push her away, and then you kiss the guy. We can cast your girlfriend if you want....So the day comes, and I'm kind of dreading it but I'm like  my girlfriend will be there so that's cool. We do the first take. I kiss my girlfriend, I have to push  push her away. And then I have to go really make out with the guy in front of her. And I hadn't anticipated...   CONAN: The weirdness of doing this in front of your girlfriend.   MARTIN: And then, like eight takes later...we keep doing it over and over again. And it was weird cause it was like girlfriend, push her away, guy, oh yeah I want to kiss you, and then, okay girlfriend again...I had like 500 Altoids that night. I thought it would make a difference.   CONAN: It doesn't really, I know.
The incident is especially unfortunate because we were beginning to see a change, following Brokeback Mountain and Milk, in the way straight actors approach gay roles and discuss same-sex intimacy in the media. Furthermore, O'Neal has proven to be an ally to the LGBT community in the past, even assisting in stopping a gay bashing four years agoAs we reported yesterday, The Tonight Show also aired a problematic segment last Thursday which made fun of the transgender community. GLAAD has reached out to NBC regarding this incident. We will also be staying abreast of upcoming promotional appearances by the cast of Taking Woodstock.