Former Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy was disappointed to learn that his same-sex kiss in the movie, 80 for Brady, wound up on the cutting room floor.
80 for Brady is a sports comedy film produced by twice-retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
The film's premise is about four lifelong friends played by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field, who travel to watch Brady play for the New England Patriots in the 2017 Super Bowl.
Kenworthy, who had turned to acting with appearances on Will & Grace and American Horror Story: 1984, had a scene where he was "making out" with his on-screen boyfriend, M3GAN's Brian Jordan Alvarez.
When he was informed of the decision that his gay kissing scene was cut from the 98-minute movie due to pacing, he was convinced it was for another reason entirely.
Speaking to Variety's Mark Malkin, Kenworthy–who publicly came out as gay in a 2015 ESPN interview–revealed:
"They said they had to cut it for time, but I think they cut it for Middle America."
"Some of them got raunchy,” he said with a laugh, describing the passionate scene with his onscreen lover.
"They used the script for one take but then we did it like four or fives times where we would just ad-lib insults at each other and then make out."
While reps for Brady didn't comment on the deleted scene, a spokesperson for the production company Fifth Season confirmed in a statement that 20 minutes was:
“Cut from the film for pacing reasons, including key scenes with cast members, along with cameo appearances such as Gus and Brian’s kissing scene.”
The statement continued recognizing LGBTQ+ members involved with the production.
“We value and celebrate the contributions of the filmmakers and all of the incredible talent involved with the movie, including those members of the LGBTQ community."
"We are deeply committed to meeting the needs of each individual film while maintaining our values as an inclusive studio.”
In spite of the spokesperson addressing the situation, Kenworthy's statement is not that far-fetched.
Homophobia still remains rampant across the nation, and closed-minded conservative audiences tend to make a huge fuss about LGBTQ+ representation in movies on social media by review-bombing gay-themed shows.
Even far-right political commentators like Ben Shapiro who strongly opposes gay marriage excoriated "woke" Disney animated films and a recent episode of HBO's The Last of Us for incorporating gay characters who aren't the main focus of the story.
This is exactly why the Hollywood bean counters are apprehensive about taking risks on queer inclusion in commercial films, which only prevents normalizing the behavior and existence of the LGBTQ+ community.
It's not a secret that some executives–while claiming to be pro-LGBTQ+–focus on box office numbers. After all, it is called "show business."
Nevertheless, this hasn't deterred Kenworthy from pursuing acting.
In fact, he's been working on perfecting his acting chops and getting more involved in the competitive industry since he competed for the last time at the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he finished 8th in the final.
Ultimately, he would love to star in a gay romcom, his favorite film genre.
"I've been taking classes and auditioning a lot," he told the media outlet.
"I've been writing, and I have a couple of things in development. I'm also working on a book of essays about my life and my different experiences."
"It lends itself to the larger theme of being in the closet and coming out and persevering, but told through short anecdotal stories. Kind of like a David Sedaris-type book."
As for that nixed kissing scene, Kenworthy hopes it makes it into the director's cut.
“Release the tapes!” he exclaimed and added:
“See if you can get that trending.”
He may not care about pleasing middle-American audiences with his gayness, but his message is loud and clear.
We're here. We're queer. And they need to get over it.