On Sunday, comedian Billy Eichner attacked Justice Clarence Thomas and "all the homophobes" on the Supreme Court while introducing a band at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.
Before announcing a performance by pop rock artist Panic At the Disco, Eichner, a comedian known for his show Billy on the Street, took a moment to plug his new LGBTQ rom-com movie Bros. He did so by berating conservative justices on the Supreme Court.
Now, listen up. Some of you know me as Billy on the Street. But on September 30th, I have a movie coming out called Bros. Bros is making history as the first gay rom-com ever made by a major studio, and be the first where every role is played by an openly LGBTQ actor. Right? And I need you all there in theaters on September 30th, because we need to show all the homophobes like Clarence Thomas [cheers and applause] and all the homophobes on the Supreme Court that we want gay love stories, and we support LGBTQ people, and we are not are not letting them drag us back into the last century! Because they are in the past! And Bros is the future!
In his concurrence in the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Thomas restated his individual view that SCOTUS should look at past "substantive due process" decisions, including the Obergefell decision that nullified state laws on same-sex marriage.
But I'm guessing Eichner isn't interested in a debate on the finer points of Constitutional law, especially considering his rant went after "all the homophobes on the Supreme Court," whatever that means.
Besides incoherently attacking the Court, Eichner also thinks heterosexuals need to watch his same-sex romantic comedy to "show all the homophobes." Is it now homophobic to be uninterested in a gay romance? Why is it no longer enough to just live and let live?
The evening also got political when singer Lizzo received the "Video for Good Award."
Lizzo, who initially arrived at the ceremony dressed like a gigantic garbage bag, told the audience, “Your vote means everything to me, it means everything to making a change in this country. So remember, when you’re voting for your favorite artist, vote to change some of these laws that are oppressing us.”
It remains a mystery as to what laws are oppressing this super-wealthy and mega-successful celebrity while she simultaneously received an award.
Back in the 1990s, MTV partnered with Rock the Vote to get left-leaning young people into the voting booths, but young people today have barely heard of MTV.
MTV's Video Music Awards in particular once had significant cultural power and helped push society's cultural goalposts further left. But the influence on youth of this former cultural institution is now dying, with viewership on the decline for years.
It's ironic that a presenter, such as Eichner, proclaimed to know "the future" while speaking at an event that felt like it belonged firmly in the past.