'Beyond Douchiness': Bret Easton Ellis Pens Apology to Kathryn Bigelow

2012-25 TOWN Bret Easton Ellis H

On June 22, author-screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis tweeted he lives in the same West Hollywood building as the notoriously reclusive Deadline Hollywood blogger. Three weeks later, according to Ellis, Finke called ICM and threatened to sue.

The "Less Than Zero" writer says that after conversations with multiple women -- including his own mother -- he's come to realize that his tweets about the "Zero Dark Thirty" director were indeed sexist.

Bret Easton Ellis would like to extend an olive branch to Kathryn Bigelow -- and to anyone offended by his recent Twitter spree.

The author whipped up a firestorm of controversy with a series of tweets aimed at the Oscar-winning driector of The Hurt Locker, whom he derided as being "a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated." 

STORY: Bret Easton Ellis Tweets Sexist Insult About 'Zero Dark Thirty' Director Kathryn Bigelow 

As outrage and claims of sexism grew, the Less Than Zero writer doubled down in his subsequent tweets, calling Bigelow's other films "OK junk" and that "if The Hurt Locker had been directed by a man it would not have won the Oscar for best director."

In a Daily Beast essay examining the tweets and his feelings about the reaction to them, Ellis acknowledges that his language "has become a problem."

"I don’t mean for the 364,000 people who follow BretEastonEllis’s verified Twitter account," he writes. "No, it’s become a problem for the Twitter Me; my Twitter consciousness, just wanting to have fun and be a bit of a provocateur in 140 characters. And then realizing ... err, that’s not really fun or that provocative. It goes beyond douchiness into another more insensitive realm."

After stepping away from the computer and then returning to his Twitter feed, Ellis was sickened by what he saw.

"The queasy feeling I get rereading it... is: Why does it look like I’m attacking Kathryn Bigelow when I just had an urge to tweet about her?...  And did I have to finally admit that I went too far sometimes?"

Ellis admits that it was a latent sexism at play is his casual, provocative observations.

"A lot of this handwringing has to do with the dismantling of a casually unconscious sexism that has long been tolerated in the culture ('Duh? You think, Bret?' I can imagine the National Organization for Women groaning). Those big proclamations I made about Bigelow’s 'hot' looks: where does that come from? Because clearly I haven’t been mentioning her male counterparts looks or lack thereof. And being gay you’d think I might’ve gone there (sorry Martin McDonagh)," he writes.

STORY: Bret Easton Ellis Resumes Kathryn Bigelow Rant, Tweets 'Get the F Over It' 

And Ellis says it took several conversations with women, including his own mother, for him to realize it.

"Only then did I have My Twitter Moment," he writes. "And I’m not even saying that Kathryn Bigelow was hurt or even noticed the tweets or even cared. I imagine her balls are bigger than that. I thought that in the Bigelow tweets people might find a certain truth... about the hypocrisy of the world, of the Hollywood mindset, beautiful women in the movie biz, reverse sexism, etc. But they ultimately revealed a much more layered sexism that, I guess I thought as a gay man, I could get away with..."

Ellis says he's taking a Twitter break -- just for the holidays.

But not just yet: On Monday, he tweeted that Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow's critically acclaimed new film, is "the most morally dubious, obtuse and overrated movie of 2012."

Email: seth.abramovitch@thr.com

Twitter: @SethAbramovitch