Vincent Gallo Pens Essay on Weinstein, Trump and 'Brown Bunny': "I Was the Donald Trump of Cannes"

Vincent Gallo - Getty - H 2018
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In a long, rambling open letter, the actor-writer-director-producer settled scores with a number of people including Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Mark Zuckerberg, feminists and his bête noire, the late critic Roger Ebert.

Vincent Gallo likes Donald Trump "a lot" and is "extremely proud he is the American President," says he once threatened producer Harvey Weinstein for what he had done to Asia Argento, and took another opportunity to slam critics and defend his film Brown Bunny.  

The ever controversial multi-hyphenate publicly settled scores, apologized, philosophized, explained and rambled in a long and impassioned essay for Another Man magazine. Gallo's intention was to "go on the record and clarify some hearsay, lies, fantasies, and the delusions of others," without, he writes, "a journalist separating you from me and the truth."

After some background on who he is and where he came from, the highlights among the various one-sided rhetorical battles and provocations include Gallo's praise of Trump, adding that he's "sorry if that offends" anyone.

Gallo reveals that he once threatened Weinstein for what he had done to Italian actress Asia Argento, with whom he was friends around the time the now disgraced mogul allegedly assaulted her. He claims his outspoken defense of Argento made him an enemy of Weinstein, and that scuppered his film career. Gallo adds that he was disappointed with the press at the time that did not take his claims about Weinstein seriously. He said he was doubly disappointed by Argento. "Naturally, it felt bad when, instead of speaking out along with me, Asia then denied and changed her story and went on to work with him, carry on a personal relationship with him," Gallo writes. 

He also aims fire at one of Weinstein's other alleged victims, Rose McGowan. "What if, instead of taking a $100,000 payoff to remain silent, Rose McGowan filed charges against Harvey Weinstein at the time of her incident? How many future incidents would she have prevented?"

Gallo adds that Weinstein was indeed a "brutal pig" but he really wished that it "wasn’t those two particular girls getting glorified for now saying so."

Segueing from Weinstein to modern feminism, Gallo takes aim at feminist heroes like Hillary Clinton. "The feminist tribe chooses odd heroes. Hillary Clinton. Feminism should be a fight for fairness. Instead the fight is only to control outcome. And when feminists don’t like outcome, they assume something’s unfair. Like fools. Most of the left is the same way," he opines.  

Gallo reserves most of his ire for the critics who slammed his 2003 film Brown Bunny, which features the infamous real fellatio scene between Gallo and Chloe Sevigny. The film was roundly booed and caused mass walkouts at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The late critic Roger Ebert famously described Brown Bunny as the "worst" film ever to screen at the festival. 

"The critics who say nothing happens in The Brown Bunny while my character drives across the country, those critics have the intellect of children. Children need to be constantly entertained and amused," Gallo writes. 

Gallo says he felt like the "Donald Trump of Cannes" in 2003 and critics hated his film as soon as the opening credits which said "Written, directed, edited and produced by Vincent Gallo" rolled. "Over these credits, which lasted about 6 seconds, a loud heckling assortment of boos, hisses, laughing, sneers and shouts of 'narcissist' drowned out the film’s opening soundtrack. Something was wrong."

He added: "Contrary to what was written at the time and printed in Screen International and then reprinted many times after, I did not apologize for making The Brown Bunny. I am not sorry that I made the film."

Gallo's essay also includes several ad hominem, decontextualized attacks on people including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner ("please lie down and die"), artist Chris Habib ("asshole"), 'It' girl Cory Kennedy ("I didn’t even like her much and she smelled funny") and Slits guitarist Viv Albertine ("I wasn’t attracted to you and was only being polite by not making that clear").

It wasn't all negative, however, as Gallo had kind words for River Phoenix ("by far the best and most beautiful of his generation"), surfer Laird Hamilton ("greatest of them all") and Quentin Tarantino ("You’re one of a kind. You’re great."). 

Gallo ends the piece by writing that the "reasons why I do things are difficult for me to understand and difficult for me to explain." He concludes by writing that the whole process has been "uncomfortable and embarrassing" and he doesn't imagine anything "productive" will come of it.