The Silvio Berlusconi Offensiveness Machine keeps plugging along, this time with the hilarious "joke" that his dalliances with women are better than being gay.
On the heels of allegations that he hosts "bunga-bunga" parties and has an "uncontrollable sickness" for women, Berlusconi told a "motorcycle exhibition" today that "I work extremely hard and if every now and then I look at the face of a beautiful girl then it's better to be passionate about beautiful girls than gay." According to Nick Pisa of the Daily Mail, "His comment was greeted with roars of laughter from the crowd while La Repubblica newspaper in its online version of the incident said: 'Dealing with the delicate episode that has hit him Berlusconi chooses to tell a joke.'" Because homophobia's hilarious! Laugh it up, guys!
A spokesman for the Italian gay rights group Archigay points out that Berlusconi's words were "backwards, offensive machismo that is vulgar and gratuitous not only to homosexuals but also to women." For some reason, Pisa also reports Julianne Moore's opinion: "I think something like that is archaic, wrong and idiotic. We live in an era where things like that count for nothing and there are many significant homosexual personalities — that's why it is an embarrassing, sad and archaic thing to say." This is extremely oddly phrased and I sort of wonder if it was translated from English into Italian and then back again. However, I'm sure Berlusconi's comments were just as offensive in Italian.