Bret Easton Ellis: Free Speech Is Being “Muzzled” In Current Political Climate


Screenwriter and author Bret Easton Ellis claims free speech is being muzzled in the current political climate and that Hollywood has become “more uninteresting” as creativity is stifled.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the author of the generation-defining book Less Than Zero and screenwriter for American Psycho awaits a Hulu version of Less Than Zero that just wrapped.

He said the recent stifling of speech in the current political climate means “everyone feels muzzled now, and it comes down to how much you can take. Can I talk about what I’m feeling and say my opinion? You get to a point where there’s a break, a fissure, and you either decide to go through it and be yourself, or you decide to hide. I don’t know what kind of life it’s like to hide. I feel more comfortable expressing myself as a completely transparent man now.”

Ellis, who has recently ended his long-standing coyness about his sexuality, said playing identity politics led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election. He added that he’s not worried about the Trump administration’s stance on gay rights.
“It’s not something that I worry about, or is on my mind,” Ellis said. “That’s the problem with identity politics, and it’s what got Hillary into trouble. If you have a vagina, you had to vote for Hillary. This has seeped into a bedrock credo among a lot of people, and you’ve gotta step back. People are not one-issue voters. I am not going to vote as a gay man, and I don’t think the idea of us not being allowed to marry is going to happen.”

He added: “Pence has his issues, but Trump is not an anti-gay president in any way, shape or form. I also have gay friends who support and voted for Trump, based on certain policies. It’s not just about being gay and being able to marry.”

Ellis allow that as a result of his outspoken views, he claims he has been called a “Trump apologist” and attacked for his criticisms of the Democratic Party and modern left-wing movement.

 Hulu’s TV adaptation of Less Than Zero comes from Ellis, Greenleaf creator Craig Wright and Fox 21 Television Studios.Adapted by Wright, Less Than Zero follows a college freshman returning home for Christmas to spend time with his ex-girlfriend and his friend who struggles with addiction. Less Than Zero presents a look at the culture of wealthy, decadent youth in Los Angeles. Wright executive produces with Ellis.

Less Than Zero was previously adapted as a feature film starring Robert Downey Jr., James Spader, Jami Gertz and Andrew McCarthy. Ellis co-wrote with Harley Peyton the screenplay for the 1987 movie, produced by Fox 21 sibling 20th Century Fox. You can watch a trailer below.

Less Than Zero was Ellis’ debut novel, published in 1985 by Simon and Schuster. It is one of four Ellis novels made into films. The others are Mary Harron’s adaptation of American Psycho in 2000, which went on to achieve cult status, Roger Avary’s 2002 The Rules of Attraction, and 2008’s The Informers.


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