Jossip is reporting an interesting little tidbit. Apparently Ed Koch – former NYC mayor and considered by some (including me) as one of a dozen or so people of power whose mishandling (read: homophobia) of the AIDS crisis caused millions of unnecessary deaths – went and saw Andre Techine‘s The Witnesses on opening night.
The film details a group of people dealing with the beginning of the AIDS crisis in France. Kind of a gay (and odd considering the criticism this man has faced) thing to do for the “straight” Koch. Koch – again, in my own belief (but Randy Shilts and Larry Kramer would most definitely agree) – essentially pretended like the epidemic wasn’t even happening during the first couple of years, because he was scared making any stance would prove the many gay rumors were true.
His first move (after some serious pressure), wasn’t a favourite: he backed up the New York City Health Department’s decision to shut down the city’s gay bathhouses in 1985. Finally, in 1986, Koch signed a lesbian and gay rights ordinance for the city after the City Council passed the measure, but this was following several failed attempts by the Council to approve such legislation.
Anyway.. I could go on and on and on but I won’t. Its really not that big of a deal (Koch going to the movies, that is. That whole history of AIDS epidemic thing is a bit of a big deal). Just thought it was a bizarre decision for a man with this history to publicly attend a gay themed films about AIDS in the 80s on its opening night?