If I weren’t sitting on a hard airlines terminal floor I might write my own riff about the passing of the revolting and homophobic Proposition 8. But it’s very difficult to be focused and productive in such a physically uncomfortable position. (Plus I’m too angry at Continental Airlines to think straight anyway.)
So let’s just say I’m also wondering, as Kris Tapley did earlier today, if an earlier release of Milk — which deals in part with the campaign against the homophobic Briggs Amendment (i.e., Prop 6) in ’78 — might have somehow raised consciousness and perhaps helped defeat Prop 8. I know, I know…pipe dream. The Orange County and San Joaquin Valley yokels would have rallied hard for Prop 8 no matter what.
“Some of the film’s most inspiring and, indeed, captivating moments come during the sequence that details the Prop 6 fight,” Tapley notes. “Consistently, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn ‘s career-best portrayal) makes the point, to paraphrase, ‘We have to make them understand that they know us.’ That message, I think, might have carried a lot of heft if voters had made it to the polls four weeks later.”
But I’m not a studio head and I don’t make these decisions. A studio’s priority is, of course, to shareholders, and “Milk” is likely to make more money in its current release plan than something earlier in the season. But you can’t help but wonder what might have been. And you can’t “give ’em hope” after the fact.