Thursday, April 24, 2008

Derren's "News" -- Tacky or Calculated?

As you are likely aware, this past week, on April 21, 2008, the Sun published an article announcing that Derren Brown is a homosexual.

As iTricks quickly pointed out, Derren had announced his sexual orientation a year ago in an article in the Independent. Unlike the prior announcement, though, this week's announcement was repeated in other mainstream newspapers (see, e.g., the Daily Mail), as well as numerous small-circulation periodicals and, of course, the web.

Why would Derren make this announcement a second time?

1. The Official Story

Derren answers the question himself on his official website, under the heading "second coming":

For anyone confused as to why Derren would seem to be 'coming out' again, and this time to the tabloids: the article in the Sun yesterday was something of a suprise. Derren had answered a couple of questions from a Sun journalist within a half-hour interview about the TV series, that were concerned with why he discreetly mentioned all that man-on-man business in the Independent a few months ago. Derren politely answered that it was a necessary evil: not really anyone's business, but if you don't do it then it becomes perceived as a secret. The Sun then printed this as if Derren had chosen to come out there and then to them, complete with 'Exclusive' across the top of the article. As if. Other papers then picked up on this, and suddenly it was new news.
So, yes, for those who thought it was a bit odd and tacky, it was.

Derren says the tabloid newspaper misrepresented his comments. That could be true. But --

2. The Psychological Illusionist Conspiracy Theory

The story did create a lot of buzz in the British media, and the timing is convenient (less than two weeks prior to the premier of Trick or Treat 2, Derren's new TV series).

Isn't it at least possible that Derren orchestrated the whole thing?

We here at AboutDerrenBrown are seldom critical of DB. But we have to point out that someone who can perform a magic trick and call it psychology could also execute a media campaign and call it a misunderstanding.

There, we've said it. Make up your own mind.

While we're being slightly critical of DB, though, check out the announcement under the heading "Are you a talented web designer?" on his official website. He is looking for a web designer who will work pro bono.

Hmm... If you are a web designer looking for a charity project, you might be able to find someone more needy than DB.


Anonymous said...

Never a truer word spoken. I have found the whole thing a little on the weird side since day one. His statement on his site was pretty vague to say the least and I agree that he "came out" last year and only now it is becoming news - BIGGER news than when it was first printed. If The Sun knew of this article, and have done for some time, why not just print what they were going to print in the first place as they would be lying about what Derren has said anyway... very odd timing! He has his TV programme staring AND his West End tour begins this week also. For a supposedly private person, he certainly made his personal life very public. Your sexuality only becomes a secret when you deny it when asked and for someone who hates fans knowing every little detail about him, Im well shocked!

Also, what Derren said in his statement on his site (i.e the whole Sun thing is weird and tacky), someone said people on one of his fan forums were the only people saying the exact same thing - weird and tacky, so one can only assume he or one of his "people" look there and looked there for the reaction of his "second coming". Strange!

Derren, in my opinion, has always come across as a person who would never lie about his sexuality, due to the fact that he was private (so wouldnt say anything regardless which way he swings - he doesnt need to, whose business is it) and he was a kind of "think what you like, I dont care what you think" kind of person, so I dont know why he would lie about being straight or gay! Of course, Derren hasnt used the word "gay" in any of his legit interviews about his sexuality (he only states The Independant as legit and of course his site), so, he could be anything!

Im not saying Derren is gay/bi/straight - I dont know him, only he knows what he is but I think whatever he is doing is very weird and seems very calculated, why, I dont know!

William_Tapscott said...

Thanks -- that's a great point. This whole news event seems strangest to those of us who follow Derren's career closely.

Most people who read the Sun have no idea that the news is a year old.

Sunflower said...

On the thoughts of the website design,this hasnt sat well with me for some time. As a person who is just starting in mentalism/magic and is studying DB for starting points and theory knowledge i found this rather disturbing to ask someone to do something essentially for free, and what of the ideas that get sent in?
Anyway my theory on this is the date space in which it was placed.
Derren and team are known to place adverts for "contestants" in newspapers. What if this time that is too well known and too many people apply. What if (and it is only a theory) he is collecting info on people theough a "website" he would be able to see personailities from what they design, how suggestable to anything else he has planted and maybe the new special has something to do with wording. Not a huge amount would know what pro bono means without looking it up and how many applied without even realising it. It is in his style to have some hidden enlightenment meaning in his specials and maybe this one is about words and people being taken for a ride because of the thrill an opportunity?
Also it has just closed which co-incides with the ending of the tour, meaning he is just about to start work on his channel 4 stuff.
Hope this made some sense, well it did to me anyways.