Okay, this is why everyone’s accusing Jacob Elordi of ‘queerbaiting’ right now
Twitter is in a frenzy
After the SAG-AFTRA strike lifted earlier this month, we’re once again privy to the chaos of Hollywood red carpets, star-heavy TV interviews and magazine profiles. And one man who’s being going viral almost every day on Twitter since the press circuit frenzy began again is everyone’s favourite 6ft4 model of a man: Jacob Elordi.
Jacob is chatty because he’s got a lot to promote. First, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla and now Emerald Fennell posh boy romance-turned-betrayal thriller Saltburn. In the latter movie, Barry Keoghan’s character Oliver is infatuated with Jacob’s head boy energy character Felix. And the pair have been flirting it up on the red carpet so heavily Jacob is now being accused of ‘queerbaiting’.
So, in case you’re wondering what ‘queerbaiting’ actually is and why Jacob is being accused of it, here’s everything you need to know about the debate around the Saltburn press tour:
Right, so what actually is ‘queerbaiting’?
Essentially queerbaiting is sort of like a marketing ploy where brands or characters in fiction allude to LGBTQ+ representation or same-sex relationships without actually outright depicting them. Harry Styles has often been accused of queer-baiting because of his style and playing a gay character in My Policeman. But the term has been criticised as regressive as some people claim it strips away the nuance of queerness and can put pressure on stars to speak publicly about their sexuality even when their preferences may be fluid and/or personal.
And why has Jacob Elordi been accused of queer baiting?
Jacob has specifically been called out for queerbaiting because of multiple things he’s said and done in the last few weeks on the Saltburn press tour. Fundamentally, we don’t know Jacob’s preferences (he’s previously dated women in the public eye) and he doesn’t owe us an explanation of his sexuality. But that hasn’t stopped everyone collecting evidence of his so-called queerbaiting.
First, Jacob said in a live interview his first ever crushes were on men. More specifically, Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt. “That’s a beautiful man. There’s just no denying it,” he said. Then, he gave a fairly explicit interview to GQ about a very specific scene in Saltburn where Barry’s character watches him masturbate and, after he’s left the bathroom, slurps up the semen left in the bath: “I was like, ‘Thank God, it’s mine,'” Jacob said of the scene. “I was very proud. I was very proud to have Barry Keoghan guzzling it like that.”
The quote has Twitter divided. Some people have passed out from excitement, others are perturbed there’s not actually any gay sex between Barry and Jacob in Saltburn, and some continue to analyse the way Jacob sits, stands and speaks for “clues” about his sexuality. But Jacob doesn’t really owe anybody an explanation. Because nobody should face public pressure to define themselves.
Featured image credit via AFF-USA/Shutterstock