Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch positively reviews AIDS film then gets blasted by people in it

Larry Kramer calls Koch 'evil' and wonders: 'Is he trying to make up to us?'

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch positively reviews AIDS film then gets blasted by people in it
12 October 2012

Ed Koch was mayor of New York City from 1978-89, a period of time during which the AIDS epidemic broke out.

It’s a crisis that many have said Koch essentially ignored during his time in office.

He now writes movie reviews and this week turned his focus on the AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague. It is the story of two coalitions – ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) – whose activism and innovation is credited with playing a crucial role in HIV-AIDS going from a death sentence to a manageable condition with the help of certain drugs.

Koch describes the film as ‘superb’ in his review and suggests that key ACT UP members including Larry Kramer should receive the highest national award in the US for a civilian.

‘I don’t know if these individuals were ever honored by the White House for what they did in fighting government and powerful corporations,’ Koch writes. ‘If not, I urge President Obama to do so by presenting them and other leaders recognized by Act Up with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.’

Koch lamented that only 10 people were in the audience when he saw the movie and added: ‘I urge our Chancellor of Education to show the documentary in our public schools. It would teach children a lot of lessons, the chief one being the community can, working together, speak truth to power and win.’

Kramer, who wrote the Tony Award winning play The Normal Heart, is anything but pleased to be getting praise from Koch.

‘What is this evil man up to as he approaches his death?’ Kramer writes of the 87-year-old Koch. ‘Is he trying to make up to us? National Medals of Freedom from the White House! Would these provide a big enough enema to clean out his rotten insides?’

‘We must never forget that this man was an active participant in helping us to die, in murdering us,’ Kramer adds. ‘Call it what you will, that is what Edward Koch was, a murderer of his very own people. There is no way to avoid knowing that now. The facts have long since been there staring us in the face. If we don’t see them, then we are as complicit as he.’

Peter Staley, one of the other people Koch recommends for a medal, reacted this way: ‘Does he really think plugging a White House medal for us is going to buy him forgiveness, or change our political views? I’m glad he saw the film, and gave it a positive review, but it was missing two words: ‘I’m sorry.’ Not to me. Not to Larry. But to the thousands lost, and all who still mourn them.’

Koch, a life-long bachelor, has steadfastly refused to discuss his sexuality amid widespread speculation that he is gay. Kramer lampoons Koch in The Normal Heart in which an AIDS activist laments that the only way to get the mayor’s attention is to ‘hire a hunky hustler and send him up to Gracie Mansion with our plea tattooed on his cock.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Lesbian gold medalist tells other Olympians to come out

Soccer midfielder star Megan Rapinoe has said other LGBT athletes need to be open so kids can have more role models
No thumbnail available

Two teens arrested for murder of gay student

Police say Terrance Wright was a victim of a robbery which ended badly, but family say it was motivated by homophobia
No thumbnail available

4 ways New Jersey’s gay mayor is turning Atlantic City gay(er)

In order to ‘keep up with the competition’, Atlantic City’s openly gay mayor Don Guardian is trying to reclaim a gay-friendly image
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

US Health Department removes ban on transgender surgery

The ACLU, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a challenge agaisnt the policy
No thumbnail available

Two Pussy Riot members flee Russia after pro-gay protest

Russian punk band are recruiting 'foreign feminists' to help them protest against Vladimir Putin's presidency
Nutella bans 'lesbian' in marketing campaign

Nutella bans 'lesbian' in marketing campaign

Forbidden words also include 'obese,' 'palm oil' and 'Muslim'
No thumbnail available

EU hopefuls still fall short on gay rights

Eastern European countries, including Serbia and Turkey, criticized over LGBT discrimination and abuse
No thumbnail available

#Trailblazer: Rozalla is feeling free and feeling good as she travels the world

The London-based singer shares her travel stories with Gay Star News
No thumbnail available

Widow of Republican icon Ronald Reagan supports gay marriage

Nancy Reagan is quietly in favor of marriage equality, says her daughter