Hollywood: Mainstreaming Incest

Back in 1986, Justice Antonin Scalia was excoriated as a hate-monger and extreme doomsayer when he wrote the dissent on Lawrence et al. v. Texas, a case which basically overturned sodomy laws on the grounds sexual behavior could not be legislated by appealing to traditional morality. Scalia wrote:

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding[…]The impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional ‘morals’ offenses is precisely why Bowers rejected the rational-basis challenge. ‘The law,’ it said, ‘is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed[.] […] What a massive disruption of the current social order, therefore, the overruling of Bowers entails.

The justice was a prophet.

As it has turned out, incest is now being viewed approvingly by some in Hollywood. Director Nick Cassavetes is producing the film Yellow, the plot line of which depicts a brother and sister falling in love with one another. Cassavetes has given new meaning to the term “brotherly love” by declaring incest OK:

I have no experience with incest. … We had heard a few stories where brothers and sisters were completely, absolutely in love with one another. You know what? This whole movie is about judgment, and lack of it, and doing what you want. Who gives a sh-t if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.


If Justice Scalia could look into the future, maybe we also can imagine the future, taking a look at what the gradual acceptance of incest and other currently forbidden sexual practices might look like.

Cassavetes’ film will be hailed as “groundbreaking.” It will be followed up by another film featuring the tragic circumstances of two people who didn’t know they were brother and sister, similar to the situation Oedipus Rex faced when he unknowingly married his mother and had children by her. The film will show graphically explicit sex scenes between brother and sister, in order that the audiences get used to seeing incestuous relationships as sensually thrilling. The brother and sister will later find out their relationship is forbidden but decide to continue anyway, as they are so in love with one another. The film will end with them staying together for the sake of the children. It will win the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.

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