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A group of retired FBI agents, many of whom began their careers while J. Edgar Hoover was still in charge of the FBI, are none too happy with Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar — specifically, all the gay stuff, including a kiss between Edgar and his right-hand man, Clyde Tolson. The agents have been exchanging complaints about the movie's portrayal of the director, whom they're still extremely loyal toward, on a closed e-mail list for retired agents called "xgboys." (How gay porn-y.) So what have they been saying?
Bill Branon, a former agent and chairman of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, which grants scholarships to college students studying law enforcement and forensics:
"I don’t know anyone who’s not extremely upset. It’s not only because of our admiration for him. It’s the fact it’s just not true. If it were true, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But don’t do that to the poor guy when he’s dead and gone.”
He could have a point at the end there — if you really want to root out someone as a homosexual and make it count, you should do it while they're alive, like Hoover did with Eleanor Roosevelt.
The thing is, we will probably never know for sure what was going on in Hoover's noggin (and/or pants) when it came to sexuality. There are obviously a lot of rumors, some with more credibility and some with less, but you're never going to get hard proof, like video of Hoover and Tolson making out. But that's what biopics do, really: they all work with some level of speculation because otherwise you'll end up with a curiously flat character. And it is a character, at the end of the day.
But honestly, I'm not sure why the retired agents want to take out one of the more humanizing aspects of their former mentor's on-screen portrayal. Is it so Eastwood could have spent more time focusing on how Hoover wanted to prosecute people for their political beliefs? It's probably that.