HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
FEBRUARY 20, 2004 17
televisior brian moylan
rT J^-1 Richard Hatch, the gay man America
loves to hate, is back plotting his next
victory and strutting around in the nude.
I'm down with Hatch
WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE JUST
like Richard Hatch.
It may seem odd to have a reality show
"celebrity" as a role model, but Hatch, who
won the $1 million prize during the original season of CBS's "Survivor" in the summer of 2000, is absolutely unforgettable.
He's neither as saintly as the late AIDS
activist Pedro Zamora from "Real World:
San Francisco" nor as athletic and attractive as Chip Arndt and Reichen
Lehmkuhl, the gay couple who won the
last season of "The Amazing Race."
Hatch, at least on Survivor, is manipulative, lazy, abrasive, and arrogant —
someone America loves to hate.
All that said, this is the reason he
deserves our admiration and respect. He
took home $1 million without compromising who he is or worrying about what
anyone would think of him after the
game was over.
Hatch, 42, is back on "Survivor: All-
Stars," the show's eighth season, comprised of past winners and contestants
from previous episodes, and he's better
than ever. Just by showing up, he has
somehow managed to earn the respect of
the other survivors.
AND WHY SHOULDN'T HE? HATCH
devised the "alliance strategy" that led
him to victory and that others have used
in every season of the show — and on
every other competitive reality show -after
Contestants even refer to him as
"Richard Hatch" rather than just
"Richard," as if he isn't a regular person
or an average contestant but some sort of
mythological figure to whom they must
The camera crews are also devoted to
Richard Hatch. Other than fan favorite
Rupert Boneham from "Survivor:
Panama," no one else has garnered as
much screen time as Hatch.
In the episode that aired last Thursday,
Feb. 12, he deserved the attention. While
trying to spear a shark for food, Hatch got
bitten. In retaliation, he actually bit the
shark back, killed it, and returned to
camp with some much-needed grub.
When talking about his victory and his
tribe mates' reactions, he said, "It
brought a smile to everyone's face. Too
bad they're all going to be gone soon."
Thursdays at 9 p.m.
Original $1 million 'Survivor' winner and current
Survivor: All-Stars' contestant Richard Hatch is an
offbeat, naked, gay iconoclast. (Photo courtesy of
The shark incident seems to be part of
Hatch's new strategy, which he claims to
have had since the first episode, though
no one is sure what it is. So far, it seems
to consist of being a little bit crazy, lying
around camp, and keeping the technician
who makes the digital blurriness around
his crotch area employed by walking
around naked all the time.
HATCH IS DEFINITELY KEEPING ALL
the other contestants off kilter by setting
himself apart from them, and one of the
ways he does this is by being openly gay
Not that he shoves it in anyone's face, but
they all know of his "difference" and he
isn't doing anything to make himself
Hatch never feels like he's at a disadvantage because he's a gay man on a
straight man's island, and he seems to
delight in the fact that he isn't like everyone else. He even uses it to his advantage.
It comes off more like hubris than gay
The dreamy Colby Donaldson from
"Survivor: Outback," who is a member of
Hatch's tribe, said on a past episode, "I
don't know what's creepier, the fact that
we have a middle-aged, overweight, gay
man walking around naked, or the fact
that we've all gotten used to it."
Hatch harkens back to the days of
ACT-UP, where gay activism was creative,
clever and outrageous. Today, under the
Human Rights Campaign strategy, gay
people seemingly are supposed to blend in
and show America how we're just like
Hatch, of course, is having none of
this. He's here, he's queer and he's naked,
and the other Survivors better get used to
it because, as we all know by now, he is
not afraid to bite back.
The Kinsgy fikks
March 1§ - §. 1
In The Marq'C entertainment Center @ The Koty freewov
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