Bear rape? Oh, puh-leaze
It's disconcerting how some people will sex up anything just to get your attention
What kind of world are we living in when a headline like "DiCaprio raped by bear in movie" can go viral?
The supposed bestiality involving US actor Leonardo DiCaprio and a bear earned the top honour of being 2015's most ridiculous rumour after Drudge Report, a US news aggregation website, screamed it last month.
It was referring to a horrific scene from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new movie The Revenant, which opens here on Feb 4.
It is a harsh drama about one man's (DiCaprio) extraordinary will to survive, braving the elements in his quest for revenge after surviving a terrible bear attack.
The Golden Globe-winning film also stars Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter.
It features a realistic portrayal of a bear mauling after DiCaprio's Hugh Glass surprises a mama grizzly on her turf, who then responds the way any protective mum would when one threatens her cubs.
Showbiz 411's entertainment reporter Roger Friedman described that scene as a sexual attack, using words like "molest" and "dry humping", which led to Drudge Report's controversial headline.
How did a vivid, gory physical attack that involved the tearing of flesh and breaking of bones get sexualised?
It is indeed one of the many gruesome moments in The Revenant and definitely not for the squeamish like me.
I understand that sensationalised headlines get eyeballs.
But bear rape?
Who in their right mind would publish such a term in the first place?
I totally agree with Inarritu's response to the hoo-ha.
"I find it hilarious and pathetic in a way," the Oscar-winning Mexican-born director told Los Angeles Times.
"You have one guy in a garage inventing something that's then shared by somebody else. And then a newspaper acknowledges it as news, and then it triggers papers around the world.
"What's unbelievable is the validation. When I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. But then it gets validation, and the (movie) studio actually has to release a statement that there was no bear rape. It's like a crazy mad comedy."
Crazy mad comedy is right, but it probably served the movie well.
The Revenant earned the No. 2 spot - after Star Wars: The Force Awakens - at the US box office over the weekend, taking in US$38 million (S$55 million).
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Leonardo DiCaprio pose with the award for Best Motion Picture, Drama for The Revenant, in the press room at the 73nd annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO: AFP / FREDERIC J. BROWN
It even became a punchline on Sunday's Golden Globe Awards when Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum presented the Best Supporting Actress award.
Wearing a bear hat, Hill spoke to Tatum as the bear from The Revenant, even thanking DiCaprio and Inarritu for the opportunity to be in the film.
DiCaprio, who has shot down the bear-rape talk as downright absurd, got the last laugh.
Not only did he win the Best Actor trophy at the Golden Globes, Inarritu scored Best Director and The Revenant bagged Best Picture.
Looks like their road to the Oscars has officially begun. Bear hugs all round.