When Heath Ledger Refused To Crack A ‘Gay Joke’ On Oscars Stage With His ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Co-Star Jake Gyllenhaal
When Heath Ledger Refused To Crack A ‘Gay Joke’ On Oscars Stage With His ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Co-Star Jake Gyllenhaal ( Photo Credit – Wikimedia )

The first month of the year 2008 came with the most dreadful news for Hollywood, the untimely demise of actor Heath Ledger. Everyone remembers Ledger for his impeccable and outstanding acting skills and all the extraordinary performances he gave to the audience. This is not just the only reason why actor Jake Gyllenhaal remembers his former co-star, but also for his sincerity. Ledger even once chose to skip presenting at the Oscars to protest against an anti-LGTBQ joke.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal shared the screen space in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. The movie saw Ledger and Heath play sheep herders, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who develop a passionate relationship in the 1960s in Wyoming, USA. Apart from the two stars, the movie also saw Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, David Harbour and more.



The Heath Ledger starrer movie was nominated in eight categories of the Academy Awards out of which it won a total of three, including the Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. Despite the nominations, during Oscars 2007, Heath Ledger denied presenting an award with his co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.

In 2020, Gyllenhaal spoke with Another Man magazine about the late actor’s decision and revealed that Ledger did not want to crack a “gay joke” in Oscars’ opening act. The Spider-Man: Far From Home star said, “I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it. And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, ‘Oh, okay… whatever.’ I’m always like, ‘It’s all in good fun.’ And Heath said, ‘It’s not a joke to me – I don’t want to make any jokes about it’.”

Praising the late Dark Knight star, Jake Gyllenhaal added, “That’s the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, ‘No. This is about love. Like, that’s it, man. Like, no.’”

He truly was a warm-hearted one. Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008, due to an accidental overdose of prescription medication.

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