“Sad Studs,” a hilarious new “Bad Blood” parody, takes issue with the fact that gay men aren’t allowed to donate blood unless they’ve been abstinent for at least 12 months -- a policy that’s currently up for review by the FDA.
MTV News caught up with "Sad Studs" writer and director Jake Wilson to talk about blood donation double standards, using socks as underwear, and his Taylor Swift BFF fantasies.
“I think this cause [blood donation] is so important because the policy is a complete double standard,” Wilson told MTV News. “A straight female can abuse painkillers, smoke, drink, never have an HIV test, have unprotected sex with a different guy every night, and still donate blood. A healthy man who only had oral sex with another man once 10 months ago, and has had 3 HIV tests since then, cannot donate. There's no scientific justification for the policy. It is straight-up discrimination.”
Wilson pointed out that he also recently learned the same rules apply to organ donation. “All this time I've been so proud with my 'ORGAN DONOR' on my license, and it means nothing,” he said.
“It’s an issue of equality more than anything,” he continued. “Just like gay marriage, some gay men or women may never want to get married (just like some straight men and women). Some gays may not want to ever give blood [or be an organ donor] either...but the point is that we should at least have the same options and rights…”
“I completely understand why the rules were set in place in the '80s during the height of the AIDS epidemic,” Wilson said. “It was a scary time. And the new FDA guidelines are for sure a step in the right direction. However, we have come a long way since 1983, and the 12-month abstinence rule is still a policy that was born out of fear and misunderstanding, and there is no science to the logic. We have to speak out.”
“I wouldn't call myself an extremely political person,” he added, “but I do have some very strong feelings on a few specific issues - this being one of them. I may not be marching on Washington or volunteering at soup kitchens, but this is the form of activism that I choose.”
Lucky for us, Wilson’s unique brand of activism involves both hilarity and a whole lot of mostly-naked men.
“Shooting the video was super hard,” he said. “ I was around some extremely ugly people for two days. Had to divert my eyes a lot. Oh wait...JK! It was amazing! I definitely kept my shirt on though...didn't wanna upstage anyone.”
“It was pretty rich to shoot the Destroya XXX scene with celebrity trainer, Seth G.,” Wilson continued. “He didn't know that he was going to be getting fully naked…I took off my shoes and handed him my right sock for some protection and we went from there. Never washing that sock again. Ha!”
Wilson said he’s a huge Taylor Swift fan (obviously), and his favorite song of hers is probably “Fifteen.”
“I love country Taylor,” he continued. “And I love how awesome she is to her fans. I mean, that video that she made last year where she gave surprise Christmas gifts to her fans!? I haven't cried that much since those Google commercials where the guy loses the baby pictures, but then he doesn't because they're in the cloud!”
I asked Wilson if he hopes T-Swift will see the video, and if she does, what he’d imagine her reaction would be.
“Well clearly the best possible reaction would be, Um who is this Jake Wilson and why isn't he directing one of my videos?” he said. “I'm not even kidding. I think she and I have similar senses of humor and could really collaborate well on something silly, sexy, and funny.”
“But I guess I would also settle for her getting a kick out of it,” he added.
Wilson pointed out that all the men in the video, and nearly all the men who worked on the video, are actually gay men IRL ("Collect them all!"), meaning they’re all directly affected by the blood donation ban.
“We have until July 14th to make comments on the newly proposed policy directly on the FDA website, and then they (potentially) revise and lock the policy,” Wilson said. “Until then, they are open to comments from the general public. So if you have something to say, go say it!”