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Cubs allow Wrigley Field to be used in gay-themed baseball comedy

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“Landline” has same-sex couple at center.

From left, Patrick Hartigan as Jack Gout and Matthew Aaron as Ted Gout in "Landline"
“Landline” Facebook page

Wrigley Field in Chicago doesn’t get star billing, but it’s a feature player in a new indie comedy that features a married gay couple in the main plot. The film has the distinction of being made with the cooperation of the Cubs and Major League Baseball, which the director calls a first.

From Entertainment Weekly:

[In the film], Ted (director Matthew Aaron) misses out on a big promotion at work thanks to a younger colleague who’s got the upper hand when it comes to technology. Ted then embarks on a comedic journey of self-discovery, cutting himself off from the digital world (he gives up his cell phone and the internet) and returning to a simpler way of life so he and his husband can scrape together the funds to move into their dream home. ...

“In my research, there’s never been a film that stars LGBTQ actors made with the association of the MLB, the NBA, the NFL, or the NHL,” Aaron tells EW of the film, which also stars Parks and Recreation‘s Jim O’Heir and comedy staple Tom Arnold as Ted’s supportive uncle and father, respectively. “[But] it’s not a film about being gay. It’s about two husbands who are going through their marriage together — typical, normal problems that everyone has.”

Ted is a huge Cubs fan in the film and director Aaron was surprised when MLB executive Robin Jaffe gave his endorsement to using Wrigley Field for several scenes.

“We never thought we were going to get [licensing for] the Cubs, and we never thought we’d get [to shoot at] Wrigley Field. We were just hoping that my character would be able to wear a Cubs jersey here and there for a couple thousand dollars,” Aaron explains. “Robin really wanted to support indie filmmaking, which they’ve never done before, and they wanted to support this film. To top it all off, they wanted to support a film with LGBTQ leads in it.”

This support is not a surprise. One of the Cubs owners, Laura Ricketts, is openly lesbian and the team is a big supporter of LGBT causes in the city and has hosted a gay pride night every year since 2001, the longest in baseball. MLB also has an openly gay man and former player Billy Bean as a top executive.

“Landline” is available in Video On Demand (links on Rotten Tomatoes) and you can check out the film’s Facebook page for more information.