Vince Vaughn appears in Dilemma, a comedy film containing a joke that has offended some gay people, and also journalist and TV personality Anderson Cooper, who Out magazine listed as number 2 in their list of The Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America. Universal Studios has removed the joke from the trailer and may remove it from the movie, as reported at Pop Eater.
So what is all the fuss about?
Anderson Copper of CNN was sitting in a movie theater when he saw the trailer for Dilemma, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn. “I was sitting in a movie theater over the weekend and there was a preview of a movie, and in it, the actor said, ‘That’s so gay,’ and I was shocked that not only that they put it in the movie, but that they thought that it was okay to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it,” said Anderson Cooper.
Specifically, the line uttered by Vince Vaughn in Dilemma goes as follows, “Electric cars are gay. I mean, not ‘homosexual’ gay but ‘my parents are chaperoning the dance’ gay.”
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation or GLAAD, when showed a preview of the trailer before it hit YouTube and theaters, said they were not happy with the line, but Universal chose to keep it. Then along comes Anderson Cooper, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, where he indicates that the line offends him. That ignited the headlines and was enough to get Universal to remove the line in the trailer.
Artistic freedom or censorship?
The focus of Anderson’s point is bullying, which has come to the forefront of the news following gay Rutgers student Tyler Clemente’s suicide after he was bullied for being gay. Says Vince Vaughn, “Let me add my voice of support to the people outraged by the bullying and persecution of people for their differences, whatever those differences may be.” But, he added, “Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing divided lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?”
Where does it stop? Removing the offensive line from the trailer is a form of censorship.
If you look at history, you will see that books, music and films, all forms of artistic expression, have been subject to censorship. But is that good? Said the professor of linguistics, political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”
Bullying of any type is wrong, whether it happens to a homosexual man or whether it happens to a black female. However, that black female may be fine with the N word in her favorite movie Pulp Fiction, a movie that she has seen 10 times.
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, got into trouble with the episode where the son Chris dates a Down syndrome girl. In the episode, a joke is made in reference to Sarah Palin’s Down syndrome child.
“This world is full of cold, cruel hearted people who would do such a thing,” said Sarah Palin. However, MacFarlane reported on Real Time with Bill Mayer that the girl who voiced the character, and who has actual Down syndrome, said she was very happy and content with her life and that Sarah Palin has no sense of humor.
Is the line spoken by Vince Vaughn in Dilemma comedy, cruelty or both? What gets tricky is when we demand how others should react and feel about a particular situation.
No More ‘Dilemma’: Universal to Pull ‘Gay’ Trailer, Pop Eater
Jolie du Pre, Seth MacFarlane Supports Those He Jokes About, Associated Content
The Power 50, Out
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992), Mooviees