Over the past week, Universal’s upcoming comedy The Dilemma has been the center of a heated debate regarding a joke featured in the film. Originally, the domestic trailer for the movie opened with the line, “Electric cars are… gay,” which was promptly removed once GLAAD and anchor Anderson Cooper condemned it for being offensive. Now, those groups are taking it a step further and asking them to take it out of the film completely, a request that star Vince Vaughn doesn’t want to grant.
In a statement released to the media Vaughn had this to say:
“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. Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop.”
As a society we’ve encountered a terrifying rise in bullying and suicides related to homophobia and I think the trailer suffered from being released at the wrong time. Not only that, but the line isn’t really funny, and wasn’t the best way to introduce the film. If they wanted it out of the trailer, fine, but to take it out of the movie is a ridiculous stretch. There are so many films that feature worse derogatory language towards gender, race, as well as sexual orientation.
Where do you draw the line with something like this? If you watch the trailer, you can tell immediately that it’s not meant to be malicious, where there are some movies where it blatantly is. Are we going to start policing everything now? At what point does this spill over into censorship of free and creative speech?
If you haven’t watched the trailer in question here’s the original version:
What do you think? Is the outrage warranted?