It seems as if The Dilemma is living up to its name! Though Universal agreed to pull Vince Vaughn’s character’s line “Electric cars are… gay” from the trailer (watch now) for the upcoming comedy, Director Ron Howard refuses to have the line be pulled from the film saying that he feels his freedom of speech is being attacked.
A few weeks ago the first trailer for the film was attacked by GLAAD saying that the joke was harmful and slanderous. Howard feels differently and is has just released a statement defending his film…
“I believe in sensitivity but not censorship. I feel that our film is taking additional heat as an emblem for many movies and TV shows that preceded it that have even more provocative characterizations and language,” Howard wrote in a letter to The Los Angeles Times. “It is a slight moment in The Dilemma meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character’s personality, and we never expected it to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it.”
After the trailer was released and Howard wrote his view, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios issued a statement….
“Unfortunately, by leaving it in the movie, [Universal is] now contributing to the problem. The conversations started as a result of the community’s response to this slur will help schools, media and parents understand the impact of the word ‘gay’ being used as a pejorative,” Barrios said in a statement. “Hopefully in the future, Universal and Ron Howard will recognize the power of their words and use their films to bring people together rather than drive us apart.”
Vince Vaughn also came out in support of the line:
“Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?… “Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together,” Vaughn said to Deadline Hollywood.
It seems as if Universal is caught between a rock and a hard place. Though they stated that the comment “was not intended to cause anyone discomfort” and then pulled the line from the trailer, their director seems to be standing tall and fighting for what he believes are his rights.
GLAAD makes some valid points and the truth of the matter is that they’re fighting a war right now and they have to take everything into account.
And yes they’re right, the statement is inappropriate in everyday use and shouldn’t be pushed by the media or used by anyone in a “realistic” manner BUT many comedians have made entire careers out of making jokes out of current events and often times being able to joke about something has helped open up a dialogue about an issue.
Just because Vince Vaughn’s character says something is “gay” does that say that the film supports or tolerates that type of message, in fact it may even reflect the character’s idiocy and the problems that reflect many people in this country. The line was not said in a positive way, and Vaughn’s character is not represented as a “hero” (though they make a joke about that) but as a sleazy cars salesman — which I think helps Howard’s case.
And despite all that does Howard have the right to say what he wants to say? Where is the line?
I can see both sides argument, what do you think?