Last week, Universal pulled their trailer for The Dilemma after Anderson Cooper complained about the scene in which Vince Vaughn says “electric cars are gay” (even though Cooper never mentioned the name of the movie and sort of misquoted the line in question). At the time, Universal said they’d already screened the trailer for members of GLAAD and gays in their marketing department and that no one had had a problem with it.
When the trailer debuted three weeks ago, complaints immediately came in to the studio and its marketing department. But Universal claims that’s when it called GLAAD again to “double check” there were no objections. The studio tells me that “only then did GLAAD say, ‘This is probably questionable. It’s not a major offense at all. But it’s best not to use it in the campaign so it avoids any questions.’” [Deadline]
GLAAD denies that, but whatever the case, they started to complain about it after the Anderson Cooper appearance. Universal altered the trailer to remove the line, but now GLAAD is taking it a step further with an online petition to have the “anti-gay language” removed from the final movie altogether. The line in the trailer was “electric cars are gay. …I mean, not homosexual gay, but but my-parents-are-chaperoning-me-to-the-dance gay.” Meanwhile, ThePlaylist reports that that line had been altered from Allan Loeb’s original script, which said:
“Not homosexual gay… but soft gay, unmanly gay, quiet and small gay” and that “if you’re a real man… you don’t want an electronic car.”
Now, I’m tempted to point out that it’s dangerous to set a precedent wherein what a movie character says has to be screened for PC language, and that if you squint, you might imagine that the point of the line was that the Vince Vaughn character is kind of an A-hole who talks too much and his mouth gets him in trouble, not that he’s a really good guy who never says anything vaguely homophobic, even by accident.
I might also be tempted to point out that referencing differences between different types of people has been a pillar of humor since it was invented, and always will be, and that pointing out differences isn’t necessarily “anti” one group, especially when the comment is directed at an inanimate object. I’m further tempted to note that making an example out of a thing like this to serve a political agenda is unfair to that thing’s unique attributes, sort of cuts against your argument against stereotyping in the first place, and is kind of the problem with the entire state of politics in general. I’m even further tempted to wonder if this is asking to further political correctness at the expense of realism, like demanding that a Klansman character only use the term “African-Americans.”
I’m tempted to do all these things. But I’m not going to. Not for an Allan Loeb script where probably the only purpose was to look like other movies you’ve already seen, a movie that probably contains no deeper meaning than, “haha, look, a fat guy dancing!”
Nope, go ahead and boycott the sh*t out of this one. I’ll choose my battles carefully, thank you very much.
“…and when they came for Kevin Jameses, I did not protest, for I was not a fat guy with my pants falling down.”