FDNY’s LGBT Group Says Chuck & Larry‘s Journey Feels Familiar

FireFLAG/EMS of the Fire Department of New York, “the nation’s oldest and largest LGBT firefighter organization”, was invited by Universal Pictures to screen the new Adam Sandler film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. While they said that some of the jokes might be considered offensive, they were generally pleased at the message of tolerance and said that the movie depicted experiences similar to ones many firefighters face when ‘coming out’ on the job.

ChucklarryFireFLAG/EMS President Mike Vissichelli issued a statement:

“While ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry’ is a broad comedy, the reality is there are gay firefighters in many departments across the country, including the FDNY. The ‘coming out’ process in the movie mirrors what I, and many of my colleagues, have gone through on the job. Initially we may have dealt with disbelief, disdain, and even prejudice from our fellow firefighters. But significantly, as in our experiences, the film shows the process gay firefighters go through on the job as they move towards acceptance by their fellow firefighters. The film shows the journey that gay firefighters go through in their careers, the brotherhood of firefighters, and ultimately their respect for one another based on actions and deeds. Over the years, the FDNY and its members have become more supportive of gay firefighters and have made strides in improving how they are treated on the job. FireFLAG/EMS supports this progress and is actively involved in the department’s actions on gay-related issues. ‘Chuck and Larry’ is, of course, a comedy and some of the humor may be considered offensive to some, but the growth of the principal characters during the course of the film is the ultimate measure of how to judge the intent and heart of the filmmakers.”

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  1. PJ says

    I have heard that excuse too many times when it comes to this movie: “Well, if you see the whole movie, you’ll realize it’s very pro-gay.” The fact is that most people are NOT going to see this movie, but only be exposed to the ads. Millions upon millions more Americans will only be exposed to the sniggering, oh-my-gosh-that-dude’s-totally-gay humor of the trailer and the ads. And that doesn’t sit well with me. “Go see the movie” is an entreaty to help the studio make more money, not an excuse for how they’re marketing this junk.

  2. Leland says

    Oh fucking please! Vissichelli is suffering from third-degree GLAAD Syndrome: Massa invites him up to the big house and gives him a watermelon daiquiri and he gets all soft and gooey in the middle. “Massa sure be good to Chicken Mike! Mmmph mmmph mmmph!” Did he and “many of [his] colleagues” start belting “I’m Every Woman” in the firehouse shower when they came out as a character in the movie does?

    Pansy praise sure does come cheap these days.

  3. says

    I don’t get Adam Sandler nor do I get Keven James, so unless they butt fuck each other, it sounds like a stupid concept that I doubt that many gay people will go see.

    It will be interesting to hear some of the comments that these two make while out promoting the film and making sure that fans know that THEY ARE NOT gay.

    But, fuck, what do I know, I have a crush on Lou Dobbs, so there is not accounting for taste.

    jack jett

  4. peterparker says

    OMG…that Max Blumenthal video on huffingtonpost ROCKED! The latin guy in the red shirt who claimed he can’t fight because he ‘has asthma’ seemed totally gay. And the guy who freaked out over the discussion of gay rights is clearly going to come screaming out of the closet in about the next 5 minutes.

    Andy, please feature the video!!!!

  5. anon (gmail.com) says

    Well the movie is getting a whopping 27% on the tomatometer, even with a thumbs up from the Village Voice. Complaints are all over the map. Shouldn’t people just watch Rescue Me for better gay firemen stories?

  6. paul says

    Is the “towle” in towleraod pronounced “toll” or “towel”? Some podcasts I listen to say “towel”, while a friend of mine says “toll”… What gives?
    (on these podcasts, they also say “Burberry” as if they learned about it from a bad hip hop song, with the stress on the “berry” as in “strawberry” instead of the “Bur” with a “bery”.

  7. says

    It sounds like a privative film from a privative time in U.S. history. Embarrassing and a waste of your time and money. Don’t bother with this insulting crap and don’t give Hollywood your vote by seeing it.

  8. mark m says

    The gay fireman who sings “Im Every Woman” is easier to tolerate because he’s silly and non-threatening. The gay fireman who watches football and drinks spuds like any other guy makes some men very very nervous.

    It was Homer Simpson, after all, who said “I prefer my queens F-L-A-M-I-N-G.”

  9. says

    As a career firefighter who lives this life and deals with on-the-job homophobia I want to see the movie and make a judgment after I see it. Adam Sandler is indeed one of my favorite comedians and actors. He dealt with some of what I deal with on a daily basis as a father in “Click.” Hopefully watching this movie will give me a way to vent and laugh at myself and others that just don’t understand me. I like the fact that the issue is in fact making in into theaters. We might be gay but we are still firefighters.

  10. Zlexar says

    Adam Sandler reminds me of all these goofball straight college boys that keep infiltrating my family. They actually really care about each other, but are CONSTANTLY shitting on each other. They rag on their friends about their nose hair, ass zits, huge ears, you name it. Fucking merciless. The weird thing is that to them being gay is so totally a non-issue that they have no problem bringing that up as well (actual straight guy quote: ‘Hey, I saw you check out my grandfather’s ass.’). Their gay friends have no problem dishing it right back, and no one cares. (actual gay guy retort: ‘Yeah, that’s cause Max got 10$ for tit-fucking your grandmother.’) It’s disgusting and childish but kind of sweet.

    Of course, the ‘f-word’ never gets used.

    Granted, there’s a finely nuanced line between calling your buddy an asshole as a term of endearment and saying it to a stranger. It all depends on that ephemeral permissiveness that only one friend can grant another to give them crap that they’d never take from anyone else.

    As controversial as the movie is, I actually think Sandler’s intentions are good. Even if marketers (and a lot of audience members) can’t avoid the ick factor, I give Sandler credit for making an imperfect film that simply never could have pleased everyone. Overall I think it’s a net positive. Please don’t hate me.

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