Universal Pulls Vaughn’s ‘Gay’ Line After Anderson Cooper Comment

Andersoncooper-1 Earlier this week, while discussing anti-gay bullying with Ellen DeGeneres, CNN's Anderson Cooper voiced his disapproval of a line in the trailer for an upcoming Vince Vaughn movie, The Dilemma.

"Do you find it surprising that people still tell gay jokes? I mean, that people still use the 'F' word, that people still use that term, you know, 'Oh, that's so gay?'" Cooper asked DeGeneres, before offering his personal take: "I went to a movie theater this weekend, and a preview for a new movie, a new Vince Vaughn movie, in the preview, he uses the term. And it just shocked me that not only would they put this in the movie but that they would put this in the preview, that they didn't even think this might offend some people."

Cooper concluded, "I think it should offend a lot of people."

Though Cooper's comment went unnoticed for a few days, the news blew up this morning, leading Universal Pictures to hastily yank Vaughn's line, "Ladies and Gentlemen, electric cars are so gay," from the trailer.

The studio released the following statement, "The teaser trailer for The Dilemma was not intended to cause anyone discomfort. In light of growing claims that the introduction to the trailer is insensitive, it is being replaced. A full trailer, which has been in the works for some time, will post online later today."

Gay group GLAAD has been catching some heat for allegedly having seen and approved of the trailer. The group, however, insists it asked Universal to remove the scene. The studio clearly didn't listen, and it took Cooper to get the job done. Is this more proof Cooper, who just confirmed a daytime show, will be the next Oprah?

Comments

  1. Matt says

    Not enough. From what I understand it’s still going to be in the movie. They’re only pulling it from the trailer. I mean I guess it’s a start, but it’s still not getting at the heart of the issue. It justifies the use of that language in real life.

    Hollywood needs to have more responsibility than this. There is inappropriate language in movies all the time and I accept that, but the problem is that this is not considered inappropriate language and it needs to be.

  2. lankyguy says

    I love Anderson Cooper. Add me to the list of people who don’t need him to officially come out. He is doing a great job as our advocate as is. Besides his ‘status’ falls into the ‘worst kept secret’ category anyway.

  3. ohplease says

    “Coming out” is so disco. This is the 21st Century. Everyone knows Anderson Cooper is gay, he doesn’t deny it, and he does more good media work on behalf of the LGBT community than anyone whose first name isn’t Ellen or Rachel.

    You want a LGBT role model? You got one. LGBT heroes do not have to even be LGBT. Cooper lives his life with dignity, courage and truth — I think the least we can do in return is give him a shred of privacy.

  4. Rob says

    I’m afraid it’s really a problem with “closeted gay Hollywood” execs who don’t speak up and speak out but let this sophomoric bigoted BS slip through. Enough already.

  5. E says

    Anderson, Anderson, Anderson…. I love you more and more each day. I agree, he is a great advocate and I do not think he owes anyone a public coming out (we all know!). Would love to tame that silver fox!

  6. fred says

    Was there ever an uproar over that “Paging Dr. Faggot!” line in “The Hangover”, spoken by the character played by – of all people!Bradley Cooper? Did that get a lot of pushback but I missed it? I bristled when I heard it in the theater. I hate that kind of jocular, in-passing homophobia.

  7. neverstops says

    he’s been really good with all of this lately

    I’ve been one to give him a hard time in the past, but have to give him credit for stepping up to the plate this round

    that’s a great pic of him :)

  8. ratbastard says

    Vince Vaughn is just an actor speaking dialog a writer wrote; and a director, editors and ultimately producers approved. Any anger regarding anti-gay or alleged anti-gay dialog and themes in movies and TV should really be directed at producers and financial backers.

  9. Terrance says

    I, for one, have always considered Vince Vaughn to be a ‘gay joke’ himself, so I’m a little puzzled about his career….

    …anyone repeatedly going to homophobic jokes in every one of his movies, (and is *well* over the age of say 13), probably has a certain ‘secret’, if you pick up what I’m throwing down….

  10. Closet Patrol says

    Dear Anderson,

    Closet cases can’t be publicly offended by gay slurs.

    First you have to come out.

    BTW – “that’s so gay” is offensive, almost as offensive as a celebrity in the clostet.

  11. Jason says

    No word should ever be off limits. Especially in a movie or a story. If unpleasant language is necessary and adds to the story line then use it.

    Certainly, can’t tell Mark Twain stories without using ni**er. Can’t tell a story about homophobic closet cases without the use of Fag, queer and on they go. Words only have power when people empower them.

  12. Zlick says

    I’m gonna go against the grain here and say this is tantamount to censorship, and makes me more uncomfortable than the line itself.

    There is or was a campaign to reduce images of cigarette smoking in films. That was a laudable goal, but it’s up to the artists and creators to determine if a character should smoke or not. People in real life do.

    People in real life say “that’s so gay.” I’m not happy about that (or particularly offended either), but we can’t blame movies for reflecting life – even though life sometimes reflects it right back.

    I also think we should pick our language battles better. Stamp out “Faggot.” But I daresay most people are not purposefully insulting homosexuals when they say “that’s so gay.” Perhaps some education as to why that’s potentially offensive is in order, but most people are not meaning to offend – and that’s a big difference from language we should vehemently object to. Of course, YMMV – but that’s another reason why “it’s so gay” is not going away any time soon.

  13. LA Guy says

    I work in Hollywood. Just spent way too long on Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood blog which had a post about this that must have been linked to Drudge or something…because the insane and hateful comments are out of control.

    Just to summarize some of the comments for you all: this is a freedom of speech issue…it’s funny so gay people need to shut up…gay people are bullies…we stole the word gay in the 50’s and need to give it back…blah blah blah

    Just depressing to slog through.

  14. crispy says

    @Zlick: This is not even remotely censorship, which would only be the case if the government or another controlling body removed the line.

    This is the case of a business making a change to its product after being informed that it might be offensive to a portion of its customer base.

    And I think you missed the point anyways. The line wasn’t just being used in the film itself to depict a character, it was actually being used to market the film.

  15. Keith says

    coming out, especially for media folk, is important. anderson being closeted is more damaging to young gay men and women than calling an electric car gay.

  16. anyway says

    Anderson sure does seem to be creeping out of the closet. If he’s going to be doing a show that’s exclusively based in a studio, he’s bound to come out — and probably in short order.

    I give Cooper a lot of slack for staying in the closet until now. For several years, he’s been flying all over the globe, covering important stories in areas not particularly hospitable for out-and-proud gays.

  17. Zlick says

    Well, I did say it was “tantamount” to censorship. I’m aware what literal censorship is, thank you. This was pressure to change an artistic (or commercial) decision.

    Hmm, now that I think about it, I have no objection to public pressure for a commercial decision, but lots of objection to public pressure against an artistic decision. Which side does a Vince Vaughn movie come down on?

    Heheh, I guess I withdraw my objection.

  18. walter says

    hollywood is a homophobic institution run by
    closeted individuals, who don’t have the balls to stop it. it revolves around money and the making of it. maybe if some of the closeted big shots would step up to the plate and do the right thing things would get better but until then there will be no change. as to ac he will come out in his own way but in the meantime is doing more for LGBT people than any of the groups ie glaad hrc or others. thank him

  19. Dan says

    Are you kidding me?.

    “That’s so gay..”. is SOOOO not offensive..(actually, it’s almost a compliment in my book)

    We can’t be offended by every little thing. I mean, really?!..

  20. ratbastard says

    LAGuy:

    No offense directed personally at you, but,your business is NOTORIOUS for it’s homophobia and anti-gay hate. The same can be said for the music industry. IRONIC indeed considering the LARGE number of gay and bi actors, musicians and industry insiders.

  21. ratbastard says

    Look at ANYTHING out of Hollywood pre 1980-90’s, even A LOT after that, including in 2010, that touches on gays and it’s painful. Fucked up cross dressing serial killers, lisps, and what not. I’m only in my 30’s and remember growing up 99.9% of the portrayals of homosexuals and bisexuals in movies and TV were negative. MOST popular music (rock, hip hop, etc.,) were and are likewise negative and mocking.

  22. ratbastard says

    It’s really only a recent phenomena that the entertainment industry, in particular cable, TV, and movies, have attempted to portray gays as ‘normal’. This is not out of the kindness of their hearts or because they’ve suddenly seen the light, but because mass marketing cable, TV shows and movies no longer works, and they’re forced to engage in niche marketing for $.

  23. TANK says

    christ, zlick, you’re simply not a bright guy if you think that this is even remotely like censorship. Breeder logic, though: “My freedom to persecute is inviolable!”

  24. Terry says

    Good for Anderson Cooper. I fucking HATE that “dude…that’s just gay” crap in movies and television. When I hear some character, for instance, on “Rules of Engagement” or “Two and a Half Men” toss off that “that’s just gay” thing, it pisses me off. The writers on these series are allegedly supposed to be professionals…and the only reference they can come up with to say something is bad it to call it “gay”? It’s ignorant, and yes, homophobic.

  25. Zlick says

    Well, Tank (whom I can’t think of a better nickname for than the one you’ve chosen for yourself), I LIKENED it to censorship – that’s a difference … and clarified my position.

    Here’s another one. Let’s get over it.

    “That’s so gay” is 99x out of a hundred not meant to offend. I get why it’s potentially offensive, but it’s an evolution of language just like the word “gay” itself.

    Anyway, I try not to use it around people with noticeably thin skin, but it really comes in handy. The Eskimos, as the story goes, have 20 words for snow. “That’s so gay” expresses something particular that no other phrase quite captures. I guess I feel I’ve a license to use it because I’m gay (despite Tank’s assertions to the contrary), but also feel like I should refrain to set a better example. I use it less and less, but I’m also forgiving of people who say it. It’s no giant deal.

    (Of course, if there were a similar phrase using the name of group to which I do not belong, I would never utter it. So I guess this is just in the vein of poking a little fun at myself – which I think is rather healthy.)

  26. jaragon says

    Universal would be wiser to dump the entire movie which from the trailer looks like a total looser- I had to sit through this thing and no ONE in the theater laughed once! A very bad sign for a “comedy”. ( and the only people who hate Anderson Cooper are jealous losers)

  27. Drew says

    “Art should offend people because art should challenge people.” -Eriq La Salle

    Raise all the commotion you’d like, but you’ll still find (and should find) offensive slurs and derogatory terms in movies. Once we start limiting the depths of characters (granted, I’m sure that Vince Vaughn’s character has little depth), we limit the artistic integrity of a work.

    And this issue was obviously resolved based on the bottom line, how things like this are always resolved. They knew they would lose money if they didn’t pull it.

  28. TANK says

    Did I stutter? No. I posted that this simply isn’t like censorship in any way, and you’re not very bright for thinking that it shares any parallels, or is…tantamount to it…lol! It appears, now, that you are denying the homophobic origin of the expression, “that’s so gay”…With all due respect, you are a complete moron.

    Now fuck off, lightweight.

  29. TANK says

    I mean…really…anyone who thinks that this is even remotely like censorship (which isn’t what someone who would use ‘tantamount’ to characterize it as so believes) must’ve wept openly when dr. laura was viciously “censored” and taken down by the “thought police”. Some of you are just subcognitive. It’s a miracle that you can string together words to form quasi coherent sentences expressing this sewer of thought.

  30. Zlick says

    I think being insulted by Tank, to paraphrase Robert Preston in Victor/Victor, is significantly better than being thrown out of a leper colony.

    And what do “origins” have to do with it? Gay is now a word that has little to do with its origins. It doesn’t matter much what the origins of “That’s so gay” are, but what the phrase means today. Some people think it’s still homophobic, I happen to disagree.

    In light of reasonable people feeling offended though, it’s best not to use the phrase. Snow can be described 19 other ways, I guess.

  31. think for half a second vince vaughn says

    I am very glad this bullsh*t was caught. Saturday Night Live recently used “gay” in the same way, and it was so insanely offensive, and **HARMFUL**. This kind of stuff tortures and scars young gay people. It is a factor in their suicides.

  32. TANK says

    And what does it mean today…hmmm, stupid, bad, etc…and, of course, these have never been used to describe homosexuality such that its use continues to reinforce negative and false judgments about gay people…oy…you just ain’t that quick…and your argument’s gay as hell.

  33. Sam I Am says

    For me it says that, once again, GLAAD failed. That should be the story. They either have no real power or they weren’t paying attention. Where does all the money go?

  34. Sean says

    Dire Straits, Money for Nothing…”that little faggot with the mink coat, that little faggot is a millionaire.”

    Where’s the uproar?

    I agree with Steve. “That’s so gay”, is not particularily offensive. The phrase has changed once again and doesn’t necessarily describe “homosexual”.
    I’m openly gay and own a construction company. My employees use “That’s so gay” around me and I couldn’t care less. To them it means lame, cheesy, stupid or annoying. I’ve even used it myself.
    However, if someone called me a faggot, you can rest assured that any one of my guys would come to my defense. The straight men in my life are far more supportive and protective of me than I could have ever hoped for.
    Take the words for what they mean, and where they come from, not the words themselves.

  35. yaaah69 says

    I for one think we are being too sensitive . I was around in San Francisco when the “GAY” word became popular , I did not like it then and do not like it now . If I were to see this movie and that line came up I would chortle a bit and let it go. Me thinks A.C. is becoming too sensitive to his position , you can see the “I know everything in his eyes” (getting too big for his skinny ass.) With all the hate crimes going on , the rhetoric is embarrassing with no solutions offered!! I say we should have monitors in the schools who are the biggest problems and report the teachers who let the bullying go on. And check out the homes to see if mom and dad are bullys There are plenty of homosexual couples who would be glad to adopt little Freddy to let him grow up to his full potential. We are going to have to get mean before this thing will get better. Arm yourselves when you go out on the insane streets of today And if nothing is done then expose the bullys for what they are. The monitors would be from a homosexual based group in the town they are needed. All these celebrities don’t make anything happen it will have to be us who are on the street.

  36. Ian says

    “not meant to offend” and yet it’s still absolutely flat-out offensive.

    It’s exactly like someone saying “He jewed me out of $5…. Oh, I didn’t mean anything anti-semitic by that!” Well, then, stop using “jew” that way.

    Use of “gay” as in “that’s so gay” or “parents-chaperoning gay” is highly offensive to most actual gay people. Those kinds of thoughtless slurs are absolutely a factor in bullying and suicides.

    Vince Vaughn, Ron Howard, and the author of the line should be extremely ashamed of their rather incredible thoughtlessness.

    Thank you, Anderson, for saying something. Long, long, long overdue.

    PS to Anderson: Now please continue to come out. A role model like you will help stop the bullying.

    PPS: “Saturday Night Live” used “gay” in the “that’s so gay” way recently. F*cking infuriating. No, it is absolutely, positively NOT OK to use “gay” as a “generic derogatory.”

  37. Eric says

    @crispy

    Censorship has NEVER originated in the government. It has a always been the result of a minority group be they homosexual or evangelical…

    Ever read Bradbury? The government doesn’t need to censor when there are a bunch of overzealous idiots running around with lit matches burning everything that offends them. Keep restricting expression bit by bit though. Just don’t cry about it when everything is bland and thoughtless as a result.

  38. Eric says

    @Tank

    Censorship begins with unreasonable zealots insisting that someone else abridge their creation in order to make others more comfortable. You certainly don’t understand how the death of expression begins. Whether it is some Christian coalition railing against the depiction of their savior, blacks insisting that Huck Finn be banned or changed or homosexuals insisting that the term gay be taken out of a movie, censorship always begins there.

    You are as narrow minded and illogical as the people on the Christian right insisting on making our lives hell. Zealotry comes in all flavors. Even very fashionabe ones.

  39. AGH says

    Everyone is always offended by something today. No news so lets just bitch piss and moan about something day. No-one tells a gay person to kill themselves when they get bullied. I was bullied and I am still here!

  40. TJ says

    Bully for those of you for whom “that’s so gay” is no big deal. Words are powerful when we give them power. And uses and meanings can change. For example, calling something “sick” is a compliment in some circles. I get it. But not everyone feels the power to pick and choose how words affect them. Right now, “that’s so gay” is never used as a compliment. And bullies, consciously and intentionally, use this phrase along with faggot and other pejoratives to diminish the power of others. Until “that’s so gay” becomes a compliment, and until bullied kids stop killing themselves, I am going to have to use this bully pulpit to preach against it’s use.

  41. TANK says

    Eric, you have no leg to stand on. First, this was a bigoted, antigay line. And I’m sorry that people just don’t understand that, especially gay people. It just proves that gays aren’t any more intelligent than anyone else. I’m sure that there black people who argued that terminology that disparages and puts them down is okay…just sad people, really.

    And no, this was a choice by a private company to modify its property, and for good reason… It was a business decision, not censorship. Ironically, you seem to want to defend Dr. Laura against her “evil oppressors,” too.

  42. Eric says

    @tank

    That’s right. Just keep recklessly running around and tearing a page out of anythhing that makes you uncomfortable. Just don’t cry when someone tears a page out of your books.

    This is exactly how censorship starts. With the minority group upset about something and insisting it change to accomodate their sensibilities. It will simply give the next burn happy zealot precedent to censor your works.

    To paraphrase Ray Bradbury. If you don’t like a piece of art, make your own or ignore it. The moment you start demanding that an artist change their work, you become just another damned book burner.

  43. Eric says

    It is no surprise that there are overzealous idiots in the LGBT community too. I thank you, Tank, for proving that narrow minded zealotry transcends sexuality. The day when no one has anything of meaning to say will come because of the efforts of people like you.

  44. Eric says

    You can let your opinion be known by ignoring yet another idiotic and generic romcom…. However, most Americans with a brain ignore these shitfests anyway so it may not be saying much.

  45. TANK says

    Yes, it’s narrowminded zealotry to oppose casual homophobia in a likely unwatchable comedy. This isn’t art… Especially in light of the media attention that antigay bullying and the broader social context in which it is encouraged and vindicated has received as of late. Uh huh…keep fuckin’ that chicken.

    And no, it’s not that it makes me uncomfortable. Very little if anything can do that. This isn’t some first amendment crusade: this is bigotry and the decisions of a private concern to tone it down in light of backlash. Feel free to prostrate yourself under slogans like “meaning change” to evade the antigay values that such terms reinforce. I suppose if one were oblivious to the history and use of the ‘n’ word, and used it to describe…shall we say, a television remote (LOL!)…it would be fine.

    it proves, if anything, that there exist a healthy contingent of gays for whom oppression has become a way of life, and they would miss it if it were addressed.

  46. TANK says

    And censorship isn’t automatically bad, wherever and whenever it is applied (which wouldn’t be in this case, to remind you)…that’s an abuse of language. Anyone touting that has an extremely misguided agenda.

  47. TJ says

    @Eric – zealots come in all shapes and sizes. In your zealotry to defend against the slippery slope of censorship, are there no lines you would draw? Freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility ( or so courts have ruled).

  48. Eric says

    The “electric cars are gay” comment isn’t really any worse than things I see or hear in the community anyway. If you haven’t seen the term “str8 acting only” or “no fems”, you haven’t cruised.

    If he was saying electric cars are effeminate, it is synched with a pretty large bias already present among the gay community as well.

    Regardless, they have the right to put it in their stupid movie and you have the right to speak against it. What you do not have the right to do is force them to stop. They have the same right to use the term gay any way they feel just like you can throw “breeder” at every heterosexual that disagrees with you.

  49. TJ says

    Again Eric, rights go hand in hand with responsibility. Ideology must be tempered with pragmatism. Whether or not harm is intended matters little to the person who is hurt. There are times when “just get over it” is way too simple an answer. Yes, people may the right, but it doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

  50. Jerry6 says

    What the heck is the problem with ANY expression that stats with – “It’s so —-“?

    If the statement is truly descriptive of the “object” being highlighted, what is your complaint? We gays are different than strait men. We strive for for different things. We excel in different things than Straits. Do you think that a strait could have produced the Sistein (sp?) Chapel Ceiling? Do you think that a strait could have danced like any of the Russian Gays of the 19th century? Why do you think that most of the famous movie male lovers of the 1930’s and 1940’s were Gay? ( The straits were just not that convincing.)

  51. Doug says

    I’m gay and use the term “that’s so gay” frequently when I think something is lame. It’s a generation thing I guess. I’m glad I don’t see the world the way so many others seem to. Lighten up. “Gay” people don’t own the word “gay”.

  52. TJ says

    Last post, Doug inspired. Gay = lame. Lame = you. Can it be any simpler? Accepting this term means you accept a “less than” status. Are you really okay with being equated with second class status? Because, trust, that is what being okay with this use of the term means. Gay = lame. Gay = stupid. It comes from an understanding that gay is something that NO ONE would want to be. You are naive if you think that the people who use this term in this way actively process and separate gay people from lame. Use of the term gay as a pejorative is a reaction, a backlash, by the hegemony. It is used with spite, and malice. Embrace this, and you embrace your oppressor.

  53. TANK says

    Forget it, TJ…just forget it. You can’t fix stupid, and it’s not worth trying. And telling these people that “freedom” (the concept) doesn’t make any sense without specifying boundary conditions (limiting conditions) is howling at the moon. And explaining that this simply isn’t censorship of any kind is a waste of time…these zombies buy into the meme the ilk of dr. laura spun (criticism of any kind=censorship). I’ve talked to a lot of stupid in my time (most people just aren’t gonna give you any satisfaction..they are, for all intents and purposes, inanimate…rocks and trees), and in the end…Hey, don’t ask me TANK why do you drink, why do you roll smoke…over and over everybody made my prediction, so if I get–well, you get the picture. The reward is in the result…and the result is self explanatory when you look at the state of things…not much of a reward, is it?

  54. Socrates says

    Hey Closet Patrol and anyone else going on about telling AC to ” come out “…Shut your pie holes. Who the heck are you to tell anyone anything? AC does what he does and its been positive for the Gay Community. Him coming out is his own business not yours.

  55. crispy says

    “Censorship has NEVER originated in the government.”

    ::rolls eyes::

    I’ll be sure to let the people of China know that. It’ll be published right next to my articles about Tiananmen Square and Tibetan independence.

  56. TJ says

    @Tank – I usually stop trying before I blow a gasket and lose hope. Recently, I got “invited” to an “event” on Facebook (Spirit day Oct 20, for victims of bullying). The negative comments posted were vile (Darwin- inspired ones just the tip). Lots of “this is so gay” ones, too. I’ve also read some of the MSM reports of this, and the comments. So many that ridiculed, minimized, and, oh yeah, used the “this is so gay” insult. Maybe this is “generational,” but maybe there is a generation that could use some consciousness raising. But don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath for too long.

  57. Eric says

    @crispy

    Chinese censorship started as a movement of the people. The continued censorship of media is now run by the government because that censorship crazy group is in power. The commies didn’t start out in charge and it took a small minority movement bent on suppressing everything that didn’t fit their vision. It wasn’t a group of soldiers that went through china burning and crushing anything that didn’t fit the revolutionary vision. It was the overzealous youth.

    Like I said. Censorship doesn’t start from the top. Some group of crazy fuckers always start it.

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