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With Trailer Edited, GLAAD Pressures Universal On 'Dilemma' Gay Scene

Vaughn GLAAD has upped the ante in its battle against Universal Pictures. The movie studio agreed last week to remove a "that's so gay" joke from the trailer of its upcoming comedy, The Dilemma.

Though GLAAD made a removal request more than a month ago, it only took a casual reference from Anderson Cooper to get the job done. Now GLAAD wants the joke removed entirely, and put up an online petition asking concerned citizens to voice their disapproval.

"Contact Universal Pictures and urge its representatives to remove offensive anti-gay language from the upcoming movie, The Dilemma. Tell them that phrases like 'that's so gay' are extremely damaging and contribute to putting young people in harm's way. Teen bullying is no joke," reads the petition. "Unfortunately the company has refused to agree to remove the scene in the movie before its January release date. Moreover, after promising to remove the anti-gay trailer, Universal has reportedly still not removed the trailer from theaters." The trailers have been changed online, and Universal insists it will switch out the in-theater previews next week.

Now, our dilemma: Do we pressure a movie studio to remove a joke from what sounds like an adult comedy -- "A man discovers that his best friend's wife is having an affair." -- or let people make the decision about whether or not they want to see the flick, directed by Ron Howard and starring Vince Vaughn and Winona Ryder?

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  1. @kansastock Exactly what I was saying. :)

    Posted by: moike | Oct 11, 2010 5:02:02 PM

  2. Oh please-do not give any more publicity to this terrible movie.

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 11, 2010 5:35:24 PM

  3. Nearly every time I read a GLAAD press release I'm tempted to ask them how they slept last night with that pea under their mattress.

    Posted by: BGKev | Oct 11, 2010 5:36:31 PM

  4. I'm more hurt that Vince Vaughn is still doing movies.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Oct 11, 2010 6:40:50 PM

  5. I am actually very pleased that a big deal is being made out of this, because the line explicitly contains an exoneration of the use of the word as "gay" to mean "embarrassingly and contemptibly pathetic" -- when that practice is so fucking not cool and not OK. It never has been OK.

    This will raise awareness and consciousness in a way that is long overdue.

    And, by the way, shame, shame, shame, SHAME on Ron Howard. He should know better.

    I don't know if GLAAD should be in any way faulted or blamed for not having the clout of a newsmaking, on-air comment by Anderson Cooper. I do wonder how otherwise, though, how they could increase their leverage to nip this kind of garbage in the bud.

    Wanda Sykes and others have been involved in a campaign to discourage the use of the word "gay" in the "The Dilemma" way, but the issue hasn't gotten this much concentrated attention before. Again, LOOOOONNNGGG OVERDUE.

    Just a couple weeks ago Amy Poehler and Seth Myers on "Saturday Night Live" used "gay" in that way. It was obscene, particularly in light of the, um, suicide problem.

    Posted by: stop the hate | Oct 11, 2010 7:21:51 PM

  6. Tom.

    While I appreciate your anger, and certainly understand your point of view, as someone who has spent their professional life studying literature, film and other forms of communication, to expect society to just forget or not use a particular expression is highly unrealistic. . .and is a form of censorship for which I can't support. There truly are times when phrases such as "That's so gay" can be used as "teachable moments" to others who don't understand the negative connotations, associations and direct/indirect harms that such phrases create in the larger society. If you remove the phrase, I assure you someone will just find a substitute. I'd rather people understand the hatefulness of this phrase and just learn not to use it, then to get creative and find even worse forms of expression to convey the same thing. Language constantly evolves and changes, and eventually this phrase will fall out of favor, but it'll take time and education to make that happen. . .although I must admit it would be interesting to see you go all Don Quixote on it.

    Posted by: Keith | Oct 11, 2010 8:55:42 PM

  7. Universal is such an anti-gay studio. That's why they made Brokeback Mountain. Seriously, GLAAD, get a life.

    Posted by: Matthew | Oct 11, 2010 9:28:23 PM

  8. Where was GLAAD last summer when Bradley Cooper was yelling "paging Dr. Faggot" in The Hangover? The year's biggest comedy had to rely on tired homophobic and racist humor and yet I didn't hear too many people complaining. Vote with your dollars people. If our community and allies don't show up to these movies the studios will start to take notice.

    Posted by: jamesintoronto | Oct 11, 2010 10:42:05 PM

  9. Wonder how long "That's so porchmonkey!" would last in the edit.

    Posted by: Jojo | Oct 12, 2010 12:03:51 AM

  10. I agree with some people on here that yes GLAAD and HRC are basically losing whatever meaning they thought they ever thought. Never mind that they could not get the attention from Universal (showing us the ineptness of such organizations) but now the word "gay" is a slur now? In that case GLAAD is perpetuating "hatred" by using that same "slur" in its own name. Gay Inc, is falling apart, maybe for the better. Average gay people are more apt to defend themselves and do not need to attack a stupid movie to make themselves look important.

    Posted by: pepa | Oct 12, 2010 6:03:45 AM

  11. As someone who taught midddle school for 15-plus years, if I had a dime for every time I heard a student say "that's so gay" (always in reference to something negative) I'd be a millionaire. Although I would stop students from using this phrase whenever I could, it (the phrase) was so pervasive it was almost impossible to stop students completely from using it. I always thought to myself, it would never be tolerated by teachers & administrators in a public school setting for a student to say "that's so black, Jewish, Hispanic,Asian, etc; etc; yet it seemed perfectly acceptable to the majority of my fellow faculty members whenever a pupil said "that's so gay". I know that if hearing this phrase bothered me, as a gay adult, then certainly it must have really bothered any gay/lesbian students, since middle school is so peer-centered. Because of my experiences with this phrase, I signed the GLAAD petition regarding the use of this anti-gay language in this film...words are powerful and can contribute to low self-esteem, especially among adolescents. As a (LGBT) community, we've got to finally stand up and say this simply isn't acceptable, and we won't tolerate it any longer.

    Posted by: Frederick | Oct 12, 2010 12:43:24 PM

  12. Ron Howard is a Nazi.

    Vince Vaughn is a douchetard.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Oct 13, 2010 12:18:04 AM

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