Vince Vaughn Hub

On The Use of The Anti-Gay F-Word in 'Horrible Bosses'

Aniston_Horrible_Bosses Many of you may recall a media scandal that erupted last year around Vince Vaughn's movie, The Dilemma, in which a character describes hybrid cars as "gay."

Vaughn and the rest of the movie's team were roundly criticized for the joke, and were forced to make a decision on whether or not they would keep the punch line.

Many of us, including myself, were disappointed when they stuck to their guns and included it in the movie, although they did remove it from the flick's trailer.

We now have a similar situation with a new comedy called Horrible Bosses, about three men who decide to murder their wretched higher-ups. One of those bosses is played by Jennifer Aniston, whose character calls her employee a "faggot."

Some critics are wondering whether the term should have been included in the movie at all, but co-screenwriter Jonathan Goldstein explains their decision to keep it in the reel.

"I think part of the challenge is to, in a fairly short amount of time, get these guys to a place where an audience can empathize," he said. "To shorthand that, we tried to think: what are the most offensive things they can say? Using a word like that I think is one of them. It says this woman is irredeemable."

It seems to me that Goldstein and his team have the right idea: using an anti-gay epithet to convey to the audience, quite explicitly, that this character is indeed horrible, and so too are others who use the dreaded F-word.

Watch the trailer for Horrible Bosses, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Ron Howard Explains Why Gay Joke Stayed in 'The Dilemma'


Director Ron Howard appeared on The View and was asked about the controversy surrounding the film's trailer, in which actor Vince Vaughn uses the word "gay" in a derogatory joke in a meeting. The joke was removed from the trailer, but not the film, following action from GLAAD.

Said Howard on The View:

"I was a little surprised by it because you sort of see that used on TV shows and especially comedies a lot. But I would say yes and no, because it was completely out of context that they were evaluating it, and it was a piece of advertising, so it's not like they [made a] commitment [to go] see this person's film... This was being thrust upon people, and it's a very, very serious issue, so those who were raising the point were using popular entertainment to take a position I think that's incredibly valid and even important, and people should speak up. I agreed with Universal when they removed it [from the trailer]."

Howard went on to explain that the joke was not removed from the film because it's "the nature of that character Vince Vaughn plays" and it's "not lost on anyone within the framework of the scene."

Howard made no mention of his intimate moments on set with Channing Tatum.


Continue reading "Watch: Ron Howard Explains Why Gay Joke Stayed in 'The Dilemma'" »

Director Ron Howard: 'Gay' Joke Will Remain In 'The Dilemma'

Earlier this month Vince Vaughn defended the "electric cars are gay" joke his character utters in the trailer for the upcoming Universal Studios release, The Dilemma. After receiving criticism from many, including GLAAD and Anderson Cooper, Universal axed the joke from the trailer. Now director Ron Howard is defending the joke and guess what? He's decided to leave it in the final cut of the movie, which will be released in January.

Howard tells the LA Times:

Vv "So why was the joke in the movie?  Our lead character of Ronny Valentine has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what's okay to say.  He tries to do what's right but sometimes falls short.  Who can't relate to that? I am drawn to films that have a variety of characters with different points of view who clash, conflict and learn to live with each other. THE DILEMMA is a story full of flawed characters whose lives are complicated by the things they say to and hide from each other. Ronny is far from perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way."

He adds: "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. 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."

No word yet from Anderson Cooper but GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios issued a response immediately after hearing Howard's decision to keep the joke in the film.

“At a time when so many in our country are speaking out against the bullying of gay youth, Universal was right to acknowledge the offensive nature of this 'joke' when it removed it from trailers. Unfortunately, by leaving it in the movie, they are 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. 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."

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Vince Vaughn Defends Anti-Gay Joke in 'The Dilemma'


In late September, I posted the trailer to the Vince Vaughn/Kevin James film The Dilemma, which opened with an off-putting "electric cars are gay" joke, and after a reference from CNN's Anderson Cooper (and an up-till-then ignored request from GLAAD) the trailer was edited. GLAAD requested the joke be edited out of the film as well.

Now, Vince Vaughn is defending the joke:

"Let me add my voice of support to the people outraged by the bullying and persecution of people for their differences, whatever those differences may be. Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?"

The problem is that Vaughn can't join the outrage over anti-gay bullying while contributing to (and collecting a paycheck for) the derogatory dialogue which to some makes that bullying permissible.

UPDATE: GLAAD sent us this statement late last night in response to Vaughn's remarks -

“Jokes can bring people together, but they can also push us apart," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "When 'gay' is used as a pejorative, it frequently sends a message - particularly to youth and their bullies - that being gay is wrong and something to laugh at. We invite Vince Vaughn to work with us and help ensure that gay youth and those perceived to be gay aren't put in harm's way by such jokes.”


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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