The movie “The Dilemma” isn’t going to be released until January but is already generating big press. In case you haven’t heard in an early trailer for the film one of the stars, Vince Vaughn, who plays an auto designer, says,
“Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars are gay. I mean, not ‘homosexual’ gay, but, you know, ‘my parents are chaperoning the dance’ gay.”
Even though Universal withdrew the trailer after protests director Ron Howard say he will keep the line in the film. Now more protests are threatened unless the joke is cut from the movie. This line has sent gay activists into a tizzy and has now made any reference to “gay” in a humorous way the moral equivalent of carrying Mein Kampf into a synagogue. One gay activist is quoted as saying the joke promotes “hate and homophobia.” Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper say it is a form of bullying. Mr. Cooper of CNN has said, “We’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable ’cause those words are hurting kids!” Good for you, Andy! I am sure that you will be apologizing to all of the Tea Party activists you giggling called “tea baggers” indirectly calling them “gay” now that you have seen the light.
I am sure the people at GLAAD would have come down on Mr. Cooper and Bill Maher had they realized what they were saying. They were probably just really busy for a year or so and missed that “joke” all over TV and the internet. Thankfully the folks from GLAAD have finally spoken up and are trying to end “gay” jokes! I say “bravo,” it’s about time to end all of this “attack” humor!
We have to take a stand and stop letting comedy and comedians offend people. Let’s get a whole list of banned words and topics together. Let’s see, we have the granddaddy of all banned word, a word so bad we can’t even print it we can only refer to it as, “the ‘N’ word.” Then we have the “f” word and I have to be honest I don’t know if that is “fag” or “fuck”. We also have another contender for the “f” word, “fat.” As someone who has struggled with a weight problem all of my life I find any reference to “fat” in jokes offensive! In fact I find those “phat” references offensive too! Would “fag” be any less offensive to gay people if it were spelled “phag?” So let’s knock off the fat jokes. I am sure thin people find jokes about being skinny hurtful as well so they are o-u-t! Short, tall, unattractive, blond and any other reference to any appearance feature must be banned as well.
Then we have the “r” word. We wouldn’t want and actor calling an electric car “retarded” now would we? Jokes about people with or any reference to any type of limited abilities are now forbidden! We also need to be sensitive to how smart people are portrayed so jokes about geeks, nerds and dweebs are banned! As a Southerner and hillbilly let’s put an end to all of those hurtful references to how stupid people are in the south. No more NASCAR or incest jokes. Then too, we will have to agree to stop making jokes about New Yorkers and folks from Jersey. No jokes about California or its “dude” culture. In fact let’s just stop jokes about where people or from or how they behave!
I think it goes without saying that any ethnic reference is gone! Outlawed too is making fun of people’s religion, politics or educational background. No reference in any joke will be made to a person’s economic status. This can be hurtful no matter how much or how little a person has. Did I miss anything? Age? No “Geezer” jokes. Relationships? Off limits! No jokes about anything!
A long time ago I was doing as TV show and had a joke about Daylight Savings Time and how in Indiana they didn’t observe it. “The days are boring enough without being any longer,” was the punch line. The producer asked me to cut the joke because it might offend someone in Indiana! I told him that every joke offends somebody and if he could tell me a joke that didn’t I would cut the line without complaint. I got to do the joke.
As a comedian I know two things for sure; there is no such thing as a victimless joke and everything offends somebody. That is the whole point of comedy. Comedy is supposed to make fun of something. Great comedy makes us uneasy and makes us question are assumptions. Paraphrasing Twain, we are supposed to make hamburgers out of someone’s sacred cow. Once we start saying, “You can make fun of everything except…. (Insert your favorite set aside here) or “You can use any language you like except… (Insert any word that could possibly offend anyone here) it isn’t only the end of comedy it’s the end of free speech.