Filmmaker Ron Howard says that while excising a gay joke from the trailer for the upcoming Vince Vaughn comedy ‘The Dilemma’ was “appropriate,” the quip will remain in the actual movie when it hits theaters January 14, 2011.
“I believe in sensitivity but not censorship,” Howard wrote to the Los Angeles Times.
As seen in the movie’s original trailer, Vaughn’s character, Ronny, announces to a group of executives, “Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars are gay.” In a culture that as of late has exhibited due concern over anti-gay bullying, the line of dialogue was critiqued by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and GLAAD, whose president said it fueled “the widespread belief that it’s somehow OK to say things about gay people that it is not OK to say about other groups. Comments like those in the movie make it seem OK to beat up gay people.”
As a result, the quip got snipped from future showings of the trailer.
Howard believes ‘The Dilemma’ “is taking additional heat as an emblem for many movies and TV shows that preceded it that have even more provocative characterizations and language.” He explained that the scene in question “is a slight moment… meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character’s personality…. Ronny is far from perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way.”
Howard welcomes freedom of speech, but expressed concern over what would happen if every complaint about perceived insensitivity had to be met with censorship.
“Anybody can complain about anything in our country. It’s what I love about this place,” he says. “But if storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong-armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought.”
Do you agree with Howard’s stance?