Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Dilemma director Ron Howard on why he kept ‘gay’ joke

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Well the film is a huge flop so that’s good news.

    This comment is really very stupid and ignorant of Howard:

    “I was surprised [at the reaction] because it shows up on television all the time.”

    Well the word n***er shows up in rap music all the time but you don’t get people throwing it around.

    When this controversy broke Ron Howard defended the scene saying that to remove it would be censorship to which he is opposed.

    That was very amusing in light of the fact that Ron Howard himself censored ALL the gay elements from the movie A Beautiful Mind.

    Howard is an idiot.

    And a really bad film-maker

  2. That fat, greasy pig Vince Vaughn enjoys a reputation as one of the nastiest pieces of work in film also.

    So this films massive floppage in the US is a cause for great amusement.

  3. he was so handsome in swingers and now hes a beer swilling pie faced knob

  4. Massive floppage?

    US Box Office:£17.8M in first week of release ($21.1 million on the 4 day weekend) – not too shabby for a mid-Jan opening and 2nd only in the charts to an action/superhero comedy.

    Green Hornet did better, but had its receipts inflated by 3D ticket prices.

  5. p.s. I hope it doesn’t flop, the comment makes sense in context and we shouldn’t be going down the route of protecting our feelings with speech codes.

  6. “Massive floppage?
    US Box Office:£17.8M in first week of release ($21.1 million on the 4 day weekend)”

    And a budget of over $70 million (not including the advertising budget).

    It’s a big fat flop – just like greasy Vince Vaughn.

    As for the notion that the comment made sense ‘in context’?

    What context would that be? That the pig-faced Vaughn characcter is a moron and a bigot?

    Fine – but where are the racist slurs.

  7. Noted heterosexual Queen Latifah appeared in thjs movie. Her ‘personal trainer’ spent a lot of time on set with her.

    Has Latifah been quizzed on her attitude to the ‘gay’ joke.

    I’d like to hear her heterosexual opinion on it.

  8. $21.1 million in a 4 day weekend on release in one country. You so sure it can’t recoup its budget of over $70 million plus advertising?

  9. Its interesting that individuals in this forum can’t make comments without resorting to personal insults. It tells a lot about you. Notably you are no better than the character that Vince Vaughn plays.

    Grow up.

  10. I’d just like to point out that in the context of the life story of John Forbes Nash (played by Russell Crowe in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ – directed by Ron Howard), reference to his bisexuality was essential.

    Ron Howard censored all reference to it.

    But he tries to claim that using the word ‘gay’ as a slur is perfectly OK as lots of people say it. Repellant hypocrite.

    In order for a film to be a financial success it is supposed to make at least double its production budget worldwide in order to quality as a hit move.

    This film won’t come anywhere near that..

    It’s a flop.

    And it’s not insulting to address the rumours that Vince Vaughn is meant to be a noxious a$$hole to his co-workers. Or the fact that he has the bloated face of a heavy drinker.

    Or the fact that fiercely heterosexual Queen Latifah (whio appears in the ‘Elecfric cars are gay’ scene) has avoided all comment about this movie. I wonder why?

  11. Hollywood is only interested in the bottom line, and that means not challenging lazy popular prejudice too much. Surprise, surprise.

  12. As a gay man I don’t find this use of the word gay offensive in the least. The simple fact is that the word gay has another vernacular usage that has nothing to do with homosexual gay. Words have multiple meanings and regardless of its original usage this word has taken on a different meaning over time. I am sure sweet at one time only meant sugary but today it means that and “cool” as well.

    I don’t condone any homophobic hate speach at all but specific to this case I just don’t see the issue.

    1. Where the hell does this argument come from? “Gay has other meanings” yes that’s true but everyone knows its NEVER EVER EVER EVER used for these meanings. Nobody honestly goes round using “gay” instead of “happy” or “faggot” instead of “bunch of sticks”

      It might not offend YOU personally, and someone might not MEAN to be offensive, but you’re totally denying the fact that a word can hold a lot of weight for some people and not others. You’re denying the fact that a word can be a weapon. You’re being pretty selfish and narrow minded

  13. Charlie, do you call yourself “gay” ?

  14. @YuriFuri I call myself gay but I also call myself straight – meaning I speak my mind. Is that a good example for of the different meanings Charlie wanted to explain?

  15. PumpkinPie 21 Jan 2011, 6:31pm

    I’m quite pleased that he came to one of the same conclusions I did: the gag’s inclusion in a trailer was the main problem. I don’t really have a problem with characters like Vaughn’s, so long as they’re meant to be seen as tits. Therefore, such comments are acceptable in keeping with character.

    When you use the comment out of context, in a trailer, however, you cross over the line from “character who’s a bit of a tit saying inappropriate things” to “hurr-durr come see our film, it has hilarious anti-gay jokes”. In the film, it’s in context. Outside of the film, it’s attempting to cash in on a society’s casual homophobia in order to sell them a product. That’s what I thought was distasteful.

    Disappointed to see that he doesn’t understand that “gay” as an insult never has a “non-sexual connotation” (things which are “gay” are supposedly bad precisely because they are like us), nor that everyone else doing it doesn’t make it any better.

  16. Since gay originally meant joyful and happy before it was adopted by homosexuals to mean someone who is attracted to someone of the same sex does that mean we have to assume that all gays are happy and joyful all the time? Since the alternate use of gay to day means silly or stupid do you really think that the people who use it also think all gay people are silly or stupid?

    Get over this. It isn’t an insult. In the movie line the character even says not the homosexual gay. Gay today has taken on a different meaning. Words evolve. So do people’s take on the words. In 1975 maybe this would have been an insult. In 2010 it isn’t.

    1. Oh i’m sorry, you must have missed the decade or so when “that’s gay” was widely used as an insult.to describe anything and everything that was seen as negative or disgusting or undesirable.

      “Gay today has taken on a different meaning, It isn’t an insult” LOL how dare you, seriously.

  17. Get a grip you nutters

  18. @Charlie – The all-purpose negative usage of the word “gay” is derived directly from its definition as “homosexual”, and most people who use it that way understand this. Its use in that sense is predicated entirely on an assumption that homosexuality is inferior to heterosexuality and therefore to call something you don’t like “gay” is an appropriate insult. That it once had other definitions that have long since fallen out of usage is completely irrelevant.

  19. The Heretic Philosopher 22 Jan 2011, 7:06am

    Lol at the phrase ‘Massive floppage’

  20. @2hats your own statement that the other usage has somehow faded away undermines your own argument that the term gay to mean stupid or silly is always a pegorative aimed at gays. Just as my grandmum still uses gay to mean happy there may still be some people today who use the word as an anti-gay pejorative but the great majority of people using it don”t see the connection. I am gay and I don’t see the connection. My good friends that use gay in the other term are completely gay positive and don’t see the connection. I seriously think people are being hypersensitive on this.

    I don’t know how old you are but if I had to guess I’d say the majority of those offended are 40+ . Those of us that have grown up with the word being in common usage see the word differently. Just like my grandmum sees it differently.

  21. Nearly 40 years ago I spoke on gay rights at a (British) Labour Party fringe meeting and a lady in the audience asked why we sued the word gay. I explained it was our label for us (and apparently goes back to 1950 to 1955, which I didn’t previously know), not one put on us by others (like “queer” etc), and said “What’s in a word” which got the meeting into the Daily Mirror, then possibly the best-selling paper across the country. So thanks, lady for the publicity!

    Words change in meaning. I’n not sure we should get into a tizz about the way ‘gay’ has acquired its further use as meaning, in a slightly derogatory way, “not impressive, stylish, or attractive” to quote from the Oxford English Dictionary Online. Interestingly, many other online dictionaries have not caught up with this further usage which surely derives from the homosexual meaning; words often do branch off.

  22. The day you stop being able to laugh at yourself is the day that all joy is removed from your life.

    Let’s be serious; the use of this word is fairly widespread in this way, and words change meaning in different contexts and cultures. Just as we’d use the word fanny to mean something different to the American meaning.

    Just as gay meant happy and joyous, now it’s synonymous with homosexuality.

    It’s all a bit mountain out of a molehill to suggest this should be offensive. Offence is a very subjective reaction, so live and let live, and try not to take it so seriously.

  23. “Jewing someone down” used to be a perfectly acceptable form of saying that you negotiated a lower price for something. Most of the people who used it never thought about it being connected to Jewish people and it was always possible to find someone Jewish to say that people who objected to the term were being too sensitive. They would claim that their friends used it and their friends weren’t anti-Semitic. Today, most people agree this usage is offensive. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t offensive when most people used it, just that it was an acceptable form of being offensive. I think people who accept the usage of gay as a non-homophobic pejorative just don’t want to accept the amount of homophobia that still exists among their friends. If they accept that there is a homophobic root to the usage, then they might have to accept that their immediate circle isn’t as “gay-friendly” as they claim to be. Gay people shouldn’t be telling other gay people not to be offended. Straight people have been trying to offend us for centuries. We don’t have to buy into it.

  24. @David If you think people don’t use then n-word then you haven’t spent time around young African American males. Being that this is pinknews.uk, I can forgive that, but you can’t make a sweeping generalization that nobody uses it because they do. A lot.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all