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Joe Rogan says Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is ‘insanely transphobic’

Sofia Lotto Persio January 26, 2019
Joe Rogan said he "made a mistake" in watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with his daughters.

UFC commentator and radio host Joe Rogan criticised Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as 'insanely transphobic' (PowerfulJRE/Youtube, Morgan Creek Films)

UFC commentator and radio host Joe Rogan has condemned Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as “insanely transphobic,” in an episode of his show.

Rogan discussed his shock at realising how “super transphobic” the 1994 film is during a conversation with his guest, New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss, aired on January 21.

“Do you know what I made the mistake of doing yesterday? I watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with my 8-year-old and my 10-year-old,” Rogan said, as their conversation veered towards controversial films.

“I didn’t realise how transphobic that f**king movie is,” Rogan added.

He then went on to sum up the film, which starred Jim Carrey as the protagonist. The main plot twist comes at the end, when a detective played by Sean Young, a cisgender woman, is revealed to be the villain, portrayed to be transgender as she is stripped down to her underwear in front of police officers.

“All the cops are throwing up… It’s off the charts,” Rogan said, playing the scene for those who have either forgotten or never watched the film.

“Everyone is freaking out. It is so insanely transphobic,” Rogan added.

Joe Rogan wonders whether ‘transphobic’ Ace Ventura: Pet Detective should be banned

He then questioned Weiss, who is conservative, over whether the film should be banned: “Should it be illegal to have it on iTunes?”

“Of course not,” she replied.

“Maybe someone on the woke left may disagree with you right now, calling you transphobic for defending this horrible, cisgendered, heteronormative, piece of s**t movie” Rogan teased.

“No that’s horrible,” Weiss responded, clarifying her opinion of the scene.

Sean Young in the transphobic scene from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.
Sean Young in the scene from the “insanely transphobic” Ace Ventura, Pet Detective film. (Getty)

“When I saw that movie, I was 10. Transphobia was not a thing. Now it is a thing. That’s good. That’s good news,” she added.

Rogan and Weiss then agreed that films displaying racist or transphobic tropes should remain available to audiences to show how normative those attitudes used to be.

“It’s important to show the progress,” Rogan said, adding: “Like Ace Ventura for trans people… It’s amazing no one has ever brought this up. I feel like this is something that has never been discussed.”

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has been called out before

Rogan is not the first to denounce the scene. When model Munroe Bergdorf became the first trans woman to front a L’Oreal UK campaign in 2017, she referenced the negative, lasting impact of watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as a child.

She wrote in an Instagram post: “As an 8 year old, I remember watching the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, starring comedian Jim Carey, at a classmates house after school.

“Sorry to ruin the ending if you haven’t seen it (don’t bother), it ends in the movie’s villain being caught, stripped to her underwear and exposed as in fact ‘a man’. Then to add insult to injury, everyone in the room starts vomiting as they have all engaged in sex with her.

“Seeing a scene like this including a trans person, played by a cis woman—it may see trivial to some but I carried that ‘punchline’ throughout my adolescence, it made me feel guilty and confused about who I truly was, so I pushed my true self into my subconscious and tried to be someone I was not.”

Bergdorf added: “Fast forward two decades and I am so proud to be doing my bit for transgender visibility in the media. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a perfect person, but none of us are.”

More: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bari Weiss, Joe Rogan, transphobia, US

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