Scary Movie creators admit homophobic jokes probably wouldn’t be greenlit 20 years on, ‘but the reaction would be the same’

Patrick Kelleher July 9, 2020
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Scary Movie cast

Scary Movie was released in July 2000. (Dimension Films)

The writers and producers of Scary Movie have said that the “gay humour” that populated their film franchise probably wouldn’t make it into a script today.

Scary Movie was released in the summer of 2000 and became an instant hit with audiences, raking in more than $150 million at the box office and spawning four sequels.

Reflecting on the film 20 years on, writers Keenan Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans and producer Bo Zenga addressed the film’s persistent gay jokes – and said they probably wouldn’t make it into a film script today.

Zenga told Variety: “There’s a lot of gay humour that I don’t think would make it into a movie today.”

Scary Movie gay jokes would be ‘difficult to greenlight’ today.

Marlon Wayans admitted that the film would be “difficult to greenlight” today.

“But I think the reaction’s still going to be the same,” he added.

“What I’ve learned from doing stand-up comedy is the opinions of the people and the taste of the people is not dictated by the politically correct nature of the social political climate.”

He added: “We live in America, and freedom of speech is the First Amendment. With freedom of speech comes freedom of creativity.

“And I think anybody can do a joke about anything and it’s just who’s telling the joke and what’s your intention? Is your intention to humiliate, or is your intention to make people laugh?

“Our intention is always to make people laugh.”

There’s a lot of gay humour that I don’t think would make it into a movie today.

While the Scary Movie franchise was a huge success at the time, it has faced retrospective criticism from viewers in recent years for sexist and homophobic jokes that mocked gay and female characters in degrading and harmful ways.

Ray, played by Shawn Wayans, has come under scrutiny in recent years.

The depiction of Ray, played by Shawn Wayans, has borne the brunt of much criticism from queer audiences.

In the first film, Ray acted in ways that led others to suspect he might be gay – insisting all the while that he was actually straight.

Scary Movie gay jokes
Ray asks another character if his shirt makes him look gay in Scary Movie (YouTube)

In one scene, Ray asks another character if his tank top makes him look gay. In another, he encourages his girlfriend to dress in men’s clothing during sex.

The joke, essentially, was that Ray was gay but didn’t know it.

To make matters worse, it is revealed at the end of the film that Ray is actually a murderer and possibly a sexual predator.

In the film’s sequel, he sexually assaults an evil clown doll, playing into harmful stereotypes about queer people.


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