Nov 11, 2010
09:46 PM

Ron Howard’s Gay Dilemma

 Ron Howard’s Gay Dilemma

I get annoyed when a character’s words don’t ring true.

Even if the character is an ass and what he says is offensive (which apparently applies to the character that Vince Vaughn plays in The Dilemma), does that mean he shouldn’t talk that way?

Ron Howard, director of The Dilemma (set for a January release), was asked by gay groups to delete a line about an electric car being “gay” from the comedy on the grounds that it’s insensitive to gay youth, whose suffering has resulted in a recent wave of suicides.  

I agree that young people who are bashed and bullied should be protected, I’m not sure that telling filmmakers to “fix” offensive language is the way to do it. 

It’s important that films and television reflect what’s going on in real life. There are people out there who say and do the wrong things, but isn’t it better to show the world what that looks like?

Ron Howard wrote an explanation to a former colleague of mine, LA Times columnist Patrick Goldstein. Howard wrote: “I feel that our film is taking additional heat as an emblem for many movies and TV shows that preceded it that have even more provocative characterizations and language. It is a slight moment in The Dilemma meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character's personality, and we never expected it to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it.”

He added that: “…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.”

The LGBT community knows as well as anyone that opinions are sometimes changed specifically through comedy. Ellen DeGeneres, for instance, has reached millions and in turn has impacted the image of what is LGBT, first by coming out on her TV show, and then solidifying her reputation with her talk show. The comedian is now seen as someone who can be warm and funny and gay, as well as a valuable member of society. 

Besides, electric cars are gay. 

Here’s the trailer, minus the controversial comment, from The Dilemma (also starring Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah):

Get tickets to see Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin share a stage at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s 39th Anniversary Gala & Auction on Saturday, November 13.

Matthew Morrison, Lynch’s Glee co-star, will present the eclectic actress with the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award. Tomlin will emcee the evening while comedy genius Burnett will take the stage along with her daughter, singer Erin Hamilton.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by red carpet arrivals and the dinner/program at 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City. See for more info.

See Morrison’s recent video on bullying in support of The Trevor Project: 


Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.

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