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Ellen Friedrichs

Hancock Falls Into the Gay Slur Trap

By July 4, 2008

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Look, I understand that characters in films don't always say or do things that I personally think are cool. If they did, movies would look awfully bland. But it gets kind of old to constantly hear anti-gay slurs in popular culture.

Apparently, the Will Smith superhero flick Hancock, is the latest one to fall into the trap. Now I have to admit, I was kind of into seeing Hancock. But after reading about prison rape "jokes" and the fact that the term homo is casually used as an insult, I'm less excited about it.

As the media watch group, GLADD says,

Hancock rejects the traditional image of costumed superheroes as he responds to each one [offered to him]: “Homo. Homo in red. Norwegian homo.” The audience is prompted to laugh and there is no response to or retribution for Hancock’s remarks. Bateman’s character, the father of a young son, could have easily spoken up instead of giving Hancock a pass. Better yet, would it have changed the story if that brief interaction had been left on the cutting room floor? No one would have missed the line if it wasn’t there, but an unfortunate choice was made to go for the cheap gay joke. In that moment, young gay people in the movie’s audience are put in the position of being ridiculed by a character they are expected to regard as a hero

I'm happy that GLADD is there to call this stuff out, because clearly, the directors, producers and distributors of this film didn't see a problem with it.

July 11, 2008 at 8:50 pm
(1) Justin says:

My number one question is, do gays not want to be treated just like everyone else? Well news flash, everyone gets made fun of in movies. Did you see every fat person scream bloody murder when they were made fun of in “Shallow Hal”? Our world is so full of hypocrites. Get over it, it is a damn movie!

July 15, 2008 at 7:21 am
(2) Rorschach says:

QFT. I’m all for equality, but quality means getting both the good AND the bad. Get the hell over it.

July 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm
(3) Gregj says:

I’m a 52 year old black, overweight moviegoer who has heard my share of black, fat old jokes in the movies and that it where I leave them … on the screen. My god, it’s a movie. You want to be treated equal then learn to except the fact that movie characters don’t always say the things we’d like to hear.

July 21, 2008 at 1:03 am
(4) Sarah says:

It’s her opinion. Get the hell over it.
I’m all for stressing the non-use of racial or sexual slurs.
You know why I don’t call myself a hoe or a bitch? Because it makes it easier for others to degrade women as such.

July 27, 2008 at 9:50 pm
(5) Dani says:

it’s her opinion. you don’t see her calling you things like fat boy or whatever. lose the fag remark. if you had something to say about the fat jokes and the race jokes she wouldn’t be the one to say get over it. leave her be and leave the bad comments to yourselves.

January 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(6) Marcus says:

Yes Justin, yes Rorschach,and yes Gregj. I COMPLETELY agree. And to Sarah and Dani, obviously it’s her opinion. Why would you say that, as if you’re proving some type of point. We’re, expressing ours.

Sarah, no body cares what you call yourself. If they wanna call you a bitch or a hoe, they’re going to. You’re mentally handicapped if you think otherwise. But what does you being a hoe have to do with the article? If you’re going to comment, at least stay on topic.

And to Dani, What the f*** are you talking about? Are you 12 years old? Of course she’s not calling him fat, he’s not calling her a homo, and neither is the movie? So what are you saying? Are you stupid? Did you even read the article?

And finally, to the author. You killed your own point when you said, “I understand that characters in films don’t always say or do things that I personally think are cool. If they did, movies would look awfully bland.”
I agree, so what do you want? What can you really say after that? And Are you really telling me that you don’t want to see a movie now because of one line? “Homo. Homo in red. Norwegian homo.” I saw the movie, that’s all it was. Those 6 words? Are you serious? Are you really serious? The character isn’t some gay basher spouting off the entire film. He said 6 words, that weren’t even anti gay. To reference Justin’s point, if he had said “Fat guy, fat guy in red, Norwegian fat guy” would that have been an anti-fat slur? No. It would have been a joke, and depending on the context, you might have even laughed.

So do us all a favor. Watch the f***ing movie, before you make a stupid a** article about it. Thanks.

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