CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, without naming names but apparently referring to Vince Vaughn's upcoming comedy The Dilemma, complained about the negative use of the word “gay” while discussing anti-gay bullying with Ellen DeGeneres on her show.
“There was a preview of a movie, and in it, the actor said, 'That's so gay,'” Cooper told DeGeneres, “and I was shocked that not only that they put it in the movie, but that they put that in the preview. They thought that it was OK to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it.”
The Dilemma trailer begins with Vaughn's character telling a group of suits, among them, of all people, Queen Latifah: “Ladies and gentleman, electric cars [pause] are gay.”
The executives, who didn't know cars had sex with one another, look confused.
“I mean, not homosexual gay,” Vaughn clarifies, “but you know, my parents were chaperoning the dance – gay.” In other words, something unappealing, undesirable, unwelcome.
“I just find those words, those terms, we've got to do something to make those words unacceptable 'cause those words are hurting kids,” Cooper explained. “Someone else I talked to recently said that the words people use and the things people say about other kids online, it enters into their internal dialogue. And when you're a kid, it can change the way you see yourself and the way you think about yourself, and the worth that you give to yourself. I think we need to really focus on what language we're using and how we're treating these kids.”
Cooper added: “It's incredible when you realize how commonly the term 'that's so gay' is among kids today. It's used not just against kids that are gay or lesbian, it's used as an insult to anybody in this day and age among kids and that's something that has to stop.”
It'll be ironic if, when The Dilemma opens in January 2011, people refer to it as “totally gay.” But that probably won't happen. Considering how stupid and vulgar it looks and sounds, it'll probably become an even bigger hit than Adam Sandler's Grown Ups.
The Dilemma was directed by Ron Howard – the same guy who brought you Frost / Nixon – written by Allan Loeb (is the “gay” line his?), and co-stars Kevin James, Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (who won her Oscar for Howard's A Beautiful Mind), Academy Award nominee Winona Ryder, and Channing Tatum.
Anderson Cooper quotes via EW Online.