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GLAAD is about to boycott Keven Smith's new movie.
August 1, 2001 10:54 AM   Subscribe

GLAAD is about to boycott Keven Smith's new movie. For basically using the too many "gay" slurs. I seem to be getting flash backs to when the Catholic League boycotted his Dogma film. I wonder what group is going to ban his next film?
posted by Qambient (29 comments total)

 
perhaps the added publicity will be a good thing, in that it will create some discourse (and hopefully some interest at the box office).
posted by moz at 11:07 AM on August 1, 2001


When I saw this on Aint-It-Cool this morning, I thought: "This is something for Metafilter," but then decided I'd let someone else notice it. Good going, Qambient.

Everyone seems to be criticizing GLAAD over this, and while I agree that there's no reason to criticize the way that Kevin Smith portrays gays (he's certainly not a homophobe), I think GLAAD may have a bit of a point in a related matter. One of the big arguments that Harry at AICN and others make is that "Jay and Silent Bob aren't gay", so calling them "fags" is fine: it's just a regular insult. Throughout Kevin's films (and especially in this one, from what I understand), terms for homosexuals are used as all-round insults, much like when I was in primary school. Ok, it's characterization, and ok, I wouldn't censor it or encourage an all-out boycott, but maybe Kevin (and all of us) should give some thought to the fact that we're associating homosexuality with "sucking", and that to call someone gay is to insult them, regardless of their sexual orientation. It can't be healthy for the social environment.
posted by Marquis at 11:11 AM on August 1, 2001


Kevin Smith asks GLASS "what we could do to allay his [Scott Seomin, GLAAD's Entertainment Media Director] (and GLAAD's) fears. He said he'd be asking Miramax to make a substantial donation to the Matthew Shepherd Foundation."

I don't know what bothers me more...that this sounds like extortion or GLAAD can be paid-off to keep quiet about something they have deemed offensive.
posted by sexymofo at 11:12 AM on August 1, 2001


Hmmm, I'm betting most (if not all) of the 'fag' remarks come from Jay. In which case it's completely part of the character. (just watch dogma:".. you're thinking about guys")
posted by tj at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2001


I swear, I caught it from the right wing on 'Dogma', and now I'm catching it from the left wing on this flick. Which am I, people: a bleeding heart liberal or a Bible-thumping conservative?

Pure gold.
posted by dave at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2001


It's hardly extortion or a pay-off. It's an olive branch. From Kevin's response, it seems like GLAAD has been really responsive and interested in a dialog. Which, I would guess, is more than the Catholic League ever did (based on my experiences with them, having hosted a live music show that landed on their infamous Top 10 list last year)...
posted by bcwinters at 11:24 AM on August 1, 2001


My respect for K. Smith grows with every movie he makes (yes, even Mallrats!) and every special intrust group he indirectly exposes as pompous and parsimonious.
posted by Qambient at 11:33 AM on August 1, 2001


I used to call people who cut me off in traffic "fags" and saying that things I deemed stupid were "gay", then I started dating a girl who had lost two uncles (who were partners) to AIDS. I stopped. Now I struggle to come up with something to say, often opting for Ned Flanderisms... "Gosh Darn it."

PS - girl turned out to be mental (literally) and we broke up, but I probably won't go back to saying those things...
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:36 AM on August 1, 2001


SMITH SAYS HE'S "KNEE-DEEP IN GAYNESS".
posted by swell at 11:37 AM on August 1, 2001


There were whole pages of dialog in Chasing Amy that spoke to the idea that calling somebody a fag was passive aggressive gay bashing. So, I have a pretty hard time reconciling GLAAD's perception that there is insensitivity on the part of the film maker there (granted I haven't seen the movie yet).

It seems Smith comes from the perspective of in this world there are a lot of people who smoke. You can decide that is cool or uncool, but that's this world. There are people who are insensitive to gays. You can decide that is cool or uncool, but that's this world. There are monsters made of feces. You can decide .. no, that one's just wrong.

I understand it might seem to come across as a tacit or explicit endorsement for that world view, but I don't want my film makers concerned they're going to offend someone. I want them to be rude and insensitive. Rude films while not very nice just seem to me to be better for some reason.
posted by willnot at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2001


Why do all these groups (Christian right, GLAAD, etc.) assume that depiction of a behavior is equivalent to endorsement of it? Hollywood can make movies about psychopaths, and no one thinks they're endorsing serial murder. Kevin Smith makes a movie containing homophobes and he's endorsing homophobia? I understand that there's still a hazard in just giving those types of behaviors some extra airtime, but you can't expect every filmmaker to make movies that are going to be completely harmless for everyone to watch.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2001


Sexymofo sez: "I don't know what bothers me more...that this sounds like extortion or GLAAD can be paid-off"

Perhaps you need to read what you pasted again. I know that "GLAAD" sounds and looks a lot like "Matthew Shepard Foundation," but there's a subtle difference that I'm sure you'll notice after a few minutes, of you look close enough.
posted by CrayDrygu at 11:39 AM on August 1, 2001


Why do all these groups ... assume that depiction of a behavior is equivalent to endorsement of it?

I agree with you that depiction of behaviour doesn't equal endorsement. In terms of slang and parole however, it's my feeling that the use of language in a popular film/music etc. implicitly endorses its use in pop culture. It's not that you can't ever, or shouldn't ever, use the word "fag" in a movie, it's just that you should be careful in so doing, and not forget the [positive/negative] impact that such use can have.
posted by Marquis at 11:47 AM on August 1, 2001


Can the Director's Guild protest Kevin Smith for not being able to properly frame a shot?
posted by solistrato at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2001


And can the Writer's Guild protest him for writing dialogue that doesn't sound anything close to human?
posted by owillis at 11:55 AM on August 1, 2001


The fact that these groups choose to single out movies such as Kevin's is gay as far as I am concerned.
posted by Stretch at 12:00 PM on August 1, 2001


Cray: I think the point he is making is that GLAAD is bullying Kevin Smith and Mirimax to donate to an organization,(and then using that as an admition of guilt) even though it isn't his own organization, so GLAAD wont unleash the dogs on Smith's new movie. Which im sure they will do anyways.

I don't have a problem with him and Mirimax donating. As long as they donate by there own accord, and not by being forced by GLAAD for fear repercussions
posted by Qambient at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2001


did any platypus organizations get pissed at the disclaimer at the beginning of dogma?
posted by adampsyche at 12:09 PM on August 1, 2001


I won't go as far as boycott, but pointing out passive discrimination in movies is good. Especially if it follows pop culture. Make people aware that while a fact of life, that doesn't make it good. People go to movies and they subconciously pick up habits from characters that appeal to them.

Kevin Smith has done a good job about balancing his movies. In Dogma, while tearing apart the followers of the Catholic faith, he didn't tear apart the religion itself. So it seems stupid to go after him. But I think of all directors, he might be one of the few to stand up and say "Yeah, it isn't right that people use fag loosely, but Jay is an insensitive homophobic jerk."
posted by witchycal at 1:13 PM on August 1, 2001


"Cray: I think the point he is making is that GLAAD is bullying Kevin Smith and Mirimax to donate to an organization,(and then using that as an admition of guilt)"

That's funny. What I got from the article was that Smith asked the GLAAD guy what a suitable apology would be, he mentioned asking Mirimax to donate to the MSF. Smith then voluntarily offered to make a donation as well. (In his own words, "I said I'd be happy to make a donation as well").

Then, after that, Rebecca Ascher-Walsh of Entertainment Weekly tells him the donation is being used as an admission of guilt, but Smith doesn't say who's doing the accusing. GLAAD? EW writers? Others in the entertainment news industry?

I think people are reading more into that than there really is.
posted by CrayDrygu at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2001


maybe Kevin (and all of us) should give some thought to the fact that we're associating homosexuality with "sucking"

When, in fact, many heterosexual relationships involve sucking.
posted by gleemax at 1:20 PM on August 1, 2001


Exactly.
posted by Marquis at 1:23 PM on August 1, 2001


"I swear, I caught it from the right wing on 'Dogma', and now I'm catching it from the left wing on this flick.

Which am I, people: a bleeding heart liberal or a Bible-thumping conservative?

And when the hell do I get to make a movie in which I don't have to explain myself afterwards?

When the hell do I get to make a movie that some special interest group won't demonize?

I swear - it's like all that's left is to walk that thin, boring line down the middle that makes for really bland cinema. Because no matter what you do and say, no matter how good your intentions are, sooner or later, you're going to offend SOMEBODY.


HALLELUJAH!!!! Not only Cinema, but life in General. PC SUX!
posted by da5id at 1:34 PM on August 1, 2001


as alluded to earlier, people should be boycotting his films for no other reason than he is a terrible filmmaker. His dialogue is terrible, his direction is sloppy at best, he can't get a decent performance out of any actor who isn't being themselves or a silly stereotype ...he's a hack that secretly wants to be considered an auteur. i think he gets most of his cred from "putting in film what everyone talks about in private" (i.e. he's not "PC") but when one examines important issues (religion, sexuality) so poorly, it becomes a disservice to everyone...
posted by gwint at 2:45 PM on August 1, 2001


Say what you will about his direction and writing, but Kevin Smith is worthy of praise if only for bringing us more Jason Lee than anyone else.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 3:03 PM on August 1, 2001


Yeah, he sucks! He's the worst filmmaker ever, man. His films are so gay!
posted by smackfu at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2001


Jason Lee? Ben Afflect is too much of a price to pay.
posted by john at 6:57 PM on August 1, 2001


Anyone incapable of being moved by that howl at the end of the hockey game confrontation needs to return their claim on a soul so that some future person that might actually use it gets a shot.
posted by NortonDC at 9:39 PM on August 1, 2001


gwint, the joke's on you. Kevin's a hack, he knows he's a hack, he's never seen himself as any sort of auteur. He's just a goofball who lucked out, and he'd be the first person to tell you so.

That being said, I'm amazed at how quickly some people forget. Hooper X, anyone? Hooper was quite possibly one of the best gay characters to be featured in a film in recent memory, made even more striking because he was a gay black man who didn't choose being gay over being black (or vice versa), wasn't conflicted about either identity, troped both identities whenever the situation called for tweaking someone's nose, and was the moral conscience of "Chasing Amy". Not only that, who else could deliver such a scathing and literate analysis of the "Star Wars" films?
posted by likorish at 6:36 AM on August 2, 2001


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