Can Robert Downey Jr. Get Away With Calling Sherlock and Watson a Pair of ‘Homos’?

Robert Downey Jr.’s new film Sherlock Holmes is full of homosexual undertones. Except they are so blatant, maybe they are overtones? On a press tour of the film, Downey stopped by Letterman last night, and that’s where he acknowledged that, yes, some people though Sherlock and Dr. Watson were “homos.” But, asks wingman Paul Schafer, were they “screamers”?

Uh oh! Is it time to call the GLAAD police?

(Thanks, John!)

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #davidletterman #movies stories and more


  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Premise: It is acceptable for African-Americans to use the “N” word; it is acceptable for gays to use the “F” word.

    Therefore, as Robert Downey Jr is an honorary gay, it is acceptable for him to use the word homo. Add a couple of beers or a martini or two, and he can use the “F” word too.

  • ksyxx

    Too bad all the Trannys and ‘mo are protesting the blue people, or else there would be someone here to care.

  • Erick

    Wait, how is it that homo offensive in the same category as fag? Its fine, really.

    I take more offense to Paul calling us “screamers”, now that is unacceptable and that would have been worth a post, not this about RDjr.

  • Bunny Snuggles

    Speaking of “screamers”…Paul Schafer…really? If she were any more of a Nelly she’d have ovaries. Every time Paula opens her mouth a purse fall out. Hell, most of the time she sounds like she’s channeling a lobotomized Truman Capote. How does poor old “two-timing” Dave ever put up with her anyway?

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I don’t know where RD JR. stands on queer equality, or what his real orientation is, but the word “homo” was used in a derogatory manner in order to get cheap laughs. Therefore it is offensive.

  • schlukitz

    I co-sign, Mr. Enemabag Jones.

    “You homo”, was as offensive when I was in high school, many, many years ago, as being called a queer or a fag.

    None of these terms were ever meant as a compliment or in an admiring way when I was a youngster, that’s for sure.

    Now, suddenly, it’s PC??

    Me thinks not. :(

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No 5. Mr. Enemabag Jones:

    “… derogatory manner in order to get cheap laughs …” Really, Mr. ENEMABAG, really?

  • Sam

    @Erick: Read the post about the asshole in North Carolina asking his colleague on the County Commission if her dead son was “a homo” and then tell me “It’s fine, really.”

    I’m with Mike: he only gets away with it ’cause he’s an honorary gay. Maybe not even that “honorary.” I’d bet my favorite shirt that there has been a close encounter or two with another man’s nether regions in Mr. Downey Jr.’s past.

    He’s practically acknowledged it. Yes, his comments are always tongue-in-cheek, but you can only insinuate it so many times before we know you’ve had your tongue in cheeks. Mmmmkay?

  • schlukitz

    This crack-head, jail-bird R.D., Jr., is such a perfect role model for the world that he can toss the word “homo’ about on tv and make numerous innuendos to the gay life in his book?

    Let he who is without sin….

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No.6 and No.9 Schlukitz:

    Hi Schlukitz, its SNOWING right now in Asheville; very pretty.

    Well here’s one we disagree on; whew.

    Though I will point out that Queerty has 2 recent posts (not quoting exactly): “Will we ever know how many HOMOS are on Facebook?” and “Who is this HOMO who wants Obama’s old senate seat?”

    I watched the video again, sorry, RD Jr., wasn’t being derogatory, he was being his looney self, and funny. And, to me, Shaffer, was speaking as one screamer.

    BUT, let us all solve marriage equality, world peace, etc., real issues.

  • stevenelliot

    Oh who cares? Its David Letterman for gods sake. I give this banter as much credit as reading the enquirer newsrag while in the checkout line. Chelsea Handler says shit like this all the time and she’s had her fag hag license renewed many years in a row! Lets argue about people doing us real harm. Like Maggie Gallagher. People who put words on us that sound medical, abnormal and sinister like “homosexual agenda”

    We need to grow a collective gay spine and stop fussing over trivialities.

  • BG1

    I wouldn’t take this personally. I’ve heard from numerous people in the Hollywood scene that RD Jr. swings both ways.

  • AlanInSLCutah

    Personally, I have thick skin and can handle these types of slurs. It is pointless to get offended over the vocabulary people choose to use, especially when they obviously are not trying to slap an entire community in the face. Toughen up all you who are offended so easily. If you can dish it, you can handle it. If not, then disconnect yourself from society. The use of these words are not going to go anytime soon. (my 2 cents)

  • RomanHans

    RDJ gets a pass from me. Yes, the word “homo” is a bit of a shock. Then Letterman asks if Holmes and Watson are really gay and RJD is like, Yeah, okay, what’s the big deal?

    No studio is going to appreciate RJD’s carefree, who-gives-a-shit? attitude, but I think it’s very cool.

  • schlukitz

    No. 10 · Mike in Asheville, nee “in Brooklyn”

    Hey, good buddy. Nice to hear from you. Wow…sounds like you will be having a “White Christmas”.

    We had some slurries a little over a week ago. Nothing to write home about and they melted as soon as they hit the pavement. The weather has turned bitter cold and blustery, however. Daytime highs in the low 30s (29 as I write this at 12:30 pm) and low 20s at night.

    Just got off the phone with a friend back home in Tampa and he tells me that they are expecting a low of 30 degrees there. Dang! Guess I am not missing anything by being here in the Big Apple. LOL

    You’re right. Downey is a looney bin. LOL And as for Mz. Shaffer, well, I always thought she was a little lite in the loafers.. LOL

    Hey, a Very Merry Happy Holiday season to you and your partner and all the very best in the New Year to come. :)

  • G.M.

    I for one am a supporter of free speech and weather I like it or not people will say things, but when we as “HOMOS”EXUALS are the minority and with those numbers increasing to be more prominent in in our own communities we should really take a look a our ALLIES in the community of what we reefer to as “BREEDERS”, “FAG HAGS”- were so quick to fire and feel offended and continue to point fingers at others to only VICTIMIZE our ownselves. Robert Downey Jr., Madonna, Cindi Lauper, Ellen Degeneres, Tom Hanks, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek Susan Sarandon and many other celebrities have been very vocal in support of our right solely based on HUMANITY and at times vocal about their PLay with the same sex…… Lets not attack or finger point at those for keeping us in there vocabulary when we need to have a sense of accountability for the often times negative ammo we provide. RDJ has talked about his past freely and his accounts of “KNOWING BUTCH GAYS, PROUDLY KNOWING”

  • AlwaysGay

    Heterosexuals will always let you down. That’s why I rarely say heterosexual ally. Anti-gay bigotry is pervasive and created by heterosexuals.

  • Freddie

    Mini-boycott. I won’t pay to see ‘Shercock Homos’ in a theatre, but Netflix it later (whereafter Netflix will out me as a “homo!”)

  • G.M.

    WOW! to live a life by excluding the HETERO’S. And yet we want INCLUSIVITY…… to be bitter and resentful of what you might categorize a hole community by the actions of some, yet we are also in the same boat that we don’t want to be categorized with some of our own GAYS for there rampant unprotected sex, drugs, bath houses, open or deceitful so called relationships with in our own…… WOW get your heads out of the ground and look around….. were so quick to judge and place blame but some of us are so quick not contribute to the BETTER portrayal of our own image. Always the PROBLEM never the SOLUTION!

  • James Davis

    The “homos” comment is fine, but Paul’s “Screamers” comment is offensive.

  • Timothy

    I think y’all are missing the inflection.

    Dave is dancing around what he’s trying to say so RDJ called him on it.

    It’s kinda like when someone says, “I um heard that you maybe kinda might not be exactly like ya-know…” and you interrupt with, “you heard I’m a fag”. It’s calling someone out on what they want to say but are afraid to say.

  • Will

    Oh come on, it was a joke. Lighten up, it’s not like he said it as if he were disgusted by gay people. It was just a joke and let’s face it, the word “homo” is plain funnier than “gay” or “homosexual” in the context of a harmless joke.

    Look, if we start getting our panties in a twist over every single usage of “homo,” “queer” and “fag” in sentences that aren’t overtly offensive (like, say, “GOD HATES FAGS”), we’re never going to get anywhere because no one will take us seriously. How can we battle the huge obstacles against gay marriage if we get caught up on stupid, petty details like a joke that used the word “homo” by Robert Downey Jr.? Frankly, language has become TOO politically correct to the point that no one wants to say anything because they’re afraid of being offensive and that’s just ridiculous. Life hurts, words hurts, its true, but if you can’t laugh it off, then the people who really want to hurt us win.

    Fight battles that are worth your time and learn to laugh at yourself.

  • schlukitz

    No. 22 · Will

    Yeah. What the heck. After being called fag, queer, homo. deviate, perve and the like for a lifetime, they really do get to sounding kind of, you know….normal, don’t they?

    Laugh it up. It’s only at our expense. *sarcasm font on*

    Oh, btw. Do you laugh a lot when you hear words like “Wop”, “Kike”, “Chink” and “Nigger”?

    These folks should learn to laugh at themselves too, according to your reasoning.


  • AdamA

    I’m with Timothy. If anything, it’s good that RDJ so bluntly called Letterman out for pointlessly dancing around the issue.

    Also, fuck you, Paul.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Fun fact I forgot to include earlier: huge huge huge early 1980s gay dance anthem, “Its Raining Men, Hallelujah, Its Raining Men!” by Two Tons of Love/The Weather Girls, was written by Paul Shaffer.

    Not sure what it means, but I can tell you that when the the opening cords/drums would first leave the speakers, every gay boy at every gay bar in the Bay Area grabbed the arm of the nearest gay boy and raced to the dance floor.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #25…thanks for this fun fact. Once they showed a film of Paul eating breakfast cereal. It was so gay. Shaffer looked so gay back in the SNL days. I was shocked when he said he was married to a “woman”. God bless that woman for having to look at his mealy-mouth nibble on oats every morning. Geek-o-meter in the red.

  • schlukitz

    No. 19 · G.M.

    Thank you for the “sermon” and the apology you made to the heterosexual community on behalf of the LGBT community.

    I guess if it weren’t for gay folks like you, the heterosexuals would really have something to be mad at us about, eh?

    Sarcasm present and implied.

  • Brian NJ

    He is one of the few people whom I think gets a pass on the use of the word. He is a little too multi-demential to have meant it as a slur.

    He could not have meant offense, so calm down.

  • Bianca

    It’s probably just me but I LOVE the word “homo”. It’s a beautiful word.

  • ossurworld

    The producers must be ready to kill Downey. There goes the typical superhero loving teenage boy audience….

  • hephaestion

    Fuck ’em all. They’re all 3 homophobic idiots, but Paul Schaeffer using the term “screamers” was the most ironic turn of events of the decade.

  • InscrutableTed

    It’s ridiculous to think that individual words on their own are offensive; it’s how the word is used. Sometimes the word homo is used abusively, sometimes it’s not. Ditto for the word nigger, or any other word like that. It’s not who says it; it’s how the word is used.

    RDJ gets a pass from me. It didn’t sound homophobic to me.

    Also, did you see him play gay in Wonderboys? He was good.

Comments are closed.