south park

Can’t A Television Show Say ‘Fag’ Anymore Without GLAAD Getting Upset?


Just how offensive was South Park‘s “The F Word” episode this week? Well, they used the “fag” word a lot, which means it’s offensive enough for GLAAD to get upset about it!


Rather than directing their attention to next week’s Gossip Girl finale with a three-way (if it’s two girls and one guy, is The CW discriminating against men? Tell us, GLAAD!), the organization has issued one of its “Call to Action” alerts over the Comedy Central program. You see, the four main characters in South Park used the word “fag” (and “fuckin’ fag”) all throughout. Except they weren’t even talking about gays!

Instead, as you can tell from the very first scene of the episode (watch it here), they use “fag” to refer to guys who “ride a loud Harley up and down the streets ruining everyone’s nice time.” So what’s GLAAD upset about?

South Park is ruining the F-word!

Writes the group: “Though this seems to represent a well-intentioned effort by the creators of South Park to delegitimize a vulgar anti-gay slur, the fact is that the word is and remains a hateful slur that is often part of the harassment, bullying and violence that gay people, and gay youth in particular, experience on a daily basis in this country. It is an epithet that has real consequences for real people’s lives. Just this year, an 11-year-old Massachusetts student named Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, unable to endure the unrelenting anti-gay bullying and name-calling he experienced at school, committed suicide.”

GLAAD, which refuses to write out “fag” in its newsletter, fears by using the F-word to insult anyone, kids today will start calling everything they’re annoyed with a “fag.”

Yeah. Only we should have that right.

Hey, we get GLAAD’s point: South Park might, in a Bruno-esque way, be condoning the use of the word (by young people!) and encouraging (young people!) to use it. As Stan explains it in the show, when you say the F-word, “You’re not thinking, ‘Oh, he’s a homosexual.” You’re thinking, ‘Oh, he’s an inconsiderate douchebag like a Harley rider.'” And that could offend some folks!

But South Park is an equal opportunity offender: Women, blacks, the disabled, and yes, even homos, are the subjects of ridicule, but not usually at their expense, but society’s. Then again, it’s time to play this game: Replace the F-word with the N-word, and think about whether this is acceptable television.