If the movie doesn’t make you roll your eyes, the director will.
Todd Phillips, best known for directing the Hangover trilogy and the forthcoming Joker, has lashed out at cultural progress, claiming that if he can’t rely on toxic masculinity then he doesn’t know how to be funny anymore.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Phillips lashes out at “woke culture,” citing it as the reason he has transitioned from directing comedies to dramas.
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” Phillips said. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore–I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you.'”
Phillips continued: “It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies — I think that what comedies, in general, all have in common — is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
Phillips has come under criticism in recent years for the misogynistic viewpoints in the Hangover series, and the vulgar homophobia in the films.
The director has also been targeted as a purveyor of toxic masculinity. For example, one character refers to another’s dentist as “Doctor F*ggot,” and the line is meant to land laughs. The series also features a gay, Asian wannabe gangster named Mr. Chow (played by actor Ken Jeong), who embodies every negative gay and Asian stereotype.
The second film in the series also features a transgender stripper who has anal sex with one of the movie’s leads, played by Ed Helms. Not only does the film portray its sole transgender character as a sex worker, but her encounter with Helms’ character also becomes a running gag of sorts, as the characters make fun of him for enjoying anal sex with a trans person.
Oh, and of course, the series uses the word “gay” as a constant negative insult.
Todd Phillips’ grousing over how his movies haven’t aged well–and his blaming cultural progress for that change in perception–comes just before the opening of his film Joker, which has generated much conversation on the film festival circuit for its pernicious depiction of violence.
Survivors of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado cinema massacre have sent a letter to parent studio Warner Bros. with concerns over the violence in the film, and calling on the studio to stop donating money to gun organizations or politicians that refuse to support gun control.
Furthermore, the US Army has distributed literature to service members advising them of how to handle active shooters that might open fire during the film.
Phillips, for his part, used the controversy as an occasion to attack the left, and referred to the concerns that the film might spark violence as “a commodity.”
Related: The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper Prefers Bottoming In Tube Socks
I do feel that sensitives and social media outrage has hurt comedy and storytelling to some extent. But all you’re gonna get is an “oh well” from me. So, you can’t any longer so easily take one-note stereotypes and “freaks” and just plop them into your “mostly straight” movies and comedy for a gag and a laugh. I actually somewhat like the first Hangover movie (though I feel it was wildly overrated). Yet, I was still felt taken aback by the more than handful of times “gay” was used as a joke, as a derogatory and as a way to shame someone throughout the franchise. It wasn’t because I was offended. It was more like aren’t these men too grown, too cultured, too educated? They can’t come up with better insults? And the shit just didn’t add to the movies at all. You’re gonna have to start presenting people as actual people and find the humor in that. It’s not difficult to do if you actually have talent and/or is not a hateful person. But these new expectations seem to annoy some folks, especially folks who look to constantly feel superior to certain “demos” or who prefer to view individuals as part of an indistinguishable group of folks. That doesn’t mean I’m here for the “fake woke”, the halfhearted “allies” or telling people what to say and do.
Oh boo hoo. I can’t insult anyone with fa**ot or any other cheap ways to make my juvenile audience laugh anymore. We’ve heard this before btw. Blackface used to be a comedy tool too.
I can’t say as I’ve seen any of the hangover trilogy so I can’t judge the humor merit. I will say thanks for the warning though. Sounds like the movie Joker is a real dud.
The first Hangover was really funny, the second was a complete, lame rip-off of the first. I can’t remember if I even bother with the third.
Now he’s announcing he’s out of comedy business because of the woke crowd. Speaking of woke. Someone needs to get over their over inflated sense of self.
What a whiny, triggered little snowflake [email protected] Todd Phillips is. There are numerous film and TV comedies from the last 10 years that do not traffic in racist, sexist and homophobic stereotypes, and they’re quite funny. If you look at older TV comedy shows like SCTV, the very pro-gay Kids in the Hall, Fridays, The Dana Carvey Show, Route 57, Mr. Show Show, and so on, etc., they managed to be quite funny without the lazy humor this creep claims he has to indulge in. Even when they had their problematic moments they were 10 times funnier than anything he’s vomited out as a director.
What a great article to prove him 100% right. I assume that was the goal?
Right about what?
Ohhhhh, I get it, you’re trying to claim that people not liking racism or bigotry somehow makes him right.
Fine, you have amazon or Netflix, feel free to rent a bunch of movies from the 1930s with all the racist jokes.
Poor Todd. Can’t even target gay people for jokes in Hollywood movies anymore. Homophobia used to be as American as apple pie. What is this world coming to?
Whiny little b*tchK*NT. Diddums lose its caweer because of all those mean gays?
I love how he triggered all you perpetually “ outraged “ woke denizens which just proved his point! You all must not read or watch or listen to anything pre 2010! How sad!
I don’t see any comments here from “outraged” people. More like some are annoyed by his whining. He is the one whining here. No one here is claiming he’s a bad person or that they were offended by the Hangover movies. But nice try.
Well, I’ve seen all the Hangover movies, and not once I’ve felt discriminated against?!
Maybe he meant to say that jokes in movies about a gender/sexuality or other debatable issues can’t be used anymore because there is always someone feeling insulted…
And that’s kinda true in the US of course!…
There is always a group of people who will be shouting they feel discriminated for just a joke in some movie…
On the other hand, as a director, if you can’t handle some criticism, go find another job and stop whining like you don’t want other people to critique your movies!
Ken Jeong doesn’t seem to mind playing Mr. Chow. I always say you can’t be more offended than the victim, so if you are white and heterosexual, shut up and let the so-called victims speak out if they are truly offended. We talk so so much about giving people a voice, but some people co-opt that voice and speak on behalf of others.
This I agree with. At least half of the folks who get “outraged” are white, cis gender, hetero/overall hetero-leaning/folks in hetero relationships. Most of the “victims” are minding their business. And yes, there are people who attach themselves to “minorities” or co-opt “movements” to uplift their own ego, to make themselves feel like “good people” and/or to indulge their own instincts. But to say that comedy has been “ruined” because some will get upset if you make groups of people basic punchlines- that’s just lame and incorrect.
Maybe he has no ability to write real comedy. The original hangover was good, but they should have stopped there.
Never seen his movies, and never will.
Sister Bertha Bedderthanyu
Well said Todd. I couldnt agree more.
I think HIS criticism is much ado about his inability to continue to throw around ugly stereotypes for cheap laughs; which is all he seems to be capable of. He’s a one hit wonder who doesn’t have the talent to navigate prevailing attitudes concerning the kind of mean-spirited comedy antics that is the limit of his abilities.
That being said, not one area in that interview did I see him blame “queer progress.” Yet another clickbait article from Queerty. This site has no journalistic integrity whatsoever. But then again, not many “news” sites do anymore. And to that end; he’s right to an extent. It doesn’t really extend to him; but other comedians who have come under fire by sites like this for fanning the flames of outrage and cancel culture for clicks and shares. The problem isn’t “woke culture;” it’s those who purport to represent and report on it. Instead of providing balanced narratives, they’re the kids in the schoolyard yelling “Fight, fight, fight!” at two people or communities that really don’t have a reason to.
It’s art. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch it. If he’s not committed to his art to see it through, then he doesn’t have to. It’s not complicated at all.
The first hangover was rather fun. This guys out look is ridiculous, I’m not buying his point of view. I don’t think his movies are that good. In my opinion. The joker looks horrible.
He’s absolutely correct.
The bogus field of “Gender Studies” is destroying entertainment, art, psychology, biology, and has turned the gay and lesbian movements into an alphabet soup joke.
Hate to say it but I somewhat agree with him. I’m a gay man who also happens to be in a wheelchair with a birth defect and for years when I was younger i was very angry at the portrayal of the character Joe Swanson in family guy. They ironically wrote him as this hero type character who was a former police officer who was wounded on duty and became a paraplegic and everyone was proud of him for his sacrifices and respected him. But then over the years his character arc devolved into him constantly being depressed about being in a wheelchair and wanting to kill himself (several episodes were even about his suicide attempts) or how his wife Bonnie could no longer handle the stress of taking care of him in his disabled state and she alternated between tying to divorce him and trying to kill him so she would “be free”. That character portrayal made me feel like shit for years and just added to my internal dialogue with myself of “your a cripple no one will ever love you or want to be with you because of it” but then I grew older and I started to appreciate the depth of his character and his journey he is on with himself and his wife and now sometimes they make episodes about him that will initially make me cringe and tense up but then I just take a step back and remember it’s JUST a comedy show and I don’t need to take his character portrayal as a personal attack against me and my circumstances
Since then I have greatly enjoyed his character in the show…I think some people DO need to lighten up sometimes and stop inserting their personal feelings and experiences into every single character or portrayal that reminds them of themselves and they just need to remind themselves that it ISNT them.
Back in ’93, I was in an experimental therapy after a stroke at a major hospital which had been a stop on a press tour by Christopher Reeves after his accident. One of my therapists had gotten to see the set up and told me. “I really was surprised by how angry he seemed to be.”
Nobody wants to discourage you in your struggle, but putting an unrealistic positive spin on everything really doesn’t help you deal with the difficult emotional stuff.
If the ONLY “comedy” you can come up with is insulting and degrading various minority groups, then it isn’t comedy. It’s being an @$$hole.
World’s smallest ? for Todd being incapable of writing ACTUAL comedy.
Not that is truly being too sensitive. Being mad at people because they won’t let you make fun of them anymore. He has never been through the struggle of being attacked physically, emotionally, or legally for being gay, nor has he been through a mass shooting yet he thinks he can tell other people how to feel and how to think because he doesn’t know how to be funny without making fun of people. Oh well Bully in Distress….I love to see it. and if he doesn’t like it…he’s being too sensitive.
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