Ron Howard Sees Everyone Else Saying ‘Gay,’ So Why Can’t Vince Vaughn?

Ron Howard was “kind of surprised” by the reaction to Vince Vaughn’s “electric cars are gay” line in The Dilemma because he, just like kids today, see that word being tossed around “on TV shows, especially comedies, a lot,” he tells the robots on The View. And if everyone else is doing it, then c’mon, why can’t a big Hollywood director just fall into line and follow the pack?

Howard’s explanation here, albeit brief, mirrors his earlier statement that came about when everyone was fuming over The Dilemma‘s trailer. And as he did then, the director insists the use of the word by Vaughn passes the kosher test because that’s just the type of character Vaughn is playing. I’m actually quite fine with this rationale! Douchebag characters say douchebag things. What I’m not fine with, however, is when guys like Vaughn defend use of the word for the sake of getting a laugh, and pretend that unless movie characters say offensive things we will remain a divided nation. (Seriously, he said that.) That’s a cop out.

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  • samthor

    It’s not a matter of yes or no it’s actually a complex formula to use certain words (g-word, f- word, n- word, etc.)

    1. Context matters. HOW you are using the word in what context and what you are actually intending to communicate by uttering the word.

    2. The Intended audience. Who the speaker is talking to. And how they generally understand the definition and context of the word said.

    3. Your reputation as the speaker. You have to have earned enough “street cred” to use certain words in a certain context with a certain audience.

    if you are not sure that you meet the above requirements, don’t use the word.

    I hope this has been helpful.

  • Samson

    Simple rule, subsitute black, “n”, or jew and would never be acceptable in hollywood. Double standard not allowed for Opie…

  • Kieran

    Good point Samson. Why is it still acceptable in TV and Hollywood to go for cheap laughs at the expense of the gay community? These kind of “jokes” would never be tolerated if directed against jews or blacks.

  • David

    @Kieran: There aren’t enough gay men who give a shit to make a difference.

  • trevor

    Y’all need to get a grip!
    What the hell is wrong with ANY of this.
    I use the term, we all use the term–it’s a sign of acceptance.
    Get over it.
    We’ve all become WAAY too sensitive and too p-c.
    Get a grip and get a life.

    And don’t be so gay.

  • Goodnight Moon

    For Ron Howard to pretend that he doesn’t understand how this sort of speech hurts LGBT people is beyond unforgivable; his hostility toward our community is quite clear here. I’ve always despised his milquetoast filmmaking and now that he has clarified his position here for us i will make doubly sure in future that i never contribute another one of my gay pennies to his coffers.

  • RomanHans

    Look, I’m playing somebody with very little patience here:

    Fuck you, Opie.

    And now I’m back to your everyday nice guy.

  • McMike

    I’ve read two reviews on the movie and both of them gave it one star. Karma is such a bitch.

  • Eddy

    @Trevor, here here!

  • rrr

    @trevor: It’s not a “sign of acceptance” when people who aren’t in your minority use the name of your minority group as an insult and a put down. It’s a sign that society associates your minority with badness and inferiority.

    There’s no way you could convince jewish people, for instance, that saying “that’s so jewish” when you are expressing “that’s so weak/bad/lame” is OK or a sign you are accepting jews.

  • jason

    So Ron Howard talked to that other douchebag Barbra Walters, did he?. Barbra has allegedly made homophobic comments in the past so this is like two peas in the same pod swirling around in the same pot.

  • jim

    No Trevor, you are incorrect. As a high school teacher, I hear it all the time and it’s the furthest thing from acceptance. It has nothing to do with PC it has everything to do with a discourse that marginalizes and oppresses a specific group.

  • Jeffree

    This movie officially gets released today. Whether or not it does well at the box office remains to be seen ,& the critics’ bad reviews don’t really influence most people’s decision to see it or not.

    Calling something “gay” to mean it’s lousy/stooopid/weird is still a slur in my book.

    Ron Howard just shows that he’ s willing to take the easy road to get a laugh.

    Not going to see this one ‘cuz I can’t stand Vince Vaughn….

  • christopher di spirito

    Ron Howard has been kicking around Hollywood his entire life. For him to get all airhead on us and claim he doesn’t understand the outcry over the use of “gay” is just stupid.

    As for Howard to saddle up with that ancient heffa, Barbara “I feel sorry for Sarah Palin” Walters, I say fuck ’em both.

    I’m sick and tired of these heterosexuals who defend homophobia because they’re well compensated to do so.

  • justiceontherocks

    Has a 24% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This will all be forgotten soon.

    Howard’s “logic” seems like a lot of doubletalk. Comparing his character to Archie Bunker doesn’t cut it.

  • Kev C

    I question Ron Howard’s judgement. The idea of a Vince Vaughn ‘Bromance’ should have been a warning signal.

  • Ted C.

    I agree with all you people who find this usage unacceptable. But if any of you use the word “retarded” or “spastic” to describe things you don’t like, you’re hypocrites.

  • ewe

    @trevor: What exactly do you mean by “Don’t be so gay?” Give me a synonym for that word that best describes what you meant with your statement. I want you to answer me and yourself if you would be so kind. Thank you.

  • Scott

    It’s not the fact that they are making a joke about us, that’s not the issue. It’s actually the context of the joke that hurts the LG community. When I watch It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, there’s gay subject matter, but it’s not the type that projects hostility and stereotypes towards us. This, on the other hand, slaps us in the face and then the people on screen say “Too bad, you’re not as good as everyone else!”. It’s offensive.

  • Grant in Texas

    There are GAY Buicks and pickup trucks! I live near Gay Buick GMC in Dickinson, TX. Their new cars and trucks are all Gay with a chrome plate saying so applied to the trunk lid by the dealer (wonder how many have been peeled off by buyers?). I don’t like to use the word anymore around straight folks, but like it better than “back in the day” when we were only queers and homos. Until the late 60’s, “gay” was only used in its original context, meaning happy. In fact my high school’s drama department once staged Cornelia Otis Skinner’s comedy, “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay” with nary a gay character.

  • JM

    It wasn’t asked of me, but I’ll hazard a guess that Trevor was using it to mean feminine, and, by extension weak, foolish, flighty, naive, and over-sensitive. “Gay” as a slur is ironically more of a criticism of (stereotypical) women. If folks didn’t think so little of the ladies, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    I digress, though. What trevor is trying to say is “lighten up” and “don’t get so worked up” about what that douche Vaughn or his bigoted director said. Of course, what he ended up saying was “don’t be such a woman.” That makes him an ass. Or really, really gay. I’m not quite sure which…

  • Shawneeboy

    JM- What the…? No, Trevor was talking about GAYS, male and female homosexuals. I don’t think that “feminine” would have been a likely synonym. Actually, I know exactly what you’re talking about, but that’s another issue. The issue here is people using the word “gay”, which we all know refers to (mostly) male homosexuals, to mean “bad, stupid, ridiculous”. The fact that men who are “effeminate” are not accepted while women who are masculine are, is connected but not the issue.

    It’s not that people care so much just about Ron or his movie, it’s the fact that LOTS of people, including gay guys themselves, use “gay” to mean, “silly, weak, weird, awkward, funny, ridiculous, bad, stupid”.

    If no one says anything, then it will continue, and get worse. Unfortunately, there are NOT enough gay guys who either care or say anything, like the poster several posts above mentioned.

  • JM

    @Shawneeboy Sorry, I must have been thinking like the highschooler I was just under a decade ago. When people at my school said “you’re so gay” it was almost never purely a reference to heterosexual performance, but also to a perceived lack of masculinity – that makes it doubly offensive IMO. From what I have come to understand, the association is gay = like guys = feminine = not really a person, regardless if the person in question does not like guys, or act effeminate. It is a set of associations.

    Either way, I’m not defending the use of the word “gay” in any context beyond “happy” and “homosexual.” It’s kind of sad that it’s become the new “N” word… And Shawneeboy, I totally agree with your last two paragraphs!

  • JM

    Sorry, just for the record… (cuz I didn’t write very well in my last post) I think women are definitely people, and the equals of men. Fuck inequality.

  • JM

    Sorry, just for the record… (cuz I didn’t write very well in my last post) I think women are definitely people, and the equals of men, and on average no more irrational than the average male. Fuck inequality, and fuck stereotypes. Cheers, folks.

  • ewe

    @trevor: What happened Trevor? Did you come here to shit and leave? That’s sooooo “straight”. Oh well, just in case you read this and can’t find where your balls are to answer my earlier question, i just wanted to tell you to fuck off is all.

  • ewe

    Ron Howard seems to be going the route of making movies depicting stupid fat white guys with blue collar mentalities that don’t ever get sex. What happened? He used to have so much more depth.

  • jak

    If memory serves me, Opie made a few good movies a while back. He seems to have stagnated now into mediocrity. That gay reference was hot for about ten seconds several years ago. To use it now is tired and shows his lack of connection to the real world.

  • christopher di spirito

    @Ted C.: Everytime Kim Zolziak on RHOA says “retarded” I cringe. This makes me cringe more than her retarded efforts to sing or her retarded big fake titties.

  • Kieran

    Is it really surprising that “Opie”, the boy from Mayberry, North Carolina would morph into an adult hillbilly who makes crappy, bigoted movies?

  • Pip

    @trevor: Uh yeah, how is it a sign of acceptance? I think that’s like saying slavery was a sign of care and nurturing or something.

  • scott ny'er

    @jak: I concur. It’s like he lost touch and is not grounded anymore, if he really ever was.

  • Franky

    Just another stupid movie that I’ll ignore and will almost assuredly flop.

    Until LGBT folk gain true societal respect and acceptance, which will happen by first, in this case, by gay men especially standing up against the usages of terms like no homo and using gay as a pejorative insult (and thus being taken more seriously by the masses), absolutely nothing will change and people will continue to use our identities as cannon fodder.

    Trevor, I know why you think this isn’t a big deal, but the truth is, it is a very big deal. Gay is used as an insult because it’s considered an insult, pretty simple logic. And because not enough gay men stand up against the usage of these terms, it’s not taken seriously by heterosexuals as an actual issue. It’s actually died down some but that’s solely because it’s basically been used so much it’s stale. But the mentality behind it hasn’t changed one iota.

  • ewe

    @Franky: I once had a closeted gay guy who was trying to hook up tell me that because i said i was “gay” i was therefor not a “dude”. I told him i also wear my pants over my ass thanks. Some people today found their manhood off Nintendo and various other TV sitcoms. It’s all very sad. Needless to say i told that creepy misguided cunt to stay clear of me. She was rediculous. I just don’t want to make the time for people like that even though i know they suffer internally. THAT’S SO STUHRAIGHT.

  • nick

    It’s hard to believe that Ron Howard actually wants this as a footnote to his career. That he kept it in is mind-boggling and he is going to be asked why until the very end because his decision smells like prejudice all over the place- is he really that stupid? He could have taken it out immediately and it could have died a quiet death and he could have been an example of a new awareness instead of an example of someone who doesn’t get it.

  • testington

    Yeah, I call bullshit on his excuse. It would be one thing if he were making a gritty realistic drama or something, because there are people who talk like that and some characters would say those things. But this is a stupid, juvenile comedy set in a fantasy world where a woman who looks like Winona Ryder would marry a man who looks like Kevin James and where a classy lady like Jennifer Connely would waste her time dating a douchebag like Vince Vaughn. If your entire movie is moronic and unrealistic you can’t defend your hate speech by saying “that is the way some people talk”. Now if he were making a movie like “Winter’s Bone” or “Monster’s Ball” and a character said something was gay or called somebody a fagot I would defend him, in this case it is just crass and offensive.

  • ForeverGay

    It is common for heterosexuals to use derogatory language toward gay people on a regular basis. We have to acknowledge heterosexuals are the creators and perpetuators of anti-bigotry to understand this character properly.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @jason: Why are you so surprised at Baba Wawa. For years she was Roy Cohn’s beard!

  • Ur Gay

    Gay and faggot have not meant homosexual for a long time. Neither word mean homosexual to begin with, it is just slang that has changed meaning many times over the years. Honestly get a sense of humor.

  • Blackmattachine

    Words are like daggers or bullets, and if you do not care what you do with your words, then I feel sorry for you.

  • ewe

    @Ur Gay: fuck you. its not funny nor is it humor. FYI. Gay does mean homosexual to me and every fucking person i happen to know. You are deep in denial.

Comments are closed.