Should Community Have Apologized For Its Stereotypical Portrayal Of Gay Men?

Anyone who caught last week’s Community may have seen RuPaul Drag Race villainess Shangela as a viral YouTube sensation singing the praises of Hawthorne Wipes, something gay men use for… well, y’know. Later, when the son of the moist towlette dynasty throws a party for the product’s gay fans—a bunch of well-groomed, lisping twinks who dance to techno—he ends up rejecting them and you never see the gays again. Considering that Community is a prime time comedy, is this problem?

Some fans were disappointed, but then the show’s creator Dan Harmon issued an apology which said in part:

I apologize for an unintentional effect… The answer is, I have no defense. Had I predicted I’d need one, I would have done things differently… [The show’s] only religious and political point of view is that all people are good people, and while we often play the roles of villains and stereotypes to each other, it is always an illusion, shattered quickly by the briefest moment of honest connection.

This time, it was because I was focused on a story that had nothing to do with the “issue” we’re discussing. I cut corners. There was probably a way to do the same episode while somehow quickly and efficiently reminding the audience that gay people are just people that are gay and come in all kinds of flavors other than gay in addition to their gayness.

If you weren’t offended, don’t bother being offended by the people being offended. They’re not doing anything wrong. I don’t think anyone that “complained” was asking for Community to be censored or for it to become a schmaltzy PC pile of shit. I think they were asking me to stick a post-it note on my brain regarding the situation, which I can do without making the show any less brilliant or funny. It will be all the moreso the more I continue to care about the audience’s experience.

We weren’t so particularly offended by the send-up of gay men as an obvious plot device—after all, Hawthorne ends up looking like a spineless jerk for rejecting his gay fans at the behest of his ridiculously bigoted father. But it is nice to see a show’s creator at least responding to his fans and promising to portray gays from now on as more than just bunch of metrosexual butt wipes.

Via After Elton