During last night’s Golden Globes there was a palpable tension in the air which can be clearly attributed to Ricky Gervais’s controversial and caustic hosting style. Ramping up the snark from last year, he dealt several harsh quips, the most unpopular (with the Globe crowd) being one presumably levied at John Travolta and Tom Cruise. He said, in reference to I Love You, Phillip Morris, “Two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So the complete opposite of two famous Scientologists, then.” You can see the entire monologue here (Gawker).
So the question is, was it the Scientology aspect or the gay aspect that made that particular joke so uncomfortable? Gervais is, I believe, obviously not homophobic, but the Hollywood community is particularly spiky and protective of privacy when it comes to sexuality. While homosexuals still can’t marry in this state (dammit), the prevalence of gay characters in film and television, and last night’s celebration of those characters reinforce Hollywood’s reputation as a homo-lovin’, modern day Sodom and Gomorrah (yay!).
But even in Hollywood, there are lingering issues that speak to the world’s discomfort with homosexuality. Take, for example, the distribution delay of I Love You Phillip Morris, which premiered two years ago at the Sundance Film Festival. Similarly, there was the brouhaha surrounding the ultimately redacted gay joke in the preview for The Dilemma. Here’s a clip of director Ron Howard on “The View” defending the joke and claiming it needs to be seen in context. (Did you see Dustin’s review? Please please please don’t trouble yourself with the context, folks.)
But listen, I live here in a liberal bubble where I was raised to not give a crap if you’re gay or straight or anything in between. I’m well-aware that there are places in this country and on this planet where this is not the case. In fact, there are nutbars willing to blame the apocryphal death of all those birds in Arkansas on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
So my question to you, dear Pajibans, on this day where I can’t help thinking about the civil rights of ALL of our citizens, is, “How gay is too gay?” What’s it like where you live? Do you like “Glee”? (I don’t.) Did you like Burlesque? (I did, but I was drunk at the time.) I’m just curious.
Joanna Robinson is not trying to bait you into being a bigot, but if you are one, that really bums her out.