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11/27/2007

Video: Pausing our comedy to speak out against another's

by Jeremy Hooper

This is one of those things where some people will say, "oh relax, it's funny" while others say, "dude, this shit be homophobic!" But with its liberal use of the word "faggot" and employment of crudely stereotypical elements, we're gonna have to go ahead and put this interpretation of the Daddy's Roommate children's book more into the latter category:

The thing is this: It's not an intelligent use of humor to create a "teachable moment." It's not a well-intentioned ribbing of gay life and its opponents. It's taking a book that is designed to de-stigmatize homosexuality and inserting the exact same sort of negativity that the book seeks to challenge and ultimately combat. The comedy is solely derived from the idea that two dudes in love is, in and of itself, a funny or bizarre concept. And coming from a gay dude who loves to laugh yet is beyond f***ing tired of having to defend his normalcy, it's not so easy for me to look at this and chuckle.

Look, it's highly likely that those who created this video didn't mean it to be offensive. And it's certain that there are many non-homophobic people who think it's being thin-skinned to speak out against this sort of thing. But that's a risk you constantly have to take when you're part of a minority group whose unfair portrayals are still seen as acceptable: Being called defensive simply because you defend your existence. But if we don't stand up for the "radical" idea that we are human beings whose existences don't deserve mocking just for existing, then who the hell will?

Daddy's Roommate [YouTube]

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Your thoughts

How many stereotypes can you cram into just over two minutes? If this involved a black family eating fried chicken and watermelon, having multiple fathers for the children, wearing saggy pants, and saying "ax" instead of "ask," people would be at arms. This is not funny.

Posted by: Benton | Nov 28, 2007 7:14:11 AM

Agreed, Benton. And it's made even more offensive when you consider that this is already a pro-gay children's book. It would even be slightly better if they had taken a random book and made it "gay." But in this case, they took an already gay book and just injected bias!!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 28, 2007 7:38:40 AM

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