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Universal has released a retooled trailer for its comedy “The Dilemma” following an outcry from GLAAD over Vince Vaughn’s use of the word “gay” as a pejorative in the original trailer. The group’s president, Jarrett Tomas Barrios, addresses the controversy in a letter to THR.
On Monday, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation initiated a campaign to remove an anti-gay scene in Universal’s trailer and film “The Dilemma.” In your article, The Hollywood Reporter noted that GLAAD spoke out, but it did not take action over the anti-gay jokes in the 2009 film “The Hangover” (HR 10/12).
I didn’t start as GLAAD’s president until after that film, but I believe this inconsistency actually points to a new GLAAD that within the limitations of our resources is more active than ever in speaking out against words and images that open the door to anti-gay bullying and violence.
Like GLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community knows the damage that comes from anti-gay epithets and jokes. The community and allies also are more engaged in speaking out against them — as seen by the 1,900 people who sent e-mails to Universal overnight about the use of the word “gay” in “The Dilemma.”
GLAAD honors exemplary works that set benchmarks for the news and entertainment industry at the annual GLAAD Media Awards, but we also work every day to educate about the dangers of anti-gay words and images. Over the past year, GLAAD has met with most major networks and studios and will continue this proactive approach — to discuss content while projects are still in development and advocate for increased inclusion of LGBT people.
Hollywood has played an important role in the growing acceptance of LGBT people through stories that have opened Americans’ eyes to the common ground we all share. Today, we believe that the media has a responsibility to further build acceptance, not chip away at it, and we also know that much of Hollywood shares that belief.
Jarrett Tomas Barrios
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