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In remarks made on Thursday at a fundraiser, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal emphasized Hollywood’s influence in shaping public perception on sexual orientation, specifically in doing away with gay slurs and offensive stereotypes.
“Now, there is not much any of us can do about what people hear from families and friends, but there is a whole hell of a lot we can do about what people see,” Pascal said, according to prepared remarks. Near the conclusion of the speech, she encouraged industry figures at the event to simply edit out those offensive references in screenplays.
“How about next time, when any of us are reading a script and it says words like fag, or faggot, homo, dyke, take a pencil and just cross it out,” she said. “Just don’t do it. We can do better, and we will do better. We have to.”
Pascal was speaking at an event held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to raise funds for the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. In her remarks, she described the harassment that some gay teenagers face and praised the work that the Center does to foster “a non-judgmental and loving home.”
Turning her attention to the media and industry, she elaborated on stereotypes and slurs commonly seen in entertainment.
“How many times have you heard a character imply to another that the worst thing about going to prison isn’t being locked up for the rest of your life, it’s the homosexuality? And old stereotypes still exist,” Pascal said. “The most benign stereotypes would have a gay kid believe that they will end up being the asexual, witty best friend of the pretty girl, or a drag queen, or a swishy hairdresser. The list goes on.”
After encouraging attendees to Google Hollywood depictions of gay characters, she noted: “We still have a long, long way to go.”
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