“The Dilemma” Director Ron Howard
said on Friday that he would not remove a controversial gay joke from
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD) had called on Universal Pictures to cut the joke
from the film, set for release in January.
“THE DILEMMA is a story full of
flawed characters whose lives are complicated by the things they say
to and hide from each other,” Howard
said a statement released to the Los
Angeles Times. “Ronny (played by Vince Vaughn) is far from
perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way.”
The joke is delivered by Vaughn's
character in a boardroom: “Electric cars are gay. I mean not
'homosexual' gay, but 'my parents are chaperoning the dance' gay.”
“It is a slight moment in THE DILEMMA
meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character's personality,
and we never expected it to represent our intentions or the point of
view of the movie or those of us who made it,” Howard adds.
After CNN host Anderson Cooper
criticized the film's trailer during an appearance on The Ellen
DeGeneres Show, Universal responded by altering the online
version of the trailer – a move Howard said was appropriate.
GLAAD said the joke endorses the
bullying of gay youth.
“By leaving it in the movie, they are
now contributing to the problem,” Jarrett Barrios, president of
GLAAD, said in a statement. “The conversation started as a result
of the community's response to this slur will help schools, media and
parents understand the impact of the word 'gay' being used as a
pejorative. Hopefully in the future, Universal and Ron Howard will
recognize the power of their words and use their films to bring
people together rather than drive us apart.”