Welcome to the March 27, 2015 edition of Outrage Watch, HitFix's (almost) daily rundown of all the things folks are peeved about in entertainment. Today's top story: “Get Hard” is getting slammed.
The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart prison preparedness comedy has been dogged by controversy since its SXSW premiere, when an audience member asked Hart, Ferrell and director Etan Cohen, “Were you nervous — and/or how nervous were you — presenting this in front of a live audience being completely, absolutely and unapologetically … racist and hysterical at the same time?” during an audience Q&A. Not only that, but it's been deemed homophobic by a number of critics and journalists, and our own Drew McWeeny had this to say in his review: “I just couldn't bring myself to laugh at something that will reinforce hatred, that plays into this idea that gay sex is somehow inherently more disgusting than regular sex.”
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to Louis Virtel's direct question to Hart and Ferrell during the film's recent press day, in which he asks whether the film “could be considered mean-spirited or, at the very least, dated” in context of its gay jokes (watch the full interview above), both Drew and HitFix's Gregory Ellwood have penned editorials critical of what they deem to be the film's homophobic bent. Around the web, the film is being castigated within an inch of its life for the poorly chosen scenes.
Did I mention we compiled a list of 13 movies featuring blatantly homophobic scenes? Look no further than HitFix for all your “Get Hard”-inspired outrage.
Want more? There's plenty of indignation to go around. See below for a full roundup of today's kerfuffles.
Outraged: Kveller writer Jordana Horn, a number of Twitter users
Target: Lena Dunham, the New Yorker
Why: While we're on the subject of alleged bigotry, Dunham's recently-published New Yorker piece entitled “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz” — in which the “Girls” creator and star challenges readers to guess whether she's talking about her pup or her man — has drawn the ire of Horn, who writes for the Jewish parenting blog Kveller.
“When someone compares people of my ethnicity, religion, or 'culture' to dogs? THEY ARE BEING AN ASSHOLE. And a bigot. And a huge, huge jerk,” writes Horn, who goes on to posit the following: “Imagine this same essay entitled, 'Dog or Black Boyfriend? A Quiz.' Much easier to imagine that essay running in a Ku Klux Klan newsletter than The New Yorker, am I right? But somehow, a piece like this running in The New Yorker in 2015 is supposed to be OK with us.”
And more, from Twitter:
– Ben White (@morningmoneyben) March 27, 2015
Lena Dunham Equated Jews to Dogs http://t.co/ogdLR5CF5y She is foul
– Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) March 27, 2015
.@lenadunham Your New Yorker piece is hateful & ur self-involvement astonishes. All that so you could complain about ur boyfriend? Hateful.
– BJ Schwartz (@BJ_Schwartz) March 27, 2015
– Brian Schwartz (@BSchwartzUVA) March 27, 2015
I'd like to tweet about basketball but instead will point out that Lena Dunham trades in #antisemitism and so does The New Yorker.
– Scott Gilman (@scottgilman) March 27, 2015
– Snarkaroni™ (@Snarkaroni) March 27, 2015
– Beedo180 (@beedo180) March 27, 2015
– Sarah Biz (@TheSarahBiz) March 27, 2015
– Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) March 27, 2015
– Andrew Jablon (@avj73) March 26, 2015
Outraged: Lots and lots of celebs
Target: Indiana governor Mike Pence
Why: On Thursday, the Republican leader signed Senate Bill SB 101 — a.k.a. the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — into law, instigating a harsh response from a number of Hollywood luminaries who fear the bill will allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals by citing their religious beliefs. In addition to the popular gaming convention Gen Con, which had earlier threatened to move their annual convention out of the state if the bill passed, “Star Trek” actor George Takei, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Miley Cyrus have all publicly come out against the bill on social media. See below for a sampling of reactions from the celebosphere:
– George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 26, 2015
– Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) March 26, 2015
Hey @GovPenceIN, how can you sleep at night??? Are you a human being??
– Andy Cohen (@Andy) March 27, 2015
Indiana's anti-gay 'Religious Freedom' bill signed by Gov. Pence is absurd & insulting. This is 2015. Ridiculous. #RFRA
– Larry King (@kingsthings) March 27, 2015
Indiana are you also going to allow Christian establishments to ban Jews from coming in? Or Vice Versa? Religious freedom??? #OUTRAGE
– ashton kutcher (@aplusk) March 27, 2015
Too early to call for Indiana to be demoted to a territory?
Outraged: Some conservative country music fans
Target: Little Big Town's “Girl Crush”
Why: While the popular group's latest single is a ballad that describes a woman's envy of her ex-boyfriend's new lover, some country-music listeners have been interpreting it as a “lesbian song” thanks to lyrics like, “I want to taste her lips, yeah cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume.” While the band has denied that the song deals with a same-sex crush — and even cut a short promo explaining its true meaning — radio stations around the country have been loath to play it due to a seeming avalanche of listener complaints.
As Boise, Idaho morning show personality Alanna Lynn told the Washington Post, after debuting the song she was inundated with angry phone callers who accused “Girl Crush” of “promoting the gay agenda.” And this, from a music director at an unnamed Texas country station: “To my surprise, after explaining the song to more than a handful of people, every one of them responded with basically the same thing (paraphrased): 'You are just promoting the gay agenda on your station and I am changing the channel and never listening to you ever again!!'”
Perhaps this handy lyric video will allay some concerns?
Outraged: Mark Dermul, the Belgian man who led the “Save the Lars Homestead” project — an effort to restore the building in Tunisia that was used for the set of Luke Skywalker's childhood home in “Star Wars” and the “Star Wars” prequels
Target: People who care more about saving a movie set than the people of Tunisia from ISIS
Why: On Tuesday, CNN reported that the Islamic terrorist organization had “established a way station” in Tataouine — the Tunisian town that served as the namesake for Skywalker's home planet Tatooine in the George Lucas sci-fi classic — and further claimed that the town had served as an actual filming location. But as The Daily Beast discovered during a conversation with Dermul, “Star Wars” was in fact filmed in Chott el Jerid, located over 200 miles away from Tataouine.
During the interview, Dermul lashes out not only at the erroneous reports from CNN and other outlets – which he characterizes as “bad journalism” – but expresses anger at fans who have asked if he has a plan in place to protect Skywalker's childhood abode from ISIS.
“Not only is that a strange question-for what could I possibly do?-but it also shows a strange frame of mind. Hundreds of people are suffering from these terrorist activities and people are worried about movie sets? I think we need to focus on what is really important here.”