‘Vice’ Distortions

Matt Latimer writes:

At first, the film shows [Dick Cheney] lovingly accepting his daughter Mary as she tells him of her sexual orientation and even giving up his presidential aspirations to protect her. But later, in a scene that was clearly invented, the Mary accuses her parents of coldly throwing her under the bus on the issue of gay marriage when it suits their other daughter’s political purposes. The true backstory is this: Liz, running for office in Wyoming in 2013, was being attacked by fellow Republicans for supporting gay marriage, since she had a gay sister. Liz expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, putting her at odds with Mary’s view. While Dick Cheney himself had supported gay marriage since 2000, he issued a statement defending Liz’s differing stance. Same-sex marriage was a difficult topic for many people, so it wasn’t unusual for one daughter to have a different view of it than another and for a parent to still love them both. Not long before that, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party had opposed same-sex marriage, too. It was also perfectly understandable for a father to want to help his other daughter any way he could, and Liz was losing the race badly. This clearly painful, anguishing dilemma is not explained to viewers at all. Instead, we are shown Cheney, looking down absently, while a tearful Mary accuses him of betrayal.

Kevin Hart and Apology Politics

Comedian Kevin Hart is out as ABC’s Oscar host due to homophobic tweets made in 2009 and 2011. Hart refused to apologize as a condition for perhaps being allowed to host the annual Hollywood self-celebration, and then posted what seems like a semi-apology.

One of the controversial tweets from 2011 read: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”

As E Online reported:

In a 2015 profile for Rolling Stone, he once said one of his “biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”

“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic… Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will,” he previously explained.

Also:

Another Twitter user went to the great lengths of searching every time Kevin used the words “Fag,” “homo” or “gay.” They realized the comedian “seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit.”

As CNN reported, after withdrawing from the Oscars, Hart posted an Instagram video in which he said:

“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. … If you don’t believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”

Hart’s statement unleashed further controversy over whether this met the demands of a ritual apology, and the consensus was that it did not.

The tweets from years past were homophobic and hateful, but Hollywood seems to offer a pass for past homophobia to those who are otherwise active social justice warriors and Democrats in good standing. Also, the issue of homophobia being more acute in the African-American community, perhaps especially among black men, is one about which honest discussion is not allowed (in 2008, when the anti-gay-marriage Prop 8 passed in California, those who pointed out that African-Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama and for Prop. 8 where denounced for their racism).



More. Another day, another black guy who has to apologize: Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray apologizes for anti-gay tweets. Is this helping or hurting black support for lesbian and gay equality and inclusion?

The Scarlett Johansson Transgender Brouhaha



More. Business Insider reports (or, rather, prints a GLAAD press release as news):

“Scarlett Johansson’s announcement, together with the transgender voices who spoke out about this film, are game changers for the future of transgender images in Hollywood,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Hollywood changed how Americans understand gay and lesbian lives, and TV is starting to do the same for transgender people with authentic transgender portrayals being major hits with critics and audiences. The film industry has a real opportunity to do the same.”

Related: Business Insider deletes opinion column defending Scarlett Johansson, and columnist resigns: