November 1st, 2010
10:35 AM ET
Vince Vaughn's "electric cars are gay" joke may have been cut from the trailer for "The Dilemma," but director Ron Howard says it's staying in the movie.
And so viewers will hear the offending line uttered when the film arrives in theaters in January.
"Our lead character of Ronny Valentine has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what's OK to say. He tries to do what's right but sometimes falls short. Who can't relate to that?" Howard asked. "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."
That said, Howard admitted he enjoys stirring the pot and welcomes discussion and debate.
"I defend the right for some people to express offense at a joke as strongly as I do the right for that joke to be in a film," Howard said. "But if storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong-armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought."
GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios, however, told the Hollywood Reporter he believes Howard's decision is "contributing to the problem. The conversations 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."
Barrios went on, "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.”