Los Angeles: Director Ron Howard has decided to keep a controversial gay joke in his upcoming comedy `The Dilemma` despite renewed protest from GLAAD, a gay advocacy group.
The group is demanding the Universal Pictures to remove the joke from the movie, which hits theatre on January 14, but Howard said he will not bow down to any censorship, the Hollywood Reporter said.
"I believe in sensitivity but not censorship," Howard said.
The director claims that the scene in which Vince Vaughn describes an electric car as "gay" was scripted, not ad libbed, and that it was intended to dramatise the fact that
Vaughn`s character "is far from perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way."
GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios argued that Universal has already acknowledged the offensive nature of the joke, which was removed from the trailers following a protest by the
"Unfortunately, by leaving it in the movie, they are now 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 said.
But Howard says removing the joke from the movie will neuter the comedy.
"It is a slight moment in ‘The Dilemma’ which was 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.
"I defend the right for some people to express offense at a joke as strongly as I do the right for the joke to be in a film," he said.