Today’s Links & WTF #2: Mun2’s random gay diss
I spent to much money at Sephora on lotions and face junk this morning which has made me a combo of satisfied and guilty = saguilty. So the self inflicted punishment is limiting myself to my collection of links from last night, and another WTF. 😦 Enjoy.
Apparently the creator of Zooomr was only 17 years old when he wrote it, and did it in three months. I feel old, and slow.
4. Hate MySpace? Show them how it’s done! Aw yeah, Ning is back!!
5. SXSW Panel on Web Companies 2.0 – pretty cool! I hope they liveblog/simulacast.
6. Film To Expose MTV, BET & VH1 – Public Enemy’s Professor Griff makes an appearance in the film.
7. Bob Woodruff Reports: To Iraq and Back (Thanks, Monty)
8. This isn’t a link, but isn’t it awesome that Medieval Times’ hotline is 1-888-we-joust
WTF #2 Mun2’s random gay diss – Discuss
I love Mun2. They serve clever, original content and have an active, diverse community/audience. So having said that, being a fan and dedicated viewer, I think that when I come across things that seem a little sketch I should call them out and open up a space to discuss. So here we go…
If you subscribe to their podcast (holamun2: el podcast-o) you can download the segment in question as well: Maestro Ejival’s Review Corner: Spirited Away (2/23/07)
Take a look. Besides the Maestro being slightly creepy (which is both hilarious and disturbing), there was a WTF moment that definitely caught my eye during his review of this fab Japanese Anime film:
“You will love it, or you are gay, ok?”
… So Mun2 is not the first channel to use the word gay the way teens use it to insult each other, however considering that their primary audience is teen/young adult latino kids (a set that I am still young enough to be a part of), and knowing how incredibly homophobic a lot of young latinos can be (hello!)… Why would you even include that?
Why not say something like, “You will love it, or I will come to your house and sit on you?” Would it then be unfair to make fun of overweight people?
I just don’t get it. I found this segment to be totally entertaining up until the gay diss threat. Besides being born Latina and raised with Latinos of all sorts, I lived in Washington Heights for two and a half years, a neighborhood that is historically Dominican. I have heard young people in the neighborhood use the word “gay” as an insult more times than I can count. Sometimes it was in fun (joking) but most of the time it was a straight up diss, a threat to manhood, calling someone out for being outside the norm.
I am a little concerned that there were probably at least a handful of Mun2 viewers who saw this, laughed, and internalized just a little more homophobia. Like a lot of teens, they might not have parents who they can talk to about their own sexual identity issues/questions, and here they come across yet another example of the word being used in a negative way. Not cool.
True, kids use “gay” as a word that is often unrelated to sexual preference.
“Oh, that movie was gay” (lame/boring)
“Stop being so gay!” (uncool)
And any network that is trying to stay connected to their audience needs to be aware of the ways that kids communicate with each other.
But what if kids all of sudden were saying “spic” on a regular basis in the same way? Would Mun2 co-opt that word as well? In the same context?
Perhaps if this was the first time I noticed Mun2 using “gay” in a situtation that seemed a little sketchy, I wouldn’t even bother raising this question. But no, it’s happened before:
“Some of you have asked RBG, when will you stop being so gay?”
..In this case, “gay” probably meant “cheesy”. Hey, it’s RGB. So ok, fine. Why am I even bringing this up if I know that it’s all tongue in cheek?
Because I think if you are going to co-opt a word, and transform it’s use in a public space (in the context of light entertainment) you owe it to your impressionable audience to at least offer some sort of explanation. I’m not insulting the intelligence of teens; I am sure they can tell the difference between casually calling something they don’t like “gay” and beating the crap out of a classmate because they prefer the same gender.
Mr. Orozco, now 21, says he ran away from home before his 13th birthday after being beaten by his alcoholic father, who was angry about his sexual orientation.
…Shouldn’t we, as purveyors of entertainment, in addition to offering content containing usage of the word “gay” as offensive or something “uncool”, also offer something that provides a message of tolerance?
Until words like beaner, nigger, chink, cunt, gay, etc. continue to be used to hurt others, I feel like we need to be really clear with our messages and as we use these words lightly, as a reflection of current slang, we need to be responsible with how we back up this usage with a historical context. I feel like we can stay in tune with our audience, entertain them, and educate at the same time.
I feel that Mun2 sets the bar high for both educating and entertaining an audience, which is why the random gay diss made me go WTF? in the first place.