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“Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars… are gay. I mean, not ‘homosexual’ gay, but, you know, ‘my parents are chaperoning the dance’ gay.”

Offensive, or just offensively unfunny?

The former, according to GLAAD, and the latter, according to me. This is the line that opens the first trailer for Ron Howard‘s upcoming comedy The Dilemma, and it’s caused some controversy amongst those trying to fight against the use of the word ‘gay’ as an openly accepted pejorative. (The new trailer, meanwhile, can be found after the break.)

Just this week, CNN’s Anderson Cooper appeared on Ellen and denounced the studio and filmmakers for relying on a tasteless slur that promotes intolerance to help sell the movie.

I was sitting in a movie theater over the weekend and there was a preview of a movie, and in it, the actor said, ‘that’s so gay,’ and I was shocked that not only that they put it in the movie, but that they put that in the preview, they thought that it was okay to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it. I just find those words, those terms, we’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable cause those words are hurting kids.

Moreover, GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has gotten Universal to agree to remove the joke from all advertising for the film, but only after having already expressed their concerns directly to Universal prior to the trailer’s release. One wonders if Cooper’s criticisms of the film helped light a fire under them to finally make the change.

Quite the dilemma Universal has gotten themselves into, eh? Eh?

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Ahem. Moving right along.

Here’s the quote from GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios, who echoed Cooper’s sentiments:

The use of the word ‘gay’ in this trailer as a slur is unnecessary and does nothing more than send a message of intolerance about our community to viewers.

What say you, readers? A big fuss over nothing, or a justified censorship of hate speech?

In any case, the new trailer is below, sans morally dubious material. Watch it in HD on Yahoo.

Here’s Anderson Cooper discussing the issue on Ellen (mentioning the film at around 5:45):

[via The Huffington Post]

And here’s the original trailer in question:

The Dilemma stars Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah. The plot revolves around a man (Vaughn) who finds out his best friend’s wife is having an affair. The film opens in theaters on January 14, 2011.

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