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gay actorvism

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While looking up live feed information for the inauguration, I saw that Jim Carrey has made a movie, I Love You Phillip Morris, in which he has a gay relationship with Ewan McGregor. The Toronto Star article* quotes Carrey as saying, "What I'm doing for the gay community is loving and tolerating, accepting everyone on equal terms," which makes me a tad bit uncomfortable even though I understand where such a statement stems.

In taking this role, he's taken a risk - not an awe-inspiring one, but a real one nonetheless. When an actor takes a role such as this one, his livelihood becomes politicized for at least the half-life of an entertainment news story. He may lose former fans (assuming, as I do, that there is a fair amount of overlap between anti-gays and fans of moron comedy), but there is no guarantee of a commensurate gain from those folks' opposite numbers to balance things out - and yet he'll be under at least the same level of scrutiny as any other time, (just like any celebrity is) and he'll be talking about homosexuality much more frequently in interviews while this project is relevant, and thus be that much more statistically likely to say something stupid on the topic and garner hatred that way.

On a lot of levels, these stakes seem trivial, but it shouldn't be wholly discounted that controversy is a double-edged sword for those who depend on popularity and public opinion. I do appreciate it when actors take roles that cross lines - and yeah, even though things have come a long way and the "edgy" cred to be gained from playing gays probably expired sometime in the mid-80s, there isn't equality for homosexuals yet, and there's a whole lot of hate out there. This past election highlighted that fact pretty effectively. Playing a gay man is not "safe" in the way a lot of his past gigs have been, and even though I think it's stupid that the topic hasn't been settled, not only is Jim Carrey innocent of blame for that, but I am not the amateur sociologist to say his taking this role can't be one tiny nudge farther in the direction I wish things to go.

So, on the one hand, all that jazz allows me to comprehend why he'd opt to make statements like this, even as I find it vapid with a hint of condescention. On the other, I WOULD like for him to make equivalent statements about what he's done previously for the token white guy community, the dumb (or dumber) community, the Mike TV community and the crazed comic book villain community. I have a right to know just how my social consciousness has been raised by every instant Jim Carrey has ever been onscreen!

By contrast, I liked this WENN article via IMDB a lot better:

Carrey jokes, "I did find myself wondering what will people think? And what if I like it? And how will that affect me? And Jenny?**"

Joking he may have been, but it seems to me a reasonable question for a straight man to ask himself, and I'm more interested in what he has to say about his personal responses than in statements about any community, gay or otherwise, especially since he went ahead and did it anyway. I kind of want to see it just to see how well he did (in fact, all my observations of men kissing are for similar scientific purposes).

* As a total aside, I am highly amused by the subtitle of the article, "Canadian Jim Carrey plays a gay man in his most interesting role since The Cable Guy." Do Torontoans (Torontinos?) not know that Jim Carrey is from their country? Or maybe the Star felt the need to justify the article: "It's ok, he's from here, it's relevant!"

** I felt the urge to say something snarky about Jenny McCarthy, but I know very little about her other than from her short-lived sitcom, and it'd be kind of hypocritical for me (if not downright self-loathing) to come down hard on goofy perkiness, considerin'.
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