Director Ron Howard says he will not cut a joke using the word "gay" from his new film, The Dilemma. The joke was deemed insensitive by GLAAD and subsequently removed from the film's trailer two weeks ago.
In the clip, Vince Vaughn, who plays an automotive consultant, says, "Ladies and gentleman, electric cars are gay."
Vince Vaughn trailer pulled after complaints from GLAAD
"I believe in sensitivity but not censorship. I feel that our film is taking additional heat as an emblem for many movies and TV shows that preceded it that have even more provocative characterizations and language," Howard wrote in a letter to The Los Angeles Times. "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."
However, Howard said he agreed with Universal's choice to remove the joke in question from the film's trailer, calling it an "appropriate" decision.
Vince Vaughn defends use of gay joke in his film
After the trailer was released, GLAAD called for the line to be removed from both the trailer and the film itself. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios issued a statement in reaction to Howard's remarks.
"Unfortunately, by leaving it in the movie, [Universal is] 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 in a statement. "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."
The Dilemma is slated to hit theaters Jan. 14, 2011.