Homophobic Friends

A film editor has groomed ten years’ worth of the popular TV series Friends and spliced together all the homophobia so we can see how utterly pervasive this problem is in our culture. We’re meant to laugh at others’ expense. The video is a great way to raise your awareness of how much intolerance we allow, even celebrate. Keep in mind this show ran for ten series and won numerous awards. But would you really want friends like these?

Homophobic Friends from WayDownEast on Vimeo.

6 thoughts on “Homophobic Friends

  1. It’s tough to condemn this outright because, while some jokes are clearly just “isn’t it so funny that people are gay/trans,” there’s a lot here that I see more as poking fun at people’s discomfort with breaking gender norms, and it seems like you see more of that as the seasons progress–more of an awareness that mirrors a greater tolerance that was going on in society at large. Like with the male nanny–you’re clearly supposed to laugh at Ross’s discomfort with it rather than at the fact that the nanny is male. To some extent they definitely put in situations like “Carol is a lesbian” to be a setup for jokes… but at the same time they were willing to have the characters discuss real issues, like what does it mean for a child to have two mothers? Is it OK for a child to play with a gender-specific toy for the other gender? So I can’t write this off as, yeah, the writers of Friends totally just treated sexuality and gender as jokes, how terrible, because it’s a comedy, and sitcoms often force us to confront our discomfort with certain things, for much as they also contribute to reinforcing stereotypes. It’s a mixed bag. I’m not condoning it altogether… but I’m not condemning it altogether either.

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  3. As a gay father, reruns of Friends has actually helped me talk about it with my kids. They love the show and when I’ve talked about friends of mine and said something like.. “just like Ross’ ex-wife”. They say, “Oh OK”

    None of these jokes offend me.I agree with Jessica in that they seem to poke fun more at the discomfort people have with homosexuality than at the homosexuality itself. The scene where Chandler is talking with the coworker in the lunchroom is hilarious.

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