Actually, Leno makes a lot of people uncomfortable by just how unfunny he is. But when Ryan Phillippe stopped by last week to promote his new movie Stop-Loss, Leno took the uncomfortable awkwardness to a whole new level. Rather than allow Phillippe the chance to plug his new flick, Leno wanted to talk about how “gay” a few of his early roles were, including a naked jeans commercial and a role on One Life to Live.
And then things got pretty funny. Leno asks Phillippe to turn to the camera and make is best “gayest look” and Ryan refuses. Anyway, kudos to Phillippe. You can’t tell if he’s actually upset or just amused by the whole situation, especially given that the formula for these types of appearances is generally: some witty banter followed by discussion of product you’re shilling, etc.
I think Ryan Phillippe was just more surprised by how unformulaic the whole affair proceeded. So of course, some members of the gay community have gotten their panties in a twist over the whole affair. Avenue Q playwright Jeff Whitty took to his blog to give Leno the finger. How nuanced and mature.
Anyway, Whitty does, however, make a good point about how even the tiniest of jokes can be detrimental when an entire group of people are essentially fighting for their civil rights.
I’ve gotta ask: would you ask a guest to make their “blackest face?” Their “Jewiest face?” Why not? (I charitably imagine your answer to be, “Not all black/Jewish people are the same, so it’s kind of offensive to think there’s a ‘black/Jewish face.'”) Very good!
I’ll back off. I received some criticism for being too heavy-handed with my last letter, so I won’t mention this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or this gay face or these gay faces or not to forget this gay face. Which one’s the gayest to you?
I bring those faces up because there’s a group (with whom you are supposedly sympathetic) undergoing a major civil rights struggle, and you seem to adore using the stereotype that we’re laughable and really, all the same in the end.
Anyhow, his ire led to the creation of the very funny site mygayestlook.com, where members of the gay community can post “their gayest look.” Which is really just the lot of them flipping the bird.
The moral of the story kids is that you can make fun of anybody you want to, so long as you’re funny. (See: Park, South). [via]