“Sassy Gay Friend Saves Black Swan” Video

So this video was posted on Huffington Post. It’s by the Second City people. Viewers seem to be liking it. When I saw the title I expected it to be really funny. But I don’t find any humor or intelligence whatsoever. Do you guys? What am I missing?

11 Comments

  1. Just saw it. You’re absolutely right, Tonya. It was stupid, (and not in the funny way), ill conceived, bad writing, BAD comedy acting, and is typical of the type of thing that straight white men & women put out when they are trying to use the GLBT community for their own fun & profit.

    I have been developing my own film company for the gay community for the past several years, developing entertainment that is actually watchable and enjoyable for my people. Every now and then I think that maybe no one really needs my niche, and then crap like this surfaces. Or a stupid movie about a lesbian who has sex with her straight sperm donor. Then, I am convinced otherwise.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who had those thoughts, Jeff. The whole thing was just too based in ignorance to be at all amusing.

      What a great idea to start your own entertainment company!

  2. I quote, “The narrative imagines/shows how the tragedy would’ve been avoided if she’d only had a sassy gay friend to talk her out of it and point out her flawed logic until she realizes her errors. He usually uses cultural puns and cattily compliments them and bemoans their poor choices. ”

    He’s poking fun of overdramatized “tragedy” in pop culture and media, like in literature. Most of the humor comes from the actress’ portrayal of Natalie’s portrayal: whispery timid voice and one-note expression. IMHO, the movie Black Swan had terrible writing, served up with misogyny, and yet, people are praising how wonderful the film is.

  3. I think what you’re missing is the context of the other “sassy gay friend” videos. . . which are hella funny. The “Adam and Eve” one is my favorite, I highly, highly encourage you to check it out. This is definitely not his best work, but I think it can be excused under the circumstances. What circumstances?

    1) The SGF franchise is all about taking the horrifying, misogynist assumptions that underlay the motivations of classic heroines and making them so obvious they’re funny. . . you know, in a terrible way. Is this done at the expense of gay men? Maybe, but I think not. The gay character is clearly a parody. Since the entire point of the clips is to get people to think critically rather than accepting stereotypical ideas about gender, I think most viewers will understand that he is a parody of the stereotype, rather than a parody of actual gay men.

    2) Black Swan was SO UNBELIEVABLY HORRIFYING AND TERRIBLE that this approach isn’t funny anymore. That’s why he comes off as angry instead of playful (like in the other SGF clips) when he’s telling her how to fix her life. Nina’s senseless, insane, completely immersive femininity is way to broken to fix. . . and unlike Ophelia, Desdemona, Eve, or Juliet, Nina is a modern character, and we can’t dismiss her self-destructive femininity as a product of another time.

    All this fits interestingly–and neatly–in with the strongest criticism I keep hearing from the ballet world–that Black Swan is a parody of ballet culture. . . but this comment is already too long for me to be getting into that. :)

  4. Thank you Indra and Day. I haven’t had a lot of time lately, but you made me see things a bit differently here and definitely made me want to check out the other SGF videos! That’s definitely the context I was missing.

  5. Really? If there was some justifiable “context” for putting an offensive, steppin-fetchit type gay character in ANY production, then why aren’t minstrel shows still performed? Again, this type of character just shows a plain & simple lack of talent and ability on the creators, and quite a lot of hate.
    And probably the most offensive thing that Day said was in admitting that the gay character “maybe” was offensive to an entire group of people, but it doesn’t matter, because we’re trying to make this other point, over here. Wow.
    Bottom line, it’s a free country, and you can watch whatever you want. But don’t piss down my back, then tell me it’s raining. I’m not buyin’ what you’re sellin’.

    • Well, it looks like the actor who created the character is gay himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCfKCEPd2uo&feature=relmfu

      I have to admit, I’ve heard of Second City but really know next to nothing about them or this character. I viewed a couple of the videos – the Ophelia and Juliet ones and I can see the point that he’s pointing out ridiculously misogynistic assumptions that underlay the classic heroines and their conflicts. I guess I just so didn’t “get” Black Swan that I didn’t see anything at all going on there but the repeated “Stupid bitch” line, which I could still do without … (though I realize he’s making fun of the way those women are portrayed by using it in the first place). I have to look for the Adam and Eve one and see some others before I come to a conclusion.

    • Actually, what I said was “maybe, but I THINK NOT.” Not “maybe, but I think it doesn’t matter because they’re making a different point I approve of.” I think you’ve unfairly miss-represented me–there’s a large difference between thinking something isn’t offensive, and thinking that offense to a certain group doesn’t matter.

      You are with the majority here–I know I have a fairly radical stance on humor. I think any topic is fair game; what matters is the ideological content. As a rape survivor, I would like to see more rape jokes so long as the context (for instance) clearly points out the absurdity of victim blaming, rather than encouraging it. When you say there’s no context where this type of character would be appropriate, you’re removing it from a powerful realm of social criticism.

      There is deep and powerful humor in painful truths. I think the “sassy gay friend” videos imply something very similar about the “flamboyant and effeminate gay dude” stereotype that this video does about the “slutty rape victim” stereotype, but with a great more subtlety.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGnGPAZcsqE&feature=related

  6. I know I may have come down hard, but……So what if this offensive stereotype was played by a gay man? I know from first hand experience how hard it is to get work in the biz, and people do what they feel they gotta do. I get it.
    But, for me personally, as a ticket buyer, and as a creative in the industry I just don’t want to see this character again. Period. And I will not support it, in any way.
    We can just agree to disagree on this one. That’s the beauty of free speech!
    P.S. Glad to have you back, Tonya.

  7. Actually, Day, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Your actual quote is, “Is this done at the expense of gay men? Maybe, but I think not”. Which is even worse, because you don’t think that video was offensive to begin with!

    If you really find this type of offensive stereotyping entertaining when young gay men are killing themselves, partly due to this type of representation through the media, then nothing I say will make a difference with you. Except enjoy them while they last, because eventually, intelligent people will be too ashamed to take part in them, in any way.

  8. Hmn. I think you’re right that we aren’t going to agree on this. However, when I disagree with people, I like to understand where they’re coming from. I realize that I’m asking you for a favor here, since it’s surely not a very satisfying use of your time to talk to someone who comes across to you as a bigot, and who is not likely to agree with you. However, I’d really appreciate it if you would help me educate myself on this.

    Is there something you could link me that describes your position in more detail? I really don’t think I understand it. Here are the objections I can think of–are they the objections you actually have?

    1) Portrayals like this cause the general public to have a uniform, usually inaccurate impression of what gay men are like.

    2) Portrayals like this cause the general public to have negative, usually inaccurate, impressions of what gay men are like.

    3) Portrayals like this contribute to the continued non-representation of actual gay men and/or realistic, nuanced fictional characters, in public discourse.

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