A big Hollywood trailer for the new Vince Vaughn movie, “The Dilemma,” has been sucker-punched by CNN talk show host, Anderson Cooper, for being anti-gay. This week, the talk show host visited “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to condemn teen bullying. It was at this time that Anderson took time to point out something he saw and heard in a movie trailer for the Vince Vaughn movie. As said by Anderson, “There was a preview of a movie, and in it, the actor said, ‘That’s so gay,’ and I was shocked that not only that they put it in the movie, but that they put that in the preview. They thought that it was OK to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it. I just fund those words, those terms, we’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable cause those words are hurting kids. Someone else I talked to recently said that the words people use and the things people say about other kids online, it enters into their internal dialogue. And when you’re a kid, it can change the way you see yourself and the way you think about yourself, and the worth that you give to yourself. I think we need to really focus on what language we’re using and how we’re treating these kids.”
I really applaud Anderson Cooper for delivering this message to America. However, I also wish that he would come out to America. I think it would make more of a difference if a man of Anderson’s stature would take a stand and brave the elements of homophobia in America. We have many women in the public eye who are taking a stand – but there is no man with muscle out there speaking up and out against bullying and hate crimes. Going a little out of line here, I still believe teachers know who the bullies are in school. If there was some way to gather these bullies into a room, girls and boys (do not discriminate) and have inmates from different prisons come in to talk to them, I think this would put a halt to a lot of the bullying and teasing. I’m talking about, “Scared Straight.” I can begin to tell you how effective this show was for many kids in during my generation. What is taking Hollywood so long to get the message? They spend so much money on producing remakes like, “The Munsters,” until even the viewing public is asking, “Why?” Hollywood could do so much more good for society than putting actors in the place of real children who are being bullied. Also, please stop with the pretty actors who claim that they were bullied in grade school. Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris are not good enough role models for children to actually listen to about bullying. Let’s look at Esera Tuaolo, the 300-pound defensive lineman in the National Football League, was the first to come out of the closet as a gay man after finishing his time in the NFL. By adding Tuaolo to the equation, kids would see that even football players are gay and even they are bullied. But, another problem we would have with all this would be there are still no stars in the school to help them with the bullying problem. Sounds like an endless problem with no real solution. No funds to a special project is going to stop bullying or hate crimes. Somehow, the world is going to have to stop with the word “tolerance” or the phrase “having tolerance for…” and just look at people as being people. Anderson got the Universal, the studio putting out “The Dilemma,” to remove the gay scene from the movie’s trailer. Is this enough? It’s still going to be in the movie. And this, in itself, is a band-aid to the situation. It’s not a cure, but at least a start. Anderson Cooper could do a lot more, if he wanted to. Bullying and hate crimes aren’t going to stop but with all the Hollywood big-wigs, and even those who have nothing to do with Hollywood, they could attack the federal government to enact stiffer punishments for such crimes. There should be no 1,2,3 strikes clause. Here, there should be no tolerance to bullying and hate crimes. This would be the best message and the best gesture to ease the problem.
All the tears shed on television for the lost children due to suicide after being bullied and humiliated are nice for the camera. But what do the tears really do? Let the celebrities start pointing fingers at the ones who have caused their tears to be shed. Like in the case of Tyler Clementi, let’s post the pictures of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei – everyday – and tell what they have done. Don’t let the world start to forget that these people were accomplices to someone’s suicide. This would be just another way that celebrities can exert their power to get things done. And, remember celebrities, there are parents of bullies looking at you and listening to you everyday. Speak to that part of the bully. Bullies are not just children. Bullies are also adults who force other adult people to do things that they really don’t want to do. A lot like what Anderson has done with Hollywood and Universal.