Jun 23, 2013

Uncle Tom Award #1: Todd Graff

Uncle Tom was the slave in the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel who agreed with his slavery and did everything he could to aid and abet his masters.  The Uncle Tom Awards go to gay/lesbian actors, writers, directors, and producers who try their best to erase gay people from existence.

Their productions gleefully promote heterosexism, yelling over and over that gay people don't exist, that every story is about The Boy and The Girl.

Of course, lots of heterosexuals do this, but when you're LGBT, the erasure is galling.  Why would someone deliberately contribute to their own oppression?

The first Uncle Tom Award goes to Todd Graff, who writes/directs/produces movies mostly about people overcoming problems through music.

Let's check his opus:

1. Used People (1992).  Elderly widow Shirley Maclaine is wooed by Marcello Mastroinni.

2. Fly by Night (1993). Boomerrey D. Sams leaves his wife and kid to take up a career as a hip-hop artist, and partners with I Tick. There's a gay roommate.

3. The Vanishing (1993).  Wife of Boomer Bridges (left) vanishes, and he struggles desperately to find her.  As Spider-Man reminded us, before I walked out, every good story is about a boy and a girl.

4. The Beautician and the Beast (1997).  Beautician Fran Dreischer accidently becomes the tutor for the children of an Eastern European dictator (Timothy Dalton).  You know what happens next.  So far Mr. Groff sounds like the Beast.

5. Camp (2003).  About a group of teenagers at drama camp.  One is gay, sort of: uber-campy Robin de Jesus crushes on Daniel Letterle (left) and is so frustrated that he has sex with a girl.  Oh, one of those gay guys who can switch teams at will.

6. Bandslam (2009).  Gaelan Connor (of the Cartoon Network's Level Up) plays an outcast kid who forms a band with other outcast kids, among them the Girl of His Dreams.  In an interview, Groff yells, very loudly, that "This is not a gay movie!!!!!!!  There is no gay subtext with Gaelan!!!!!"  And he's right.  This is an utterly gay-free world..

7. Joyful Noise (2012). Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton start a gospel choir in a small town, in spite of the opposition by the townsfolk (yeah, them small town sinners are always trying to oppress good fundamentalist Christians).  Haven't seen it, but there's probably a homoromantic friendship between the two women.  However, the Love Interest comes between their teenage children (Jeremy Jordan, but not the one in the top photo, Keke Palmer).

So: seven "Boy Meets Girl" plotlines, one "Not Gay!!!" yelp, and two gay characters, one who likes girls.  Congratulations, Mr. Graff!

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