May 5, 2014

Willow and Jaden Smith: Not Your Father's Homophobia

In 2012, Will Smith voiced his support of gay marriage: "if anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form."

My jaw dropped.  I had been boycotting his movies for years, under the assumption that he was one of Hollywood's biggest homophobes.

1. He hesitated about playing a gay character in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and when he agreed, still refused a same-sex kiss, claiming that it would gross people out.
2. In the movie Hancock (2008), his character famously uses an anti-gay slur.
3. In 2012, when a Ukrainian reporter tried to kiss him (part of Russian culture, he claimed), Smith reacted with far more disgust than one would expect from a gay-positive heterosexual.
4. Smith has made lots of statements about being uncomfortable touching men in any way.

Sounds homophobic to me.

You can often determine the prejudices of the father by looking at his kids. Have they been raised to be nonchalant about gay people?  Have they been taught hate?  Or have they been told nothing at all?

13 year old Willow, who performs under the name Melodic Chaotic, has released a music video, "Summer Fling,"   It shows various teenagers frolicking in the sun, including some obvious heterosexual couples, as well as two girls who look like a lesbian couple.  They hug and hold hands, but don't kiss.

15-year old Jaden has several screen credits and an album of heterosexist rap songs with "girl!" as every other word.

But he's also a close friend of Moises Arias, the androgynous, gay-positive alumnus of Hannah Montana, who directed several of his music videos.  The two are often seen at events together, sometimes with Moises' brother Mateo and Willow.

Here they are napping in each other's arms.

Some people speculate that the two are involved romantically, but a match between the 20-year old Moises and the 15-year old Jaden is unlikely -- and, if physical, illegal in most states. It's probably a bff bond.

But still, Jaden doesn't mind a bit having a "big brother" who is assumed gay.

And Will doesn't mind a bit that they are hanging out together.

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