When a ‘joke’ is not a joke
It seems like since Glee ended, Darren Criss has been saying or doing something offensive, hurtful, or downright dangerous on an almost weekly basis. I don’t know if this latest incident (the Caitlyn Jenner joke) is more egregious than most or if I finally just reached my limit of patience with him, but I caught up with the story this morning and it made me so angry I had to wait a couple of hours just to be able to type more than curse-words.
Darren has been in the
acting biz for 6+ years now, spending most of his time playing either
gay or trans* characters. He boasts of having grown up in a casual,
gay-friendly theater atmosphere in San Francisco, and loves to pass himself off
as the Great Straight Ally at events like Trevor Live because it gains him lots of praise and public attention. (And $$$, I am sure.)
he actually cared about anything other than his opportunities
to promote himself, he would stand up for those people
he’s claiming to be such a friend to even when the cameras aren’t on him. He wouldn’t laugh them off, participate in mocking
little picture posts regarding gay sex, ramble on about how
his current character is a weird “thing”, and call himself a “queer straight
guy” all the time. And he definitely wouldn’t be okay with spouting off he/she jokes
about real life trans* people. He lets himself be used as the poster-child for cultural acceptance, while thoughtlessly bullying those he claims to befriend. The hypocrisy of that action, and his ongoing ability to schmooze his way into LGBT related opportunities makes me feel both angry and disgusted, and more than a little sad for the people he’s dismissing with his words.
Darren isn’t some wide-eyed
innocent boy who doesn’t know any better. He’s a paid professional actor. This is a 28 year old man who
grew up in a culturally diverse atmosphere and who has spent most of his
adult life in Hollywood and now Broadway. A public figure who is, like it or not, a role model to his fans who will take their cues from his actions and attitudes. It’s genuinely impossible for
him to be ignorant at this point of how the things he’s been saying and doing are affecting people.
if JCM wrote that joke because the character is supposed to be
offensive and controversial, Darren - if he saw the LGBT community as more than a meal ticket - could have just said: “This joke seems a lot more cruel than funny. Can we change this line?”
If he was already having new lines written for him then I very much doubt
that eliminating one or two tasteless jokes from the lineup would have been
a big deal, especially as it doesn’t seem to serve the character in any way other than fishing for a cheap laugh. :(