Since the election of President Trump, a majority of late night hosts, internet personalities, and Hollywood celebrities have spoken out against the racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia of the administration. Fallon apologized for interviewing president Trump, SNL made fun of the administration every week this season, and Jimmy Kimmel made a plea to the presidentduring his opening monologue to do something about the health care problem in our nation. However, as these high profile media outlets keep pushing for more liberal ideologies, the LGBTQ+ community can’t help being the butt of an easy joke.
Last month, the New York Times painted Trump and Putin as lovers- hoping to get a laugh. However, we must step aside and ask what exactly is funny: are we supposed to laugh at two men together, are we supposed to laugh at the thought of two shirtless men hanging out, are Trump and Putin as lovers the worst thing we can think about them? The gay community has been used for a cheap punch line even though no one is laughing.
This month, Jimmy Kimmel has resorted to gay jokes to trash the Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a transgender couple. In his monologue Kimmel said:
“It’s funny because this is a guy who spends all day, every day, meticulously designing flowers out of icing. His whole life is gay, okay? I don’t know if the wrong cake might bring that to life or what. You would think that someone who looks like the Reba McEntire version of Colonel Sanders would be more sympathetic to gender identity issues.”
Kimmel also used sarcasm to refer to the baker as “the totally straight cake baker.” Kimmel used a gay joke to defend a transgender couple showing that even as he tries to defend the LGBTQ+ community, his writers can’t help but insult them.
In a time where we are looking to push forward, we cannot stand by as these gay jokes thrive. There is nothing funny about Trump and Putin as lovers. There is nothing funny after someone suggests Putin and Trump get it on in the Oval Office. There is nothing funny after Kimmel says someone has a “gay” life for baking cake. The only people laughing at these jokes are the very people who don’t like the very same community used as the punch line. It is time to stop these jokes and hold people accountable.
It is important to note that while some outlets can’t help but resort to gay jokes, others go out of their way to avoid them. In March, Seth Meyers did a bit where he invited black and gay writers to finish the jokes he couldn’t tell. This bit involved Seth stepping aside as more qualified people stood up and told their jokes, showing us that the straight white man can’t say everything he’d like to. Maybe if more people learned when not to talk, we’d have a better time.
h/t: Mediaite, Fortune.com