9 Homophobic Moments From Seth Rogen Films We Won’t Miss
By Kirk Hartlage
9 Homophobic Moments From Seth Rogen Films We Won’t Miss
Oh, Seth Rogen! We find it incredibly appropriate that his latest movie is the sequel to the 2014 hit Neighbors. Because the ongoing love-hate relationship we have with the Canadian-born actor and filmmaker is just like the love-hate relationship we have with our real-life neighbors.
This history is complicated. In the past, Rogen has played up derogatory names for gays for laughs, only to turn around and release what's essentially a gay love story like Pineapple Express and make out with James Franco in a parody music video. And right when you think Rogen's gone too far for a laugh, by saying certain pop culture preferences can make a person gay? Well, then Rogen expressed heartfelt pride in being a bear icon, after he inspired a book of sketched nudes by artist Christopher Schulz.
"There are probably some jokes in Superbad that are bordering on blatantly homophobic at times," Rogen said in a recent interview promoting Neighbors 2. "They’re all in the voice of high school kids, who do speak like that, but I think we’d also be silly not to acknowledge that we also were, to some degree, glamorizing that type of language in a lot of ways."
Still, Superbad is not the only time Rogen's been, well, super bad with antigay humor. Here's a review of some of the worst offenders. And for now, we'll take Rogen at his word and accept his attempt at making amends. His next featured role couldn't possibly contain any underlying homophobic themes or jokes. Not in a movie titled Sausage Party.
Kirk Hartlage is an Orlando-based freelance journalist. You can follow him on Facebook.
"You Know How I Know You're Gay" – Part I
While playing video games in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, David (Paul Rudd) and Cal (Seth Rogen) incorporate several rounds of "You Know How I Know You're Gay" to their trash-talking. Among the alleged signs: macramé-ing a pair of jean shorts, knowing other gay people, liking Coldplay and Jennifer Lopez–Ralph Fiennes rom-coms, making spinach dip in a hollowed-out loaf of sourdough, sporting rainbow stickers on your car, and, announcing you're no longer sleeping with members of the opposite sex. (Well, they may have a point with that last one...)
"You Know How I Know You're Gay" – Part II
Here, Rudd and Rogen do another round of homophobic video game trash-talking in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Now added to the list: going AWOL from the Army to discover oneself, writing a novel about an Army enlistee going AWOL to discover himself, suffering from erectile dysfunction, wearing well-maintained construction boots, and drinking tea.
"You Know How I Know You're Gay" – Part III
While filming Knocked Up, Rogen and Rudd provided an update to "You Know How I Know You're Gay." The add-ons: attending a Celine Dion concert sober, DVR-ing the HBO docu-series Tourgasm, wearing white ties, preferring Miami Sound Machine over the solo stylings of Gloria Estefan, dining al fresco, communicating effectively while performing oral sex, demanding that someone communicate effectively while performing oral sex, going commando above the waist, owning personalized bath towels, using personalized bath towels, and acknowledging that you've done this bit before in a previous movie and that gay men might actually be offended by all of this. Fortunately, director Judd Apatow knocked out this Knocked Up version of YKHIKYG before the film's release.
Here's a scene from Superbad where Jonah Hill's character, Seth, renames Christopher Mintz-Plasse's character Fogell. This less-than-creative drop of the f bomb is likely what Rogen meant when he recently said some of the movie's "blatantly homophobic" jokes glamorized language often used by high-schoolers.
As an 8-year-old, Jonah Hill's Seth had a preoccupation with drawing penises that were typically erect. In an effort to curb his enthusiasm, Seth's parents ban their son from eating foods of a phallic nature, such as hot dogs and popsicles. When Michael Cera's Evan describes his friend's revelation as "super gay" in Superbad, we're not sure if he's referring to the cause or the effect. What we are sure of, however, is that this is also some of the troublesome language Rogen was referring to in his recent mea culpa.
The Gay Hornet
An air of homophobia permeates nearly all of The Green Hornet. But when Jay Chou's Kato says he's surprised Seth Rogen's Britt Reid hasn't hit on him yet, apparently the only answer is violence.
The Coming-Out Interview
While playing a caricature of himself in The Interview, Eminem comes out as gay during a live broadcast with TV host Dave Skylark, played by James Franco. As Skylark's producer Aaron Rapoport, Seth Rogen describes the reveal as "the greatest moment in gay history." Nope. Fictional or not, it’s not even close.
A Bottom-Secret Mission
To keep a miniature missile from being detected by the North Koreans in The Interview, Seth Rogen secures the payload in his anal cavity. James Franco and Lizzy Caplan provide well-knowing assistance through secret radio communication. To Rogen's credit, the act of anal weapon-hiding is never described as something "gay," and characters both male and female incorporate a been-there, done-that approach to coaching Rogen through his mission.
This Is the End of Rape Jokes
According to Rogen and friends, when the apocalypse comes, many survivors will exert dominance over their fellow men by cannibalizing and/or raping them. And those victims lucky enough to survive will, of course, develop some version of Stockholm syndrome and bond with their captors. At least that's what happens in Rogen's This Is the End, when Danny McBride kidnaps Channing Tatum. But let's be honest. While there's nothing humorous to be found in rape, even we have to admit Rogen has struck a nerve by exposing the attraction many gay men have to the star of Magic Mike.