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South Park Takes on F-word, GLAAD Mad

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Nbroverman

Comedy Central's South Park has a penchant for turning serious subjects on their head, and on Wednesday it set its sardonic sights on the f word.

In Wednesday night's "F Word" episode the four grade-school characters of South Park verbally harangue a group of motorcyclists for revving their machines too loudly -- by calling them "fags." Later, Kenny, Kyle, Stan, and Cartman express their displeasure with the pseudo-Hell's Angels by spray-painting "Fags Get Out" on the side of a building.

When their principal takes them to task, the boys explain that they weren't describing the two-wheelers as gay, just annoying.

"Just because a person is gay doesn't mean he's a fag," they tell her. The boys explain that they, and kids their age, don't connect gay people with the term "fag."

A gay group -- Act Out -- works to co-opt the f word. The character Big Gay Al says, "I believe we have an opportunity to take a big step forward for our kind. We must acknowledge that the words fag and faggot are never going to disappear; they're simply too much fun for everyone to say. But we must realize that we are no longer the most hated people on the planet and help the children change the meaning of the word." Apparently, the most hated people are now annoying, inconsiderate Harley riders.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation was not pleased with the South Park episode. The media advocacy group told viewers to contact Comedy Central and complain about the episode's content: "Like many other South Park episodes that use edgy humor to provide commentary on current issues, last night's episode was an attempt to examine the evolving definition of words. Yet despite what the South Park writers may believe, the definition of the F-word remains one that is harmful and derogatory to the LGBT community."

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.