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CosmicMuse

Request for next year's fan parodies

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Hey, I was a first-time guest for Otakon this year, and I loved nearly every minute! The only major request I had was that next year, Otakon's staff ask parody creators to refrain from using "gay" as a pejorative in their movies. Most of them were great, but it was a little jarring (and disappointing) to suddenly see/hear 'gay' used as an insult. Especially considering that yaoi/yuri is such a popular genre, and that more than a few of the Otakon attendees ARE from the LGBT community, perhaps next year, we could avoid making those of us who ARE gay/lesbian/trans/etc. feel uncomfortable?

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Can I ask which one it was? I worked on AMV Salad and I think we had one clip in there that may have walked that line with the "how do I know you're gay" audio from 40 Year Old Virgin. I myself made one with Kyon and Itsuki from Haruhi...which I thought hard about but then rolled with since the "is he or isn't he hot for Kyon" is a running thing in the show.

So is it just when somebody uses it as a insult like "you're so gay" and such or just poking fun in general? I can pass it on at least to the Salad editors.

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Can I ask which one it was? I worked on AMV Salad and I think we had one clip in there that may have walked that line with the "how do I know you're gay" audio from 40 Year Old Virgin. I myself made one with Kyon and Itsuki from Haruhi...which I thought hard about but then rolled with since the "is he or isn't he hot for Kyon" is a running thing in the show.

So is it just when somebody uses it as a insult like "you're so gay" and such or just poking fun in general? I can pass it on at least to the Salad editors.

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Heya:

This is Scott Melzer, the department head of Fan Parodies.

I hear you on the "gay" issue. Aside from "having gay friends" and being a theatre geek (so I've always been around lots of gay folks) I'm a financial planner in the "real world" and work closely with the LGBT community. I know what you mean. Someone's funny is someone else's insult/offensive. However, I don't have a whole lot of control over creators, nor would I want to because that's censorship. As a fellow creator I want to stay away from that. While I also find the term offensive (or at least very dated as the community has done a lot to get people to see it that way), I can't tell people to change their films. I thought .WoW went over the line on a lot of things, but they at least put up a warning before that. It's their style. All I can really do is tell people that I can't show their film. There have been several films that we rejected because we thought they went too far. I didn't think that .WoW pushed it too far, but they were definitely close. It's one of the reasons that they went on last.

I had a lot of other people wanting to add things to the opening animation, such a Nazis bashing someone, nudity, etc. Since I DID have creative control over that project, I kept it all out (notice no pejorative "gay" references there). Frankly, I find the Nazi references in Hetalia to be very insulting, especially where they're beating up on the Jewish character. Some people find it funny. Some people find 911 jokes funny.

So, it's really just a call to not show something if it goes over the line for the crowd, but I really can't tell the creators what to do except if I feel I can't show it at all. It's a fine line. 2010's AMV Salad had a TON of cursing and some nudity in it and I made the call to tell them I couldn't show it, so they decided to bleep (and other sound effects) the "offending" bits so it could be shown. It was very controversial and several of them accused me of censorship, but I felt it was too adult for the show. I'd love to have an "adults only" parody show and show stuff like that, but for the general audience it was too much. If I reject something and a creator makes a different version so we can show it then that's a happy compromise.

I personally don't like negative or put-down humor. Hopefully you can see that in my own parodies ("This Is Otakudom", "S.T.E.A.M.: The Movie" and "Fanboy Soze") but there's a lot of stuff that I don't like that actually goes over really well in that room. *shrug* I'm sorry you thought .WoW (or maybe something else?) went too far. It's hard to judge what's over the line and what's something that can be ignored because the rest of it is good. I thought the "Nazi" stuff in .WoW was worse, but I guess it was silly and not just an insult (which becomes a GREATER insult). I don't feel I can tell creators not to use that term, but I CAN mention the reaction that someone in the audience has. That probably will have a much bigger impact, knowing that something that was supposed to be funny came across cold.

Thanks so much for the input. I'll definitely think about this and use the feedback for next year.

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