Blaine and Kurt in Glee
Vanity Fair magazine has apologised for using an anti-gay term to describe the characters of Kurt and Blaine on the hit US television show Glee.
Ironically, the piece in question was written an openly gay man. In his Gay Guide to Glee, Brett Berk wrote: “Nice singing. But how can having girls in the audience make these cartwheeling, foam-party fags straight-sexy?”
Both Berk and the magazine’s editors apologised after they were approached by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) about the issue.
“I would like to apologise sincerely to anyone I offended with the use of the term “fag” (now removed) in this Gay Guide to Glee column,” said Berk.
“As an openly gay writer writing in an overtly overblown style, my intent in using the word in this offhanded way was to continue my consistent efforts to confront and challenge stereotype, to unpack the way in which language works, and to deconstruct the clever gender politics at play in the scene I described.
“Anyone with even a whiff of familiarity with my writing will know that I am, and have long been, a tireless agitator, here at VF.com and elsewhere, for gay rights, as well as a huge supporter of everything Glee has accomplished in advancing a meaningful dialogue about homosexuality in our popular culture—and in our youth culture in particular.”
GLAAD questioned the writer’s position, asking: “Does the author have license to do this because he himself is a gay man? Among his friends, maybe. But the second this article went live, this f-word didn’t belong to Brett Berk anymore. It belonged to Vanity Fair.”
Vanity Fair’s editors issued their own apology, saying, “we recognise that the column caused genuine offense to many readers, and we apologise unreservedly to them”.
GLAAD searched the magazine’s website for the offending term and found more than two dozen other instances of its use in the past.