You have to hand it to Ron Howard: The guy's got stones.
Despite the controversy recently stirred up by a gay joke in the trailer for his upcoming Vince Vaughn-Kevin James comedy "The Dilemma," Howard is sticking to his guns and leaving the quip -- in which Vaughn calls electric cars "gay" -- in the final cut of the film.
The trailer and joke hit just as America was reeling from a recent spate of teen suicides related to anti-gay bullying, and drew the ire of such public figures as Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres. Universal, the studio releasing the film, promptly excised the joke from the trailer, a move with which Howard agrees... but that doesn't mean he's pulling it from the flick before it's January 14 release.
"'The Dilemma' is a comedy for grown-ups, not kids. It's true that the moment took on extra significance in light of some events that surrounded the release of the trailer and the studio made the decision to remove it from advertising, which I think was appropriate. I believe in sensitivity but not censorship," Howard wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Times. "It is a slight moment in 'The Dilemma' meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character's personality, and we never expected it to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it."
That aspect of Vaughn's personality is that he's an envelope-pusher with a penchant for saying the wrong thing. "Our lead character of Ronny Valentine has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what's okay to say," Howard said. "He tries to do what's right but sometimes falls short. Who can't relate to that? I am drawn to films that have a variety of characters with different points of view who clash, conflict and learn to live with each other. 'The Dilemma' is a story full of flawed characters whose lives are complicated by the things they say to and hide from each other. Ronny is far from perfect and he does and says some outrageous things along the way."
Should the gay joke be cut from "The Dilemma" entirely? Vote in the poll below, then tell us your thoughts in the comments!