Grey’s Anatomy – The “Side Story” That May be a Relevant Cultural Main Story
Those hip to the Grey’s Anatomy ‘faggot’ name-calling incident are probably aware of the back story, but for those who are not familiar: One of the African American lead actors allegedly called one of the homosexual actors a ‘faggot’ in an argument on set.
While many may see this as purely tabloid fodder and ‘non-news,’ I respectfully disagree. The cultural story I see and interpret as indicative of a possible cultural paradigm shift is this: This is one of the first major public incidents I’m aware of where in response to a homosexual being called a faggot in the workplace:
a) There appears to be at least a large portion of the population that sees this as an offense. In the past, this type of hateful slur may have been largely seen as benign, not worth addressing, or ‘deserved.’ And I suspect, many people who are still uncomfortable with homosexuals, transsexuals and bisexuals probably don’t see much harm in this current incident.
b) The ‘entertainment news’ issue is: Should this person be fired? - an unlikely and ill-conceived response in my estimation, but nevertheless that headline itself suggests that editorial decisions didn’t see the question as so beyond par as to be preposterous to assert.
c) An African American man, a man who has personally lived with racial prejudices and slurs his whole life, is being attacked for exhibiting similar hateful prejudice against another ‘group’ of persons. This is interesting to me. But more interesting and revealing of both his personal character and cultural morals is this: His chosen response has courageously been to publically state that he may have a prejudice that deserves treatment.
It is poetic that someone who has lived with the negative effects of hateful and stupid prejudices would be willing to concede he too may be exhibiting similar prejudices to others.
So let me weigh in that I hope he does see his prejudice and adapt his behavior. But let me also praise his courage. It is ironic that a victim of prejudice would be so prominently critiqued by the press for his act of prejudice. Hopefully the press will equally praise, what at first appearances, appears to be his very intelligent and well-considered response to recognize his thought processes and reconsider what may be better thinking going forward.
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