Susan Sarandon, "GLAAD the New PETA"

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Susan Sarandon, "GLAAD the New PETA"

Susan Sarandon who appeared in the original cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Janet, told the New York Daily News, that GLAAD basically needs to get a life.

GLAAD recently came out against the last episode of Glee in which Kurt uses the word "tranny," when he declines the role of Dr Frank 'n' Furter. Sarandon, told the NYDN the controversy puzzled her saying, "What should they have said? [GLAAD] is getting like PETA - way out of control."

GLAAD's spokes person defended their statement saying: "The word 'tra—y' has become an easy punch line in popular culture, and many still don't realize that using the term is hurtful, dehumanizing and associated with violence."

Do you think GLAAD would have objected to the original movie? Dr Frank 'n' Furter was from Transylvania after all. Watch the Glee episode below.


Update: Read GLAAD's response to this post here.

Comments [12]

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture


I'm just amazed GLAAD made any comment, given their long track record of not bothering to comment on even the most offensive transphobic comments in the past.

It begs the question, though... Why now? 

Rockets's picture

I don't really give

a rat's ass about GLEE  - but can anyone honestly say that Mike Chang reaction was completely unrealistic or went outside of the realm of reality? Even Kurt's reaction?

There are MANY members of the LGB*silent T community that would like to drop the T, The B, some would like to erase the L and on lucky days the Q is actually added.

It's a fictitious show. But (as a Devil's Advocate) can no one find mike or kurt's reactions, portrayed as a teenagers really that surprising or out of the realm of a possible reality? I see/read and hear infighting, back biting and the likes within the "loving" walls of the LGBTQ community LOTS of times. Do we all get along because we're gay? No! Is it right? No!

Most importantly do I agree with a teenage boy using the word "Tranny" in a derogatory way? No - it made me sad. Do I wish someone had been an advocate - for sure! But it's been made pretty clear that Kurt's character is a lone, "out" teenager who is bullied (next episode by a closeted bully) and has a gay community of one. The adults on that show are not on the ball or in control of their own moral compasses... how can they guide youth?

I'm not giving cuddos to the writers, I've seen other shit on that show that twists my nips but hopefully (for whoever keeps watching this show) things will change and the characters will grow up and have a more rounded view of who they are, where they belong in the world and how they relate to the people around them.

*EDIT* Read updated post. Calling out this type of behavior/writing/television and such for this type of behavior is good.  If these kind of things didn't get spoken/said on television then critiqued by the community, the dialogue wouldn't happen and everyone would still be cruising along in silence.

... my two cents.

Visit the FREE Lesbian Coloring pages at ~

Robin Rigby's picture

Interesting commentary from

Interesting commentary from GLAAD about the Ron Howard kerfuffle.  Kind of related.

Conlite's picture

Thanks for the link. 

Thanks for the link.  Interesting POV.

Robin Rigby's picture

Yeah.  I don't disagree with

Yeah.  I don't disagree with the POV expressed in that article but I also think that GLAAD is maybe becoming like PETA.  I'm sure PETA started out defending themselves from these same sorts of things back in the day with similar arguments.  I think there's a very narrow line & I agree with Susan Sarandon that with Glee they've crossed that line. 

SMBrown's picture

Disagree, regarding Glee.

Disagree, regarding Glee.  See below...

Robin Rigby's picture

Here's the part I agreed with

Here's the part I agreed with on that post- you have to have diversity in characters in fiction.  Without it, art ceases to exist.  So, there have to be assholes (like the bully who keeps shoving Kurt) and there have to be clueless teens like Mike using the word tranny (or Finn's behavior to Kurt last season or the boy's insensitivity to Bieste in this week's ep) on this show or no one would be watching it.  By virtue of the fact that this show exists and that it starts a dialogue it serves an important role in helping this behavior stop.  The writers aren't perfect, we've all complained about the lack of strong story on the show, but they're trying.  And for me, I fear that calling out Glee is once again cutting off our collective nose to spite our big, gay face. 

I wondered about that lyric change.  I read it as the characters caving to pressure from the principal or parents or something but wasn't sure and found it awkward. 

geek4grammar's picture

I called it!

I said to my friends before the ep was even over, "glee's gonna get it from GLAAD tomorrow." I agree w/ susan sarandon. glee has never used any queer words in derogatory ways; the fact that they use them at all is good for America, especially the parts where they don't hear queer words used in a normalizing context. I am a big defender of transgressive language used in the proper context...what connotes "the proper context" may be up for debate, but at heart is boils down to insulting vs. normalizing. glee is normalizing all different shades of queerness to middle america (we've got the obvious femmy gay boy, the sex-positive label-refusing bisexual girls, the gay parents, and don't get me started on quinn & rachel...). By opposing that, GLAAD is inadvertently allying themselves with right-wing anti-queer groups like focus on the family. derrrr...

We're all born naked. The rest is drag.
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)

SMBrown's picture

Glee has never used any queer

Glee has never used any queer words in derogatory ways...

Well, there's a first for everything, isn't there?  Kurt's use of 'tranny' was most definitely derogatory, but more importantly it's doubtful any viewers outside the LGBT community would have understood it as such since he was never called out on it.  No different in my book than a straight kid calling someone a faggot.  

Also, GLAAD is not 'opposing' Glee's normalizing of queerness, it's opposing trans-bashing--even if it comes from the gay community.  Does policing their own really ally them with right-wing anti-gay groups?

geek4grammar's picture

I didn't think it was derogatory...

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. It was mike's parents who were anti-tranny; mike himself (who is the one who actually said it) was pro-tranny. he wanted to do it. I just don't see how that's derogatory.

We're all born naked. The rest is drag.
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)

SMBrown's picture

The word 'tranny' is

The word 'tranny' is derogative, not his choice to play the character...

Conlite's picture

The Glee handling of a

The Glee handling of a transwoman in their play was very awkward, but it was supposed to be!  The point of the episode was about when pushing boundaries goes too far because its done for the wrong reasons.  Alternatively, the scriptwriters may have been trying to send the message that not all gay boys want to wear a dress and wig, in which case they need to improve their scriptwriting.

Also, should transgenderism really be seen as the step too far, when other members of the cast are struggling with the idea of running about in their underwear on stage?  On the other hand, portraying gay folk as moderately accepted while transfolk are still beyond the pale is (sadly) rather true to life.