Howard Witt
Washington City Paper


Re Richard Goldstein's "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Backlash" [September 18]: Lighten up. Yes, homosexuals are a persecuted minority. Yes, they are the butt of many jokes in cinema. Kevin Smith does indeed make jokes at the expense of said group. But within the same movie are jokes about blacks (Chris Rock's character is named Chaka), law officers, women, and many more I will not bother to mention.

A comedy by definition makes fun of people for the purpose of a joke—an easy laugh. If you look at Smith's track record you will see that he is one of the few directors out there who does show respect to homosexuals. His film Chasing Amy is a fine example. Jason Lee's awakening to his sexuality is a minor but important event in that film. Additionally, Smith's Green Arrow comic book (published by DC Comics) has a gay character who is portrayed as just another guy. His sexual preference is not a major issue, and is rarely mentioned. A comprehensive look at Smith's work clearly shows that he is not hateful toward any group.

Gene Hoyle
Greenville, South Carolina

Richard Goldstein replies: Anyone who sees Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back can attest to its obsession with homosexuality. As for Chasing Amy, any film that features a woman whose lesbianism stems from a traumatic relationship with a guy—and who ends up with a guy—is not pro-gay. It's a straight man's dyke film.


• In last week's article "For Whom the Bell Tolls," on the missing and dead in the World Trade Center attacks, John Hynes was mistakenly listed among those unaccounted for. The missing person is his brother, Thomas Hynes. The Voice regrets the error.

• The September 18 Voice cover photo, "The Bastards," was miscredited. The photo was taken by Todd Rengel.

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