'Last Man Standing' series premiere features a seemingly homophobic 'joke': Were you offended?


Image Credit: Peter Hopper Stone/ABC

To me, the series premiere of ABC’s new, Tim Allen-led sitcom Last Man Standing seemed simply annoying, what with its low-brow and overly testosterone-fueled humor. Macho jokes about what it means to be a man? Simply not my cup of tea, I thought. I was going to turn it off a few minutes in, but I kept watching half-heartedly until the show’s lead character Mike — played by Allen — uttered a “joke” somewhere near the end of the first half hour. And that’s when I lost it.

Let me set up the “joke” for you: During a conversation about his grandson’s daycare, Mike Baxter (Allen) laments that his daughter’s choice of schools is “hippie-hippie rainbow.” Fine, sure, it’s a stupid comment, but it gets worse. Mike’s daughter Kristin (Alexandra Krosney) explains to her dad that the teacher at this school “teaches sensitivity and tolerance.” Then comes Allen’s seemingly homophobic bomb: “I just don’t think your kid should go to that school,” his character Mike says, filled with disdain. “You know how that ends up: Boyd dancing on a float.”

I’ll reiterate the offensive part: “You know how that ends up: Boyd dancing on a float,” said with total disgust, as if a boy dancing on a parade float is an unacceptable, bad thing. My response: Huh? How is a boy dancing on a parade float anything but a joyful thing?

It’s hard not to look at this as a blatantly homophobic jab at gay pride parades, a rite of passage for the LGBT community during the summer months, when we celebrate being out and proud and rally for the same civil rights that everyone else has. (It’s true: We’re still second-class citizens in many ways, but this is not the time or place for that discussion.)

And, also, yes, in reference to the specifics from the “joke”: This is also a time when people — boys, girls, and all of those in between — tend to dance on floats in big ol’ gay parades, loaded with feather boas, sequins, and all other types of ridiculous decoration. Fortunately or unfortunately for us, it’s an image you’re likely familiar with. And, what can I say in defense of that? It happens. I’m not here to debate the merits of such activities. I’m here to defend such activities being denigrated by a mainstream comedian. I’m sorry Tim Allen, but the gay community — and our pride parades — are not your punching bag. What would be so wrong if little Boyd grew up, put on a Speedo, and danced on a float in a gay pride parade?

What’s most dangerous about this “joke,” however, is how it might affect younger TV watchers who are currently questioning their sexuality. They hear on a supposed “family” sitcom that dancing on floats is, for some reason, bad, and they could begin to believe that being gay is frowned upon in our society. That line of thinking may only push those young adults further in to the closet. To say that there’s something wrong with dancing on a float suggests, too, that there’s something wrong with the reason — because he or she is gay — that a person would be doing it. And that’s just offensive and irresponsible.

I kept thinking that there was a slim chance here that I’m grossly overreacting, but I polled a few of my gay pals before writing this to check whether I was having a knee-jerk response to something trivial. They said: No. A wise person I know once told me to never apologize for my feelings, and in this case, I feel offended. And a little mad. And, honestly, totally sad that such a “joke” — as harmless as you may have found it — made it into the script of a high-profile show on a major broadcast network with insanely huge reach. Truly, there are a host of other problems with this ABC sitcom — and Tim Allen is very clearly aware of that — but this is the one that’s blatantly damaging and hurtful to the gay community.

When I reached out to ABC for comment on the joke, they pointed out that Allen addressed it at this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour in August. “Are you going to leave that joke in there?” a journalist asked Allen, in front of a room of reporters. “It seems like a gay joke that maybe doesn’t need to be in the pilot.” Allen responded with a rather lengthy answer, but, in short said: “I think it’s a funny joke, and I don’t think the intent wasn’t to offend anybody. So I think the network will probably leave it in there.”

About the content of the joke specifically, Allen continued: “It’s meant to be some guy’s perspective about how his view of softness will go to dancing on a float… We can safely hide behind, ‘What are you talking about? A lot of people dance on floats. Haven’t you seen the Macy’s Parade?’ Now, obviously, if you go to Santa Monica Boulevard, it’s a different kind of float.” (Just for a little perspective, Santa Monica Boulevard is the street that cuts through the heart of Los Angeles’ gay community, West Hollywood, and is the same street that hosts the city’s gay pride parade every year.) “It wasn’t meant to be offensive,” Allen added. “It was meant to be a reflection on this guy’s limited perspective.”

Even considering that explanation from Allen, I know I can’t be alone in how I feel. Who else was offended?

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
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Comments (737 total) Add your comment
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  • House

    No, didnt watch it. He isnt funny never was…Id rather watch paint dry.

    • Tim

      I thought people stopped being offended by TV characters after Archie Buncker.

      • Magie

        Archie bunker was satire, a take down of the ignorance the character possessed. I don’t it this was satire, the butt of the joke wasn’t Tim’s stupid idea’s but a school turning a boy gay (not possible but) and was in poor taste.

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        Same here.

      • Wayne

        I agree with the Archie Bunker reference which was what came to my mind when I read this. I did not watch the show but what would matter would be the other comments and reactions of the other characters after he said this. If they gave him a look of “you are being ridiculous and ignorant” then it is in that fine tradition of Archie Bunker social commentary.

      • saline

        Wow, you really had to dig far to make that offensive.

      • haha

        What the heck did Magie say?? It’s mumble jumble.

      • Joe

        It isn’t just “this one joke”. It’s the fact that ANYTIME a gay slur or dig is thrown in as an attempt at humour, it needs to be called out. If it isn’t, then it continues and it’s the accumulation that leads to the negative attitude. Basically, it is NOT okay to make harmful or disparaging remarks about ANY group that has struggled for acceptance and then justify it as “just a joke”. It’s not. To those who reply, “Oh, get a life!” – that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing – I am making this comment in an effort to help make my life free of discrimination and hate. That’s the life I’m getting!

      • bill

        my sisters friend makes $50 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her cheque was $6200 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it here CashHa r d.cÒm

      • rerun

        This article was kinda…gay.

      • Matt

        If you didn’t like the comment, don’t watch the show anymore. We can’t be up in arms about every little thing said in jest about race/religion/sexual orientation/whatever. They are jokes and if you can’t take them, watch drama. Leave comedy alone if you can’t take a joke.

      • Jason C.

        I didn’t watch the show because I don’t like Tim Allen, but this is ridiculous! Do you know how many older men who think of themselves as men’s men would say the same thing?! I could hear this coming out of my dad’s mouth. You’re meant to laugh, not at the time, but at the characters stupidity. Why does everything have to be so Politically Correct nowadays when it comes to entertainment? If you don’t like it don’t watch it, don’t play the watchdog expecting everything to conform to your ideal of what the world should be…

      • Mick

        I can’t remember ever being offended by a TV show before. That’s why Tim Allen’s comment caught me so off guard. It clearly meant that Tim’s character thought that being gay was bad and he didn’t want his grandson to be gay.

        This is the kind of joke I would have expected 10 or 20 years ago.

        As the asshole Matt above suggests, I just won’t watch the show. But that doesn’t mean people can comment on something they find offensive.

        I don’t think this comment will go unanswered. I think Tim Allen is going to be forced to apologize, and he should. Fast.

      • James

        I’m pretty sure the LGBT consortium/conspiracy was fuming with rage when one of the characters called Glee dumb and Allen responded with “What’s Glee?”. Hence this pointless article.

        And the way I see it, why would any parent want their kid to be gay? Think about it, there’ll always be biased people in this world, and your kid being gay means he/she will be picked on/ostracized for his/her whole life.

      • Sarah O

        The sad thing is that a show like “All in the Family” would NEVER get on the air today because so many different groups would be offended and demand apologies every week. It’s sad to me that a network character is not allowed to have a point of view anymore except the politically correct, accepted one. It’s fiction, and it’s a realistic character, as much as that distresses people.

      • maggie

        Archie Bunker was clearly meant to be laughed AT. We are supposed to laugh WITH Tim Allen’s character Mike. That’s the difference.
        Tim Allen has the right to do whatever jokes he wants. But people have the right to react to them whatever way they want.

      • Jess

        I completely agree with Jason C. most men in Tim Allen’s age group or the age groupe that he’s portraying would say the same thing or something similar. I didn’t watch the show but I think people need to stop being so sensitive, if something offends you, don’t watch it. With cable the way it is I think most people have numerous options during the same hour!

      • kiki

        Magie, I completely agree with you. Additionally, the only way expressinng the character’s “limited perspective” would have been appropriate was if his comment was a set up for the other characters to deliver counterpoints to broaden his very narrow mind.

      • JimC

        You are exactly right. Its a stupid TV show. You politically correct boneheads might want to take a few minutes to extract your craniums from your anus and move along.

      • Acaseofgeo

        Tanner, I don’t know what “Gay Planet’ YOU live on, but in MY “Gay Planet”, dancing on a float in a gay pride parade has NEVER been a “RIGHT OF PASSAGE”. Many of us have NEVER even marched in the parade that celebrates and rallies for equal rights. I’m not so offended by the joke. It’s kinda borderline, but its entirely in Mr. Allen’s right and his character’s right to not want his grandchild dancing on a parade float. Being wise means “picking your battles” and I’m not sure this is a good battle to rally the cry for.

      • Nj david

        I agree with Wayne. How did the others react? I am gay but I just can’t get worked up about it. We’ve become so pc, everything offends someone. If you don’t like the show don’t watch.

      • Sweet potato

        Tanner, were you offended because you are gay? If so then you really need to grow some thicker skin if this comment offended your sensibilities. This article was a complete over reaction to the supposed “slur” as immediately the daughter said “and what’s wrong with that?.” The point was they were trying to establish the character as basically an old school, opinionated guy. You may not have liked it, but it went far to show where the guy is coming from so later on in the series maybe we will see some actual growth from Allen’s character. For crying out loud, grow a pair.

      • Rowzdower

        While not offended (as a gay man). I thought the ‘joke’ was lame and worse, just plain lazy.

    • econruth

      What’s wrong with sending your kid to a school where they practice senstivity and tolerance? I was more offended by Tim Allen’s character putting these qualities down and actually kind of proud that at least his moron equated gay with such great values. I’d want my kids to go to that school in a heart beat!

      • David

        Gays will find anything to raise a stick and take offense. WHO CARES?! I’m so sick of reading crap stories about this group taking offense to that and that group taking offense to this. If an entire show was based around someone talking crap about gays that’s one thing, but a subtle comment? Come on… Ppl need to get a life instead of over analyzing absolutely everything in the name of equality.

      • Kerri

        I agree with David. Everywhere you turn there’s going to be something to get “offended” by. Just live your life the best you can and stop worrying about it. Not everyone in life is out to get you.

      • Meg

        Completely agree with you David and Kerri. It’s not that serious people, get over it!

      • stu

        well Meg…y don’t u Kerri & Davey go jump off a cliff hand in hand.

      • Polly

        Yep, get over it, Intolerance toward intolerance is just hypocrisy!!!

      • CC

        And yet David, Kerri, & Meg all felt the need to click on the headline and comment on the board.

      • L

        While David is probably a Grade A a**hole, I have to agree… That line was certainly not enough to get this upset over. I have campaigned and rallied for same sex marriages, but seriously, pick your battles. Getting tired of reading whiney articles on here about one stupid line or joke that was meant for the solitary please of the exact people you described at first, low brow baby boomers.

      • Jason C.

        I know I clicked on the headline because I expected to read that something really offensive happened on the show, this isn’t offensive! So many people expect movies and TV shows to conform to their ideal of what the world should be expecting everything to be politically correct. And it’s not just gay people either, people got up in arms over Tarantino’s use of the N-word in Pulp Fiction, over Robert Downey Jr. saying retard in Tropic Thunder, etc. I think all of it is stupid. Why does everything have to be so PC?

      • Mick

        I don’t think the comment was subtle. I thought it was shockingly blatant. Despite what several of the people above seem to think, it’s not OK to denigrate gay people anymore, no matter how much you want too.

        Imagine if the joke had been “you don’t want you kid ending up praying towards Mecca”

        The joke wasn’t meant to spotlight the character’s stupidity. It was meant to communicate his intolerance of gays.

        I understand that intolerance of gays isn’t a big deal to Dave and Kerri and Meg. That’s why we gays have to stick up for ourselves.

      • D

        I really don’t see why this joke warranted this kind-of a response. David’s gross generalization is more upsetting that the Allen joke.

      • Matt

        David, Kerri and Meg, I think you all miss the point. You’re not offended by it because (I’m assuming) you’re not gay. The offense here is that it’s a joke at the expense of a group of people, one that’s been pretty oppressed. If the joke had been about sending the kid to a school in the city, and something about it turning out with him as a gang-banger, would that not be offensive?

        Now – that said, I haven’t seen the show. And the point of this character may very well be that he’s a crotchety, out of touch old guy, and the joke is kind of that he’s a buffoon. In which case, it’s more satire than something to take offense at. It all depends on how it’s presented in the show.

      • booski

        I’m fat and I don’t cry and write whiny articles every time fat people get made fun of on television. It’s a joke, you probably laugh when jokes are made about other people. You just have skin that is too thin to allow yourself to laugh at… well, yourself. Lighten up people.

      • The Pittsburgh Kid

        I’m just happy network TV is finally getting the stick outta its behind. Two Broke Girls is a little edgy and apparently Tim Allen said a very un-PR joke, good.

        Laugh at it, then it will become less of an issue.

      • Hannah

        If people weren’t still dying over this, David, then it wouldn’t be a problem. But they are.

      • Sherrip

        I’m a Mormon and commonly the butt of the joke on several TV series, from as old as Cheers to many more recently. Do you see us up in arms everytime someone makes a joke? No, you don’t, because we can take a joke, even mean spiritedly, which is what most of them are. Relax, it’s like all of the sudden you think you are the only ones getting crap and everybody should walk on eggshells around you. It’s like Lady Gaga, the only way she could surprise someone now is if she acted like a normal human being.

      • Kate

        @Polly, actually intolerance of intolerance makes perfect sense. People who advocate for tolerance believe that people should never be judged or criticized based on things that are out of their control – gender, race, sexual orientation (unless you’re one of those who think the jury’s still out on science). Intolerance is an active choice. Ergo, tolerant people feel no need to be tolerant of willingly closed-minded people.

        I don’t find it overly offensive, but I’m not gay. Little annoys me more than people talking about what they don’t understand. We can’t know what that joke was like for the gay community, so I’m not willing to say this article is overreacting. I bet they feel a lot like I feel when someone tells a sexist joke and then some guy in the group tells me to lighten up. Easy to say when you’ve never dealt with the discrimination.

      • ROY

        Many good comments and some startlingly ignorant ones. The ignorant ones were those that missed the point about how such a joke might affect ayoung person’s image and thoughts about him/her self. Most of the comments were only thinking of themselves Like”oh you cann’t take a joke,”Get over it..” “Don’t be so politically correct” is in and of itself offensive since it really means “I agree with what was said or done”. This factual analysis became evident when I taught WORKFORCE DIVERSITY FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. In most cases when a participant said “why do we have to be so ‘politically correct’ really meant I don’t want to stop calling people racial, gender, ethnic slurs.

      • Sam

        Mick, you say – The joke wasn’t meant to spotlight the character’s stupidity. It was meant to communicate his intolerance of gays – and you were offended by this ‘joke’? So a fictional character made a ‘joke’ you were offended by… Ok, so what, it’s a show about a fictional character who has an intolerance for gays. Whoopee. Why be offended? I was molested and don’t get offended watching shows where fictional characters molest someone. I think murder is wrong and don’t get all offended when I see a fictional character murder someone in a show. Now, I’ve never seen this show and probably won’t watch it, but who says people can’t enjoy a show that has a fictional character in it that they don’t see eye to eye with? There are countless things in our society that are wrong, but it’s not wrong to watch a show about it, or to make a show that has a backwards thinking character in it.

        And Roy, it’s funny, I was thinking “why do we have to be so ‘politically correct'” and I do not call people racial, gender, or ethnic slurs…. How about that? I wouldn’t agree with what was said when confronted by a person saying it, but when it’s in a show, movie, whatever, I really don’t care. That’s the character. Love him, hate him, doesn’t matter. If people don’t like it, don’t watch it.

      • Mick

        Sam, none of your examples are similar to what I mentioned.

        Seeing a murder on a show is different than seeing the protagonist of a show advocate for murder as an option. Seeing someone molested on a show is different from seeing the protagonist on a show say that molesting children is OK.

        I can tolerate depictions of anti-gay characters. I see them all the time. What surprised me about this instance was the main character of a family show basically saying that he didn’t want his grandson to be gay because being gay is bad.

        I don’t have any problem saying that I’m offended by jokes that claim that being gay is bad. That’s not the kind of family TV I want my family watching.

        I agree with you that if I don’t like I shouldn’t watch, but that doesn’t mean I also can’t speak out about something that I find unacceptable.

    • Carrol

      Shut up you old queens

      • Dominic

        No. Don’t shut up, especially when idiots use slurs to try and shout you down.

      • shermango

        Thank you Carol. I think everyone is getting too sensitive about television sitcoms. The second half of that word is short for ‘comedy’ duh. I feel like maybe AA would be offended by how many times his wife went to the wine glass.

      • Tess Tickles

        I was offended by Tim Allen playing hide the salami with Jonathan Taylor Thomas

      • stu

        i bet u were alone on VD Carrol.

      • Steve

        You gays need to stop gettin’ your panties in a bunch every time somebody makes a joke about something being gay. Get over it…we’re all different, you don’t like the show because the male character isn’t gay and doesn’t understand gays…don’t frickin watch it, just like I choose not to watch shows with gay characters in them. Which is becoming increasingly difficult because every new show has to have a gay character or you queens will come out in droves claiming your being discriminated against.

      • Kate

        Oh Steve, yes. Not having a gay character is exactly the same as actively deriding the gay community. There’s a difference between indifference (which is what you speak of) and sneering at a lifestyle.

    • glenn

      I watched the first episode of this show last night. Tim Allen was not funny at all. This show will be cancelled pretty fast.

      • Same

        Exactly. While I understand the author’s concern over the joke, I have to say, I don’t think too many kids are being influenced by Tim Allen. If anything, they probably disagree BECAUSE Tim Allen thinks it. For all we know Tim’s character will have to deal with this at some point in the show and they are setting it up here. I think it’s important to acknowledge these comments and talk about them, but I don’t think it’s cause for outrage.

    • stu

      he came back to tv cuz no 1 went to his movies.

      • Peter

        A) TV careers are largely better than movie careers these days

        B) Ever hear of the Toy Story series? The man’s GRANDKIDS never have to work again.

      • Deke

        @Peter: I was thinking the same thing. With the “Toy Story” movies, Tim Allen probably banked more cash than his grandchildren’s grandchildren could ever possibly spend.

      • dfaz59

        Grow a pair of real-man ‘nads……………… just sayin

      • @dfaz59

        NO THEY DIDN”T!
        just sayin’

      • Kate

        Yeah Toy Story. He got into that franchise early. What else has he done… Wild Hogs, the Shaggy Dog, Christmas with the Kranks, Santa Clause 3… I think it’s fair to say that no one’s going to his movies, unless it is produced by Pixar.

      • Sean

        The Santa Clause Franchise has grossed almost half a BILLION dollars. The Toy Story Franshise almost 2 BILLION dollars. Wild Hogs made 1/4 of a Billion. Yeah, nobody sees Tim Allen Movies.

    • Chester

      I did not see the show, but from the description, I thought that Allen & Co. might have been trying to pull off an Archie Bunker moment and apparently failed at it. Norman Lear & Carroll O’Conner were geniuses in that regard. Allen is not in their league.

    • hy

      I am pretty sure Tanner has sucked a few too many.

      • F*ck U F@gs

        He’s probably taken a few too many up his poop chute as well.

      • jennie

        HAHAHAH. I’m gay and that is funny.

    • Brock

      Grow up Tanner. Just grow up.

      • mark

        I didn’t watch the show but from reading the comment I don’t think it was meant as a Hate comment. If he said something like, boyd gets beaten up behind the school, that is offensive. The thing that gets me about the gay community is that they don’t like it when they are portayed in movies tv etc as a stereotype or in a manner that is offensive, however, this stereotype it perpetuated everytime there is a parade and men walk around in thongs and feather headdresses. I don’t agree that any person, whether it be sexual orientation, age or race should be harmed by another, but there is a line between what is offensive and what is portrayed as ignorance. Tim Allen’s character is old and from a different generation. My dad still refers to African Americans as colored, but he means no offense by it at all, it is just his generation. before you get all upset over something think about what is really being said

    • ArkieTex

      REALLY? I mean, really? Did you run out of things to write about. Mild comment compared to others. I agree, being offended by a remark went out with Archie Bunker…I suggest you simply turn off that TV. You really do not need to be watching anything in your frame of mind. Just saying!

    • So What?

      So what? The line was completely correct. None of this sort of “entertainment” will exist once President-Elect Mitt Romney is in charge come January of 2013. First he will imprison the One-Term criminal from Chicago, and then he will sanctify the networks. You just watch!

    • B

      hey Tanner, stop being such a f a g g o t.

    • Annette

      Offended in every way! Totally not right and my dad looked at me and said his character should not have said what he said! It was just way out of line and the show is so unfunny it’s sad. The comedy exists in another time for one! My dad happens to be the same age as Tim Allen and thought that these hateful words should not be preached to anyone! The point is it did not have to go their!

      • Charlie Harper’s Ghost

        @Annette – you cannot be serious? If you ad your “Dad” were watching this show together (which should be examined closer), and became that enraged over a simple attempt at humor — well, one of two things is possible; either your “Dad” is a raging queen, or, you’re of limited intelligence. In any event, you both need to get a life, because there’s a lot more nasty waiting for you on the outside.

        Oh, it’s spelled “there” not “their”…

      • Lyndsey

        While I think Annette’s comment was ridiculous, what the heck is wrong with watching a TV show with your dad??! Ever since my dad introduced me to Breaking Bad 3 years ago he usually comes over to my house to watch it!!

      • Squishmar

        My dad lives 3,000 miles away but he called me last year and told me I needed to watch “Fringe” if I missed “Lost.” He’s been ordering the seasons from Netflix and loves the show. Last week, I finally got around to starting it online. I’ve watched 12 episodes now and it’s fun. I WISH I could be in the same room with my dad to watch them together.

    • Tom

      This article is EXACTLY why I stopped my subscription to your magazine. It was just a joke!. The same people that would happily bash sarah Palin or conservative and think it is soooo funny. Dang both sides need to be able to take a joke now and then. Tim is right there is an oversensitivty of america

    • Far-stretch

      Geez-us! People need to lighten up! This PC BS is going to destroy this Country. YES, it IS offensive & WRONG for a “real” man to be/act effeminate, period!

      The gays were not happy with only being accepted, now they think they need to force their agenda on everyone else, typical Liberal mind set.

      Gay parades, just a bunch of pervs…swishing around in womens clothes WTH cares to see that circus??

    • Gypzyjedi

      Amen. Tim Allen is not funny. Home Improvement sucked, this one blows too. I saw half an episode, couldn’t get pass the Tim Allen headache. Took a nap instead. Nice nap.

    • Rowzdower

      While as a gay man, I was not offended I thought the ‘joke’ was lame and worse, just plain lazy.

    • Jordan

      In sure you would be raising the same stink if someone cracked a religious joke, right?

  • pv

    Thank you for posting this and calling out the show on this “joke”.

    I’ve not seen the show, but I really appreciate how forward EW has been in regards to lgbtqiaf issues.

    • Anna

      What are A and F in the acronym?

      • Lincoln

        Aliens and Freaks

      • good question

        intersex and asexual

      • good question

        i’ve also seen it as intersex and allied friends .. which is what the f could stand for besides the obvious.

      • David

        a*nal f*uc*king

      • Squishmar

        What the hell? My comment got deleted? Since when does EW monitor their boards? LOL Anyway, I was hoping “pv” could fill us in on what the initials mean… qiaf. I’m curious about this acronym I’ve never seen.

    • tgh

      There are a lot of shows that have made racist and prejudicial comments for laughs (The Office – UK, USA, Modern Family, All in the Family, Married with Children, Mash, etc.); But they are done in a way to show the absurdity of that perspective. It doesn’t sound like Allen was successful at doing that tonight but his explaination does make it seem like that was his intent.

      This type of humour is most likely lost on youth, but so is stuff on 30 Rock, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Community, Modern Family, and lots of other, more popular shows… I feel like your concern is that Tim Allen isn’t being honest when he says that the joke isn’t meant to be homophobic and the crowd that watches Tim Allen doesn’t care if it is or not.

      • T H

        You are probably right, the majority of people don’t walk around with an “I get offended” magnet. It’s a comedy and the best part is, if you didn’t like it, you can change the channel. No one forced anyone to watch it.

      • Dusty

        I did watch the show last night, and I remember that line, & I’m pretty sure that his daughter immediately followed up with “and why would that be a bad thing?” Which, to me, makes it seem like they were actually trying to show that he is a flawed character with a “limited perspective” as Tim Allen put it. I do not think they painted it as the “right” way to think. From what I recall, he made other comments during the premiere that were from a “macho” perspective, which I think is part of the show’s humor- playing his somewhat narrow-minded macho view against the house full of women.

  • barock

    Only weak minded people go through life being offended.

    • Meg

      And only d-bags go through life saying crap like that.

      • Cee

        Awww Meg…got your panties in a bunch?

      • P

        In the wise words of Peter Griffin “shut up Meg.”

      • barock

        Case closed

      • TheIntersect

        P is the winner.

      • Betty

        It would have been funnier had he said, “Shut up Ron”. Get it? hahahahaha

      • L

        P FTW

      • Jordan

        Meg the moron!

    • Who cares

      Couldn’t say it better myself!!!!!!

    • drew

      That’s exactly what is wrong with the world, comments like that.

    • Garrett

      Great comment!

    • yy

      Tanner’s (the writer) farts have been silent since he spent the night in bed with his gay uncle.

  • Ray

    Well of course it offended u bc ure gay what were we expecting

    • Jesse

      I was certainly expecting some ignorant a-hole to say exactly what you said. Thanks for living up to expectations, kiddo.

      • Ray

        So says the guy who takes it up the a-hole.

      • Bobby

        Jesse, please chill out. You’re being a big ol’ queer about this.

      • Amy

        Yeah. I counted exactly seven posts until someone said “This post is gay.” Why do people feel the urge to say things like that? If you’re going to comment on a board, say something interesting, useful or insightful. And if you’re going to be offensive, don’t use the oldest line in the book.

    • MarcDom7

      I’m not gay, and I found it offensive.

      • Bill

        Sure your not, your boyfriend is.

      • Bobby

        Nice burn Bill.

    • tiny

      Nice attempt at forming a sentence there Ray.

  • caryn c

    I agree that the joke is unfunny and spreads a hateful view which is unnecessary for a comedy with stupid Tim Allen.

  • Nick

    Total overreaction. A father/grandfather can be disappointed in having an artistic and flamboyant (or gay according to your definition apparently) just like a father/grandfather can be disappointed for having a plumber instead of a lawyer or any number of disappointments. This felt like a reflection of a desire to have a manly grandson which is a totally real feeling for many dads out there. Only a pessimistic view looks at it so harshly. It’s tim Allen…lighten up.

    • DDT

      Well said!

    • lisa g

      Right on.

      • brian

        Fully agree!

    • Eric

      Beautifully stated!

    • Ilaria

      It is an overreaction, it’s not a funny joke and it could have been avoided but writers and producers might even want to show a sexist and homophobic character on tv without fear of the actor having no job ever after.

    • Matt

      You said what I was thinking, but in such a better way.

    • Dominic

      Except I can choose to be a plumber…and no one ever beat me up and called me queer because of a career choice.

    • Ronny

      Thats stupid. You choose to become a plumer, fireman or whatever. You dont choose to be gay.

      • Lala

        You can choose to dance on a float too. Doesn’t make you gay btw.

      • Mick

        Lala, you seem to have missed the fact that “dancing on a float” is code for “gay”

      • Clif

        I don’t think Ferris Beuler was gay.

      • Scott

        +1 for Clif’s comment

      • whatevs

        You don’t choose any of your desires, whether it’s sexual partners or career choice. You can choose to be a doctor who actually wants to be a plumber just like you can choose to date women but actually be gay. Same thing.

      • Lala

        Oh no, I certainly didn’t miss that. I was just saying that not everything is what it seems and don’t judge people on that.

      • Jordan


    • Ronny

      PlumBer ofcourse.

      • Jordan

        “You don’t choose any of your desires”. What’s your point? What about a person with a desire to gay bash?

    • Fingerlakes Dave

      1) It’s one gag in the whole hour, not the whole hour.
      2) The “mother” put down the the concept being presented.
      3) IT’S ALL FICTION! Lighten up people!
      Are people today really so “thin skinned” that THIS bothers them?
      Hell, I used to get picked on, physically and verbally. All I had to do was be a geek.

    • Brandon

      Um, totally not the same thing. Being disappointed that you don’t have a doctor, lawyer, Harvard grad, etc. for a son is a totally different set of feeings. That kind of disappointment won’t incite calls of bigotry/homophobia. Your argument also perpetuates the notion that manly = good, feminine = bad. I’m guessing if you had ever been the victim of such ignorance you would probably be more sympathetic. A parent should be happy with their child regardless – gay or straight. If not, it just shows how close-minded, selfish and lacking in confidence said parents really are.

    • Megan

      Agreed–this is a complete overreaction. In fact, the writer’s response to this single joke probably even perpetuates the joke further because of his sensitivity to the comment. Furthermore, as I believe someone said earlier in the thread, some people aren’t as accepting and open-minded as others want them to be; the joke is funny because real people are like that. For someone preaching tolerance, apparently tolerance does not include people with their own beliefs that don’t follow society’s expectations that you must treat certain topics positively and with kid gloves.

    • kt

      Exactly Nick! Thank you!

    • kate middleton

      Agreed. Definitely a little too sensitive there….

    • Vince from NYC

      I have to agree with Nick also. While I have friends and neigbors who are gay, and have no apparent problem with gay people at all, If you were to ask me, I’d perfer my son was streight. Not that I won’t accept him if he was gay, however I dream of male bonding through sports, cars and advice about woman. If he turns out gay and loves musicals and men there isn’t much I’d have in common with him.

      • Meg

        I’m pretty sure gay men can enjoy sports and cars. ;) You might also have a straight son who didn’t care about those things. The fact is, your son is your son. I’m sure you’d find things in common, and you’d love him enough that you could probably re-define your vision of male bonding if you had to, whether he was gay or straight. There’s no reason to stereotype “male” vs. “gay” interests. That, to me, is one of the problems with the existence of this type of show. The assumption that certain activities/behaviors are inherently “manly,” or that only certain people like or should do certain things, doesn’t really help anyone, gay, straight, male, or female.

      • Conrad

        @Vince: Don’t worry. Plenty of gay guys enjoy sports and cars. The number of gay guys in Major League Baseball is higher than in most sports. (Yes, I do know from personal experience — and I liked it.)

      • maggie

        @Vince, Don’t assume that if you have a gay son that you won’t have anything in common. I work with a gay man who restores cars as a hobby. He and his dad also built his house. The 2 of them did all the plumbing, framing, electrical, drywall, etc., everything. He also is a big football fan.

    • Tia

      I agree. Well said.

    • Opine

      Wonderful! That’s what I wanted to say! I will add that if you have to point out and explain why a joke is offensive, then you are over reacting. You brought more attention to this than it deserved by writing this article.
      I am not gay – those of you that are: do you really feel properly represented by the parades referenced above? Do you want your children behaving that way? Call me what you will (this is EW after all) but I am sincerly curious.

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        Thanks. Needed to be said.

      • kate middleton

        Very good point – way too much explanation about why we should be offended in this article above.

        And is it really a “rite of passage” to dance on a float in a gay pride parade, as Tanner states above? Serious question – I mean I get that it might be for some people, but a rite of passage indicates something universal.

    • Kat

      *ideal character trait, pardon me.

    • Mick

      It’s easy for a bunch of straight people to say “lighten up” when they’ve never been beaten up for walking down the street.

      Words have power. Tim Allen’s words say the being gay is bad. This is a family show, kids watch. Now those kids have just heard the star of a TV show say that being gay is bad.

      I’m not going to lighten up about it.

      • charlie

        Mick, you weren’t beaten up for “walking” down the street. You were flitting and you should have been beaten up because you chose to walk that way.

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        No one should be beaten up for how they walk. It’s a free country.
        Personally, I’ve been beaten up just for being a geek (stated above). Either way, violence is violence.
        This one joke, and the response to it, has probably done more to get this show free publicity than any tame joke would have. It’s like with &^% my Dad Says!. Now people will tune in just to see what new “stuff” they can come up with.
        If there had been a lesser outcry, lesser publicity, the show goes away….. hhmmmmmmmm

      • Jane

        You say that words have p

    • Steve

      Thank you. You said it even better than I did! The only people that want their kids to grow up gay is gay people. Just like farmers want their kids to be farmers and straight people want their kids to be straight. Just like Baptists want their kids to marry Baptists and Muslims want their kids to marry Muslims. You want to talk tolerance. TOLERATE, THAT!!

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        Buy a clue

      • Domenic

        All you liberal ass****s should have grown up in the sixties between Lenny Bruce and FBI Hoover your heads would have blown up. No body gives s**t if your gay or straight when we can laugh at ourselves we can disarm anything.

      • Domenic

        Steve you could not be more on point.

      • landonewts

        Your comment is not “spot on,” it’s reductive and ignorant. Many parents just give their kids the best upbringing, education and survival tools they can, and then just watch in awe as their kid becomes their own person.

        I’m gay, and when my kid grows up I just want him to be a happy, well-adjusted human who thinks for himself. As long as he is honest and happy and compassionate – and yes, tolerant – I’ll feel good.

        Tolerate THAT.

  • Ford

    I too found it offensive.It also shocked me that this joke is on an ABC sitcom,considering how “gay friendly” Disney is!I just tried to tell myself that maybe both Tim Allen and his character are Jackasses! He is a boob for knowing something is offensive and leaving it in there.That means he finds it funny.Excuse is gone!

    • DB

      i wouldn’t say disney was ever gay friendly (ABC Family is still obligated to air the hateful ranting of The 700 Club). however, there is a reason why this stinky poo is not part of ABC’s blockbuster Wednesday sitcom night. it’s obvious that even they didn’t think it was quality enough to pair with their other family comedies (or could it be the unfunny laugh track…) either way, it’s not gonna be on air for long.

      • kate middleton

        Not really. ABC needed to launch a new comedy night and saw Tim Allen as their anchor that would bring in ratings. They already rotate stuff on Wednesdays (Happy Endings/Cougar Town), and needed to launch another night.

  • drew

    Not an overreaction at all. I now wait for the cancellation of this already sexist and unoriginal show.

    • jbinminot

      YES! Cancel any show that doesn’t reflect your worldview!

      • pastafarian

        how about cancel it cuz it’s trite and unfunny?

      • drew

        Seriously? World view? Its about being respectful of difference. In the year 2011, main network television shows shouldn’t make homophobic jokes just like it shouldn’t make racist shows. Get with it.

  • Sally

    I thought it was an Archie Bunker type joke. His character made another right leaning comment and I just threw this one in the same category. I didn’t like it, but i considered it a device to cause conflict in the family.

    • TV_Pete

      I think that is the context of the joke. While his character is attempting to be funny, the not-so-sensitive types will realize that his lack of respect for these positive traits is where the real humor lies.

      • Bobby’s Robot

        “gay panic” jokes are the most tired, stale and agrressively UNfunny type of humor there is.

  • Jacob

    Wow. If young, questioning kids are taking life advice from a mediocre ABC sitcom starring Tim Allen, then I think the world has more problems than an offensive joke that most folks will forget in less than a day.

    • steph


  • Firecat

    The character doesn’t like gays and muslims, so it should appeal to a large segment of the population.

  • Canadian

    I’m gay. That joke is not funny. But that joke on that show will have zero impact on any young person unsure of their sexuality compared to all the negativity he/she will receive from the real world.

    • CM

      Exactly! If one little joke is going to cause this muchof a problem, they are in for a rude awakening.

    • kate middleton

      That’s a really good point.

    • sj

      canadian…if a person is unsure of their sexuality does that mean that its choice???

      • kate middleton

        I don’t think that’s what Canadian means. Unsure as in confused about their sexuality.

  • Darrin

    Are we to the point where no TV character can ever say anything that might be viewed as even mildly offensive to a certain group? I think Tim Allen made a good point in his explanation – it was his CHARACTER’s reaction, and from what I’ve read, his character is a mid-50s man trying to hold on to some sort of self-perceived manly-man attitude in a changed world. Was the joke funny or is the show any good? Probably not. I’ll bet Sue Sylvester on the very pro-gay Glee has said way more hurtful things, with hurtful intent, directly to other characters, but has there ever been an outrage over that? Does that show get a free pass? And, is there no longer room on TV for an Archie Bunker or Andy Sipowicz?

    • jbinminot

      Norman Lear would be crucified for All in the Family today (unless he attacks Christians)

      • Eyerolllllllllllllllllllllllll.

        yeah, cuz all those jokes about christians we hear all the time always get ignored by the “lamestream media”.

    • ryan

      Totally agree Darrin!

    • brian

      Great point about Glee… That show seems to get a free pass on Sue’s over the top comments. She’s always making crass comments about the gay kid and the overweight girl. But because the show ends by celebrating those kids, I suppose it’s ok? Not sure how I feel about that. But I think Tim’s explanation is bang on. This is a reflection of a character who has conservative and old fashion views. But as a father of a teenage parent, he’s also clearly very open minded. Give this a pass people, there are bigger fish to fry in life.

      PS. I was surprised that I liked the show. A little fine tuning and it could be a keeper.

      • veronica

        I think the difference with Glee is that Sue is the villain. She’s supposed to come across as over the top and offensive, and the viewer is supposed to know that her views are kind of ridiculous, whereas Tim Allen’s character is (I’m assuming) the protagonist you’re supposed to root for.

      • Sue1

        Tim Taylor grew a great deal as a husband , father and a man on Home Improvement, and I think that might be the goal here. We are supposed to root for Mike Baxter to change his views.

      • Amy

        Glee doesn’t get a free pass at all. It’s offensive on so many levels, and it’s all the more irritating that they’re posing as the epitome of tolerance. I could seriously rant about this, but I won’t. And speaking of which, I’d love EW to write a blog on Glee and its hypocrisy.

    • Fingerlakes Dave

      Well said.

    • Brandon

      You make a good point, but if you’re going to poke fun at one segment – be an equal-opportunist. If the tables had been turned and Tim Allen did not want his kid to go to a “black” school – the joke would have never made air.

      • Mike

        Precisely. Yes, it does seem petty to call out the anti-gay jokes, but if we won’t allow black or jewish jokes, why is this OK?

      • randi

        The two struggles are similar in some respects (acceptance, civil rights) but overall they are mostly different. That joke definitely wouldn’t have made the air because black people were being lynched and beaten by police forty years ago while gay kids and adults are being bullied and not being allowed to marry. Obviously the “black” joke would have ruffled alot more feathers and invited way more negative criticism than the gay joke. I mean seriously, nobody wants to watch a racist on a television show lol…well unless it was in a satirical way.

      • biscotti

        Really, Randy? Gays haven’t been beaten and attacked??? Do some research. Start with Stonewall.

    • mark

      As so often happens people take words out of context and then get mad when they don’t like the result. It was about the character, not the words. Parts of the show are meant to just be funny, others should make you think. The character is in many ways out of touch and is trying to maintain his “macho” self image and an ever changing world. I am supposed to laugh at him and sometimes with him, I will also find things to think about. This was one. Classic Tim Allen

  • T

    I think there’s a mix of overreaction and legitimate concern here. In all fairness, the script did try to justify the joke, when Mike’s daughter/Boyd’s mother countered “Would that be so bad?” and Mike (Allen) explained that “real men” don’t dance. That could have been funny, in a tired, overplayed “Hitch” kind of way, but it wasn’t, for two reasons: A) The setup was pretty blatantly implying that gay isn’t something he’d be okay with, and B) The rest of the show just wasn’t all that funny. It might have been better than I thought it would be, but that’s not saying much. The premise is weak, the jokes were pretty lame, and I’m weirded out by the fact that Tim Allen’s character seems to be the same age Tim Taylor was “Home Improvement” went off the air almost 15 years ago.

    • Fingerlakes Dave

      >> “..xplained that “real men” don’t dance.”
      Ever go to a High School or College dance?
      A wedding?
      MOST men are seated. Only some of the younger ones are dancing. And even then, not many.

      • Hal

        Up until the 70s, men danced. Ever seen shows or movies from the 50s and 60s, or seen footage of soldiers dancing in the 40s? Somewhere along the line dancing went from being a social event to being something men just don’t do.

      • Squishmar

        Hal, you’re right…buy men were still dancing in the ’70s too. “Saturday Night Fever” anyone? And, even into the ’80s…”Footloose”?

      • Amy

        I don’t know where you went to school, but at my prom, pretty much everyone danced at some point or another – guys and girls.

  • Jules TX

    If walked around and complained about all the things that offend me I wouldnt have a job. But I have a job and thought Tim Allen was kinda humours.

    If you spend your time looking for a fight, you’ll find one.

    • You wanna fight?

      Them’s fightin’ words!

      • L

        ^^ Winner

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