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GLAAD Unhappy With Smith

Kevin Smith just can't win. The filmmaker/comic book author was denounced by the conservative Catholic League for his last film, Dogma. Now the liberal Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has criticized Smith for his upcoming film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which is set for an August 22 release. While the comedy pair have never been politically correct -- rants about smoking pot, sex and crude references to any and every minority group make that impossible -- most people get the joke, though obviously GLAAD doesn't. Rather than recognizing Jay and Silent Bob for the satiric device they are, GLAAD has made the new film its latest crusade, suggesting that the director repent via a large contribution to a gay cause.

This reporter can't help but wonder at GLAAD's timing. Jay and Silent Bob have been featured in all four of Smith's prior films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma) and while their appearances have varied a bit (outrageous and campy in Mallrats, somewhat subdued for Chasing Amy), the trash talk has remained the same. And while his films haven't been monster releases like Pearl Harbor (despite sharing starring appearances with Ben Affleck), Smith has attracted attention ever since Miramax picked up his first film, Clerks, for distribution. So why is GLAAD only targeting Jay and Silent Bob now? Could the fact that this will be the biggest film Smith has done yet have anything to do with? Perhaps compounded by the fact that Smith claims that this will be the last film appearance of the tacky twosome? I can't help but wonder. I admire GLAAD's work fighting homophobia, but targeting satiric characters that make fun of homophobics only makes the organization look like bad sports.

-- Beth Hannan Rimmels