Will Ferrell. Remember him? He was sorta big in, like, the late ’90s and early 2000s.
The 47-year-old frat packer is back with a new movie called Get Hard in which he plays a hedge fund manager wrongfully convicted of tax evasion. As he prepares to be locked away for ten years, he enlists the help of his black friend to teach him how to survive in prison.
Sounds hilarious, right?
Critics have blasted the film for what Variety calls “some of the ugliest gay-panic humor to befoul a studio release in recent memory.”
One of Ferrell’s character’s biggest fears of being raped by another man. (Because prison rape is the funniest thing ever!) After learning “gang slang” with some African Americans, he tries giving a blowjob to a man he meets in a public bathroom. (Because men blowing men is also the funniest thing ever!)
But don’t expect any apologies from Ferrell for his passe, homophobic, racist, not to mention just plain bad jokes. He thinks they’re totally uproarious.
“Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone,” he recently told the AP. “But that’s kind of what we do. We provoke. We prod. We also show a mirror to what’s already existing out there. We’re playing fictitious characters who are articulating some of the attitudes and misconceptions that already exist.”
Evidently Mr. Ferrell is still living in the year 1998, when he was one of SNL’s little darlings.
Adam McKay, Ferrell’s long-term collaborator and producer of Get Hard, called criticisms of his film “disheartening” and made him “mad.”
“Any individual going to maximum security prison would be afraid of violence and sexual assault,” he said. “To equate that with homosexuality is ridiculous.”
McKay went on to say that he’s glad people are talking about the film.
“If they’re not talking,” he said, “then you have a problem.”
We’d argue you have a bigger problem if people aren’t watching. Which we’re pretty sure they won’t be. We’ll find out when the film opens this weekend.