Is Death Race A New Landmark In Gay Film?

Illustration for article titled Is Death Race A New Landmark In Gay Film?

You may think of Death Race as the movie with all the cars that go boom. Or as the film that failed to dent The House Bunny at the box office. But did you know it's also being hailed as a huge step forward for gay rights? Well, sort of. Spoilers ahead.As I mentioned in my review, one of the odd things about Death Race is the fact that Tyrese Gibson's character, Machine Gun Joe, is referred to as gay several times by various characters. There's even an odd moment of gay innuendo between Jason Statham and Gibson at the end of the movie, which gets defused at the last moment. Gibson insisted in an interview that his character isn't actually gay, but the film certainly pushes the idea pretty hard. (I'm wondering if there's a deleted scene where this gets addressed?) In any case,, a site that critiques mass media from a gay perspective, has hailed the movie as a major step forward because "We have an actual gay character whose sexuality isn't the focal point of who he is, and is treated matter-of-factly." But most of all, AfterElton hails Gibson's character because "The gay guy survives! That's right, a gay character in a an action film survives, along with the hero. Of course, he has to take out a few dozen people along the way, but the movie is called Death Race, not Happy Puppies Frolicking." [AfterElton]


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Charlie Jane Anders

@Simpsons-Movie-ruled: Still wondering what you were getting at here... The character is referred to as being gay throughout the movie, and even shares a little gay almost-joke with Statham at the end of the film. A gay website remarked on how cool it is that this apparently gay character didn't die in the movie, and I felt like it was worth linking to. What am I missing here?