Homophobic Friends

This remix video is online again after being deleted by Vimeo. See below for details.

The show Friends was a mainstay of popular American television for a decade and like most sitcoms it relied heavily on heteronormative or homophobic comedy situations and throwaway gags. During its ten years on the air, between 1994 and 2004, the show racked up an enormous number of gay jokes. Here Tijana Mamula has meticulously collected these clips to create an ambitious 45 minute montage in the style of the original series to sheds light on the homophobic attitudes both on Friends and in the large contemporary TV culture.

Tijana’s remix strives to bring homophobic attitudes in the original show to the viewer’s attention “in all of its apparent normality”. She writes:

Following the six protagonists in their interactions with gay friends, lesbian exes, transsexual parents, effeminate sons, their own homoeroticism and the fears that it inspires, Homophobic Friends constructs its critical discourse by emulating the form of the original series, maintaining a similar flow, rhythm and chronology; it thus assumes the semblance of a single, extended episode of “Friends.”

Continuing her analysis of the sitcom, she obverses:

The homophobic jokes, as they appear in the original series, are never violent and most often are not even openly denigratory; rather, they purport to offer an honest and “good-humored” representation of a common, socially sanctioned stance towards homosexuality. Situated within the wide array of jokes in any single episode, this homophobia tends to avoid provoking either aversion or anger, and instead prompts the viewer to be swept away by the hilarity of the situations.

Tijana’s remix can also be seen on Vimeo seen on YouTube. More details on this project now appear in this post by Kjerstin Johnson.

 

UPDATE 3: The remix has now been hit with a copyright claim from Warner Bros. Entertainment. Its still viewable via YouTube but Warner Bros. could disable it or place other restrictions on the remix at any time. All this despite of the fact that this work is clearly a critical and transformative fair use.

UPDATE 2: The video is now online via YouTube. Hopefully it will stay online this time.

UPDATE 1: The fair use remix “Homophobic Friends” has been deleted from Vimeo.  The Vimeo staff also deleted Tijana’s whole account without a word – this means that not only is the remix gone, but so are Tijana’s favorites, comments and any other videos that may have been uploaded. Since the entire account has been deleted there is also no “deleted due to copyright infringement” notice. This kind of thing is a common practice over at Vimeo as they continue their blatant two-faced treatment of fair use video remix. We will do our best to try and make this video available online again soon.

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