It’s easy to look back on a movie from a few decades ago and cringe at the blatant racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. But we excuse it because, hey, it was the ’60s, nobody knew any better! I mean, whether they really didn’t know any better or not is up for debate, but what isn’t is the straight up fact that movies of yesteryear don’t have the same stringent standards when it comes to offending people like movies do now. Sure, there are plenty of offensive movies coming out now, too, but imagine how many more there would be if we were living in a less politically correct time? Yikes.
Still, while it’s easy enough to brush off a movie from the ’80s as being offensive to Asian people because, well, it was the ’80s, what excuse is there for offensive movies that came out in, say, 2001? Uh, none, really. And yet, there are some movies very modern movies that are already so offensive just a little over a decade later that they would get loads of backlash in 2015. Imagine the boycott happy hashtags, the Tumblr posts, the think pieces! Need some convincing? Here are seven movies from the late ’90s and ’00s that couldn’t be made today without a buttload of controversy.
White ChicksOh man, this 2004 comedy about two black undercover cops who impersonate white women for an FBI investigation was panned by critics when it came out, but it was a huge financial success. It's practically a comedy classic. Still, while there were rumblings of the movie being racist toward white people back when it was released, I'd imagine that that criticism would be even more intense today. People on Twitter would claim it is the most racist movie in the history of cinema (which isn't true, but I'm sure some already believe this). If anything, this movie is sexist above all else, so I'm sure that if it came out today, there would be plenty of Tumblr posts warning people not to see this movie.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck And LarryHas Adam Sandler made a movie that hasn't sucked after 1999? Probably not, and this was one of the worst. It's literally about how two buddies plot to legally marry each other so that they can scam a life insurance agency. I mean, it's supposed to help benefit Larry's kids, but that fact is secondary to the fact that we're supposed to spend an entire movie laughing at two straight men trying to "play gay." At a time when marriage equality has recently become legal in the United States, this movie wouldn't have the bite that it had when it came out in 2007. But also, I think that our collective tolerance for movies that are just 90 minute gay jokes has pretty much fizzled.
Bubble BoyJust a few months after Donnie Darko made Jake Gyllenhaal every weirdo's dream boy (for good reason), he starred in Bubble Boy. It's a movie about a teen boy named Jimmy who was born without an immune system and has to live his life in a literal bubble so that he doesn't, you know, die. Jimmy spends the film chasing after his crush, who is heading to Niagara Falls for a vacation. Throw in wacky hitch hiking scenarios and, bam, a movie. This movie was a total bomb. A writer at Hollywood.com argues that if this has been made in the '80s, it would be an absolute classic, but people in the early '00s were too sensitive and thought it was offensive to people with autoimmune disorders. Uh, while I agree that it wouldn't have been controversial in the '80s, I think it would be a lot more controversial now than when it was released. Can you imagine all of the think pieces about how ableist this movie is? I'm not saying that they'd be wrong, but we're all a lot more sensitive to those topics now than we were ten years ago.
South Park: Bigger, Longer, And UncutHey, remember that movie The Interview that mercilessly made fun of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un? Remember how it didn't have a wide release because of alleged bomb threats by North Korea in response to its crude depicting on Un? Yeah, well, I'm sure many studios are hesitant to make movies that mock dictators and terrorists for that very reason. That's why a movie like 1999's South Park: Bigger, Longer, And Uncut could not be made today. Half of that film makes fun of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein! They got away with that in 1999, but now, especially in a post 9/11 world, studios are very worried about offending the wrong folks.
The Love GuruOkay, people would flip out over The Love Guru if it came out now, for understandable reasons. This 2008 bomb of a comedy stars Mike Meyers as Pitku, an Indian Guru--spiritual advisor--who dreams of being the number one Guru in the world. I repeat, this is a movie starring white dude, Mike Meyers, playing an Indian dude. The whitewashing is, like, almost laughable. Imagine the boycott hashtags, y'all.
Sorority BoysIf you haven't heard of this movie, it's for a good reason: It kind of really sucks. It's about a group of boys who were wrongfully kicked out of their frat, and come up with a scheme to prove their innocence. This scheme involved, of course, dressing up as girls and infiltrating a sorority. This movie isn't exactly any more sexist and gross than, say, American Pie, but given the prevalence of rape on college campuses and rape culture in frat life, this movie would probably be approached with a lot more sensitivity if it came out today. At a time when stories of rape at frat parties are finally getting the attention they deserve, a movie with plenty of sexual deception on the part of the male stars is just not a good look.
The Hot ChickThis movie, like nearly every other Rob Schnider movie, absolutely blows. It's literally about how a curse caused a criminal and a teen girl to change bodies...and hilarity ensues? The entire movie is full of sexist and homophobic jokes that might have flown under the radar when it came out in 2002, but in 2015? Nope. This movie would get slammed in a heartbeat.
Do you actually enjoy any of these movies? What other offensive movies really aren’t that old? Tell us in the comments!