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McKellen scolds Key

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, November 6th, 2012 - 127 comments
Categories: gay rights, john key - Tags: ,

Good to see a prominent and widely respected gay person take Key on for his thoughtless and damaging language:

John Key is left looking like a foolish little Hobbit this morning by the man who plays the Tolkien wizard in the Peter Jackson films, Sir Ian McKellen.

McKellen, who has just about reached national treasure status in New Zealand, owing to his work for various charitable causes, rather good acting and all-round likeability, has published a short blog post gently and calmly upbraiding the PM over those “gay red top” remarks.


127 comments on “McKellen scolds Key”

  1. mike e 1

    suicide in New Zealand kills more people than do cars one of the main cases is homophobic bullying and the word Shonkey used .Gay the form used by young people is a put down not weird like our weird hand shaking cat walking PM.But a nasty insult ask your teenagers I have one or two teenagers and it is definitely a nasty put down!

    • insider 1.1

      No it’s not nasty, it’s quite a common fairly minor, multipurpose one – a substitute for things like lame, stupid, dumb, unfashionable. Kids, particularly the preteens, I’ve dealt with often don’t know its alternative use to describe sexual orientation. Just as they don’t know the bright and colourful use either.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        No it’s not nasty, it’s quite a common fairly minor, multipurpose one – a substitute for things like lame, stupid, dumb, unfashionable.

        Yes, because being Gay is lame, stupid, dumb, unfashionable.

        Kids, particularly the preteens, I’ve dealt with often don’t know its alternative use to describe sexual orientation.

        Key used his shitty language to try and be cool in front of teenage highschool girls mate.

        • insider

          “Yes, because being Gay is lame, stupid, dumb, unfashionable.”

          No, that’s you projecting your adult views. My experience is kids not making any such connection.

          “Key used his shitty language to try and be cool in front of teenage highschool girls mate.”

          you are confusing two separate incidents.

          • McFlock

            Unless you’re suggesting that Key has the emotional IQ of a preteen boy, your comments are irrelevant to the fact that Key should be and almost certainly is aware of the sexual orientation definition of “gay”.
            After all, he actively courted the queer vote by attending events like the Big Gay Out  (h/t Marty G). 
            Oh wow, maybe he thought it was a sort of hippy big “weird/freak” out, nothing to do with sexual orientation? And all those lovely ladies were really nice to him and everything. Funny stubble make-up, but that’s circus folk for you…

            • insider

              We’re talking about a guy who planked with his son McFlock….

              English is a wonderful language in that the same words can have completely different meanings in differing contexts. Not everyone weighs every use of them against the consequences of every possible meaning. What a sad world that would be if we did.

              • Colonial Viper

                more post-modern BS: nothing has any real meaning, if you thought I said one thing actually it was actually another thing.

                • Jim Nald

                  On the topic of meaning and etymology, can someone explain how the word ‘gay’ has come to acquire the meaning such as ‘lame’, etc?

                  Where have the kids got that from? Who taught them? Until now when someone like Ian McKellen points out the wider adverse context, why have the kids not been advised to avoid using the word in such a way? What kind of higher standard is John Key setting? For kids? For us? For gays?

                  • insider

                    Think of this Jim: On the topic of meaning and etymology, can someone explain how the word ‘gay’ has come to acquire the meaning such as ‘homosexual’, etc? Where have the kids got that from? Who taught them? why have the kids not been advised to avoid using the word in such a way?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      oh insider, going to take us through a history lesson of English now? Get a life. Our PM is a joke and the world knows it now more than ever.

                    • weka

                      In the same way that ‘gay’ (showy/brilliant) came to mean homosexual at a certain point in time, so the word gay (homosexual) came to mean lame, stupid etc at a certain point in time. To suggest there is no connection between gay/homosexual and gay/stupid is idiotic. One use evolved from the other.
                      Insider, you seem to think that because preteens don’t make the connection consciously* that that use of the word is harmless. That would only be true if we lived in a world where being gay was normal and not something that attracted ridicule and violence, and the two uses of the word weren’t connected (in the same way that steer can mean direct or a cattlebeast, those two meanings have completely different etymologies).
                      *and homophobia, like other prejudices, is capable of doing harm even when unconsciously used. However I think many teens are aware of the connection and are using the term thoughtlessly rather than unconsciously.

              • McFlock

                But if anyone should be aware that a word he is about to use as a derogatory term is also used in relation to a single-digit fraction of the population he is supposed to represent, that person is the fucking prime minister.
                That’s the trouble with defending Key’s othering-speech as pc-gone-mad: the “p” stands for “politically”. It’s his job to be aware.
                The guy is a complete arse. 

                • insider

                  That’s what standardistas in all their deadly right on seriousness don’t get though – his apparant naivety/naturalness/un-pcness is considered a positive politically. That’s why they continue to underestimate his appeal and overestimate the impact of such ‘gaffes’. The perfectly manicured political personality is never going to be Key.

                  • crashcart

                    So what you’re saying is that people think he is right for the job because he can’t meet the criteria of the job? i.e a politition can’t act in a manner that is considered correct? I’ll remember that next time I am advising a young person on how to behave in a job interview. Just act like your not able to do what they need and it will endear you to them.

                    • higherstandard

                      Politition……… Now that’s a worthy new word to be added to the dictionary.

                    • Tracey

                      the George W Bush of NZ, how proud we need to be right insider? Don’t give the kids someone to aspire to emulate, cos they can already emulate him and do everyday in the school yard.

                  • McFlock

                    A competent politician can gain support without being a bigot.

                    • insider

                      haters and wreckers, ferals, cancerous & corrosive, chinless scarf wearers

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, society would be so much better if nobody was called out on their bigoted and alienating behaviour. 

                  • Uturn

                    Meanwhile outside the polling booth, John Key’s apparent naivety has worked it’s magic:

                    Voter 1: Gosh that John Key, don’t you just appreciate his apparent naivety?

                    Voter 2: My word, yes. If I didn’t know better, I’d say a fool could rise to his position.

                    Voter 1: Indeed. Best we don’t ask questions, then!

                    Voter 2: But haven’t we just asked ourselves the question?

                    Voter 1: Didn’t we get tricked like this last time, too?

                    Voter 2: Yes, but… wait… what’s that? It looks like a dog with curly hair!

                    Voter 1: Oh yes it is! Let’s off to the café.

              • Galeandra

                In the decile 5 classrooms I inhabit it’s definitely a put-down and one which as a teacher I interfere over because of it. Quite a lot of them probably grow up to be the kind of relatively insensitive arf arf humorist that Key seems to be .

          • Tracey

            Can you explain why they don’t say ame, stupid, dumb, unfashionable instead?

            I had this very discussion with four teenage boys last night, who started with the same explanation your examples did. They said they know gay means homosexual but that’s not how they meant it. BUT they soon accepted that calling something gay was negative, not complimentary and they could see how it comes across. One said, so it’s like us calling someone a fag even though thats also a word for a cigarette. To which another replied, yea, cos you don’t mean it in a neutral way like a cigarette you’re angry or annoyed.

            I kid you not. I was very proud of them all. The way they listened and then spoke their thoughts and moved their positions.

            They weren’t humouring me. They genuinely started from a position of not understanding why it was offensive. They understood by the end. Then one went and got his ipod and played us a song by a guy called Macklemore “Same Love”.


            They then moved the discussion to John key and Shearer and were appalled that Key had said someone had a gay shirt…They also said they don’t think either of them are worthy leaders. One said he was glad he is 17 cos he would have no idea who to vote for because he thinks they are all lame. Yes, that’s the word he used.

            We are not talking about exceptionable boys here (except to me and their parents), they are ordinary lads, one a scholarship boy, another achieving NCEA 2, another NCEA achieved 3 and all in their first cricket XI.

            It gives me a lot of hope and reinforces our role as adults in talking through things with them to help them examine their own outlook and that of others.

            Sorry, this went on longer than I planned.

            • Colonial Viper

              Young people get it…and they know when some so-called adult in a position of responsibility is being gay…uh lame

              Interesting their general perception of pollies though. Like I said, young people get it.

      • Roy 1.1.2

        My teenage sons know better than to use the term, but their friends use it. It is nasty and they are entirely aware that ‘gay’ means ‘homosexual’. It is a derogatory term in the same sense that ‘poofy’ was a derogatory term for my generation (and I guess that ages me!).

      • Dr Terry 1.1.3

        You obviously are NOT an “insider” with regard to the minds of children today.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      I wonder if Key is actually from another century and meant to say “queer red shirt” but was trying to be street so used the modern term “gay”.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        Or he could have gone back another hundred years or so and said the shirt was “Wilde”…

      • Uturn 1.2.2

        What with his party’s solemn surprise that irresponsible mining is dangerous and his use of the word gay – presumably to mean happy and upbeat – he must be living in Edwardian England. I think it’s awfully quaint that so many white Nzders mentally retire to a bygone age as they get older, but I just wish that some of them would channel the spirit of a suffragette, a crofter or even a dockside labourer. Mostly they assume the position of Earl of Jibbering-on-sea. I blame Downton Abbey.

        • Mickey Mouse

          For kids these days ‘gay’ means lame or unfashionable or uncool, particularly when referring to fashion items, and you can’t tell them it means ‘homosexual’ they won’t believe you any more than my parents could tell me that it was ok to call someone ‘gay’ because it meant they were cheery and happy.

          Have said that, God knows why he said it…

          • Uturn

            When you’re with the Flintstones (and presumably part of the National Party), you’ll have a yabba dabba doo time. A dabba doo time. You’ll have a gay old time!

            A stoneage alpha-male spends his days obsessed with mining, yelling at his wife, distant from his violent kids and drinks beer with his fawning less intelligent buddy. There are some clear parallels. Possibly this is the source of National Party Policy?

          • Anne

            Having said that, God knows why he said it…

            Because he has an infantile sense of humour and thought he was being funny inferring that the radio jock was “gay”. His claim he meant “weird” is a lie, and actually makes the gaffe worse!

          • Dylan

            So what word *do* kids use for homosexual?

          • Logie97

            Actually kids didn’t use the word at all until they heard homophobes using it, and the language used around the dinner table is what manifests itself in the playground. Children will use whatever language they can to put others down, and if the word of the moment is “gay” they will use it such. (Avoids using four letter words that could find them being disciplined …)

          • Tracey

            Mickey Mouse – You’re wrong and they do not just use it to describe fashion items. I’ve heard it use to describe something someone has said or done. See my post above. They are more open and receptive to learning about this kind of thing than you seem to credit them…

            Is this really John Key posting???

        • Rogue Trooper

          English (and wider european) period costume dramas have as much to “answer for” as the pastiche peddled by Hollywood these past many decades; hi ho Silver….away!

          channel a peasant, and get in before the rush (old hands are often sought after)

          aahhh, The Remains of The Day
          ( I watched all of Poldark and much more Trollope these past years)

        • Dr Terry

          Uturn – what do you know about older New Zealanders minds as they grow older. What age are you? I am “older” and live among hundreds of older people in community. Few of us would give credence to your patronising words.

        • karol

          And some of us older people are gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, intersexed, ….

  2. Adrian 2

    Interesting that you say that Mike. See my comment on Ignoring The Warning Signs. If the teenagers start to see Key as just nasty instead of clownish they may be motivated to vote against him.

  3. vto 3

    Do you think Key will be embarrassed by his being told off by McKellen?

    It will explain a lot about his being.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    John Key is a cunt.

    Oops, I mean, he’s weird.

    • Andrew Scobie 4.1

      The word ‘cunt’ is in no way a substitute for the word ‘weird’. Well not that i have seen anyway. But hey, maybe i need to get out more?

      • uturn 4.1.1

        Often used as term of endearment, in certain circles. I’m certain that’s what Lanthanide meant. Besides there was no time for him to think. Opinions must be spoken immediately or your cyber presence suffers.

        • Andrew Scobie

          I am familiar with the term: “you’re/he’s a good c*nt”. But that in no way has anything to do with the word weird 🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          Well if a term of endearment it’s usually preceeded by the word “GOOD”. Eg. Paul’s a bit rough around the edges, but really, he’s a GOOD ****.

          • Uturn

            That may be so, but I could find a random member of a obscure subculture that disagreed, except I’m not willing to characterise the effort.

          • Populuxe1

            If Key’s use of “gay” is homophobic, then your use of “c*nt* is gratuitously sexist. Or do you suffer from some sort of hypocritical cognitive dissonance?

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah I accept that the term is gratuitously sexist.

              But unlike you, I’m not going to spend all day saying its not.

        • gobsmacked

          Some say that Lanth said “c*nt”, in a private comment. Others have a different view.

          I haven’t read the comment, so I don’t know. I’m focused on what matters.

          • McFlock

            It’s a dinnamick invronmunt, and I’m just disappointed that the opposition would use the ishoo of sex trafficking for political advantage.

        • Dr Terry

          How can you make this assumption that Key actually “thinks”?

    • Tracey 4.2


  5. Colonial Viper 5

    its the usual Right Wing approach of defining shit as it suits them.

    “No front line staff will be lost” = “we’ll reclassify peoples jobs and then fire them as we want”

  6. gobsmacked 6

    The high point of Key’s second term was meant to be the Hobbit premiere(s) … coming soon to a capital city near you.

    Pissing off one of the film’s biggest names a few days beforehand – not a good idea. How’s that photo-op going to go?

  7. ianmac 7

    Pretty sure that in the nervous vernacular of teen boys, saying that this or that is “gay” means that they think that some things are indicators of “gayness.” And they are desperate to not believe that they themselves are not gay or thought to be gay so by putting the fear onto anyone else will somehow protect themselves from such a feared label.
    So there. John Key trying to talk down to kids used or misused their words. Dumb really.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Coincidentally, a similar thought occurred with regard to the Nasty Party’s use of the word “corrupt” when they were so quick to throw it at the opposite side of the House.

    • Tracey 7.2


      In my discussion witht he boys (referred to above) one of them very eagerly said “I don’t have any problem with two women being together” – he appears uncomfortable with the idea of two men together…. and it is probably for the reasons Ianmac states above.

      Our “jobs” as adults to these lads is to assist them. Not turn them into anything, but help them. They don’t want to be cruel and unfeeling people…explain stuff to them and leave them to make up their own minds… surprisingly effective as a tool.

  8. JonL 8

    I thought the expression was “Ghey”, – (context, internet, slang, pejorative) – ineffectual, unsatisfying, unfulfilling, stupid, untalented, and so on. Equivalent to the slang meaning of lame.

    He’s still a dickhead though…….

  9. higherstandard 9

    If Key is so hip and down with the slang perhaps he should go down to the Otara markets and rap some slang with locals along the lines of

    “‘Sup my nigga?” “How’s it hanging my nigga?” “Yo, nigga wassup?”

    Could someone also catch it on video please.

  10. Populuxe1 10

    On behalf of all the gay New Zealanders who really don’t give a shit. GROAN! Really. Left wing heterosexuals in their rush to be seen as liberal and down with Te Gayz actually have more of an issue with this than the average gay on the street – or more realistically are hijacking gay issues because it offers yet another trivial reason to bash Key when they could be out lobbying for adoption reform.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You really are a pitiful hack of an apologist.

      • Populuxe1 10.1.1

        No – I don’t care. This is nothing. It has literally ZERO impact on my life. Of greater significance to me was Key’s support of marriage equalisation – ups to him for that, but seriously you need to get a day job or something.
        If you were actually gay you might be able to comment intelligently on what relentless bullying, intimidation and violence is actually like, and this isn’t it by a long shot. It’s a brain fart by a moron trying to appear hip with the kids.

        Oh no! He called something a bit gay! Most GLBT people have a sense of humour and sensitivity to context that obviously is absent in you CV. Most of us have lives and identities that extend beyond our sexual orientations – we’re not all fragile little snowflakes strangely enough.

        • Colonial Viper

          Lucky you didn’t have authority figures make quippy fun of your gayness when you were 14 years old, then, like Key did in Dunedin.

          • Populuxe1

            When I was 14 the homosexual law reform hadn’t happened yet you dumb fuck – a quip was the least of my worries. No run along and hijack someone else’s identity politics.

            [lprent: removed duplicate comment. ]

          • Populuxe1

            When I was 14 the homosexual law reform hadn’t happened yet you dumb fuck – a quip was the least of my worries. Now run along and hijack someone else’s identity politics.

            • Colonial Viper

              You’re a classic case of ‘I’m OK, fuck the rest of you’ ideology.

              • Populuxe1

                No, CV, just you. The gay community can take care of itself and doesn’t need you using them as an excuse for your own jollies. And by gay community, I mean WE. WE know what affects us, and surprisingly enough WE discuss the issues.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Here’s a heads up for ya, with relatives and people close to me who are gay, when the PM decides to be an immature dickhead about what he spits out of his mouth, I reserve the right to get stuck in and apply a few king hits.

                  You and your little insular ME ME ME world perspective are quite welcome to keep covering his ass though, that’s your perogative.

                  • Populuxe1

                    So the fuck what – it’s my life, and their lives, not your life. You haven’t a clue and can never really understand what it’s like and no matter how many assumptions you make you will never understand. 

                    You do realise you have just executed a classic “some of my best friends are gay” gunshot to the foot, don’t you?

                    • fatty

                      “You do realise you have just executed a classic “some of my best friends are gay” gunshot to the foot, don’t you?”

                      What do you mean? CV was talking about how gays are marginalised and mentioned gay friends…what’s the problem? The gunshot to the foot you are referring to is when one claims that some of my best friends are gay, but then goes on to say something homophobic. Quite different

                    • Jackal

                      You do realize that you’ve just executed another bigoted viewpoint gunshot to the foot that only homosexuals can comment on the issue, don’t you? Now limp off like a good little fool Populuxe1.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      cheers fatty.

                    • Populuxe1

                      quod erat demonstrandum
                      – perfect examples of “I can’t be homophobic, I’m a socialist”
                      Your responses are considerably more homophobic than Key’s little brainfart. 

                    • Jackal

                      Calling you a fool is homophobic? Nah! That’s an observation that has nothing to do with your sexuality.

        • Jackal

          If you don’t care about the issue, why are you commenting Populuxe1? The contradictions within your argument, are shall we say, as thick as batshit!

          Are you saying that most homosexual people wouldn’t be offended by Keys homophobic remarks? After viewing some of the massive response to this story, I have to disagree. The topic concerns a prominent gay actor speaking out against the Prime Ministers comments. That might not be big news in your little universe, but it is everywhere else.

          If CV was actually a gay person? I really don’t think a persons sexuality has much to do with how intelligent their comments are. Do you have some case studies perhaps, or are you just being a wanker again Populuxe1?

          Key’s comment was a “brain fart by a moron trying to appear hip with the kids”. But it’s also homophobic, which should be concerning to you considering John Key’s position as Prime Minister of New Zealand. No other leader I can think of has ever been that stupid or insensitive.

          But that’s OK, because you’re tough and can handle it. You don’t speak for all homosexual people though do you Populuxe1? And they weren’t the only ones offended by Key’s childish behaviour.

          • Populuxe1

            So basically a gay person isn’t able to determine what is homophobic or not unless someone, especially a straight someone, explains it to them. Fuck that’s funny.

            • McFlock

              Not any gay person. You specifically just seem to be of the “didn’t hurt me, so can’t hurt anyone” school.

              • Colonial Viper

                Exactly. Zero empathy.

                • Populuxe1

                  Don’t pretend you have any empathy, CV – you’re just hijacking someone else’s identity politics for your own agenda.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    My agenda is to take Key and his asshole incompetent Government down. What’s your agenda? To protect it?

                    • Populuxe1

                      So basically you have zero interest in whether groups want to be used as pawns or not, because in some areas for our community GLBT politics as a whole trump Left vs Right. You don’t get to tell us what to do or how we should feel – we’re not emotional cripples or children, so fuck you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Really, I remain astonished that you would continue to protect Key’s immature and childish comments like your own life depended on it. Suit yourself mate, I’m sure he appreciates your efforts even as he takes the piss out of gay = weird or whatever the latest spin machine is saying.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire
                      But I’m more concerned that you are misrepresenting the politics of a whole sector of society for your own ends without even involving them ad their diversity of perspectives in the debate – it’s annoying and patronising. It’s like a bunch of men lambasting someone for using the word “c*nt” without asking some women what they think. Effectively it sends a clear message that you don’t give a fuck so long as you can stick it to Key.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Is it really too much to ask for a Prime Minister who doesn’t make our country look like a bunch of disparaging hicks on the world stage.

              • Populuxe1

                The interesting thing is that on Facebook and various blogs and chatrooms, by and large gay people have moved on to more pressing things while the likes of Socialists Aoetearoa are screaming blue murder because the majority of gay commentators don’t want them turning up to the Big Gay Out to throw lammingtons at Key and are bold enough to say so. Don’t interpret my life to me, straightsplaining with no actual perspective is annoying.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh there will be more instances of Key being an immature dickhead, that;s virtually guaranteed. Wonder if you’ll jump up and defend him every time.

                  • Populuxe1

                    No, but arrogant hypocrites piss me off me just as much as neoliberal greed does.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Takes one to know one mate. Personally I think McKellen has a more empathetic view on these events than you do.

                    • Populuxe1

                      You would, CV because it’s useful to you. But McKellen has more right to an opinion on the subject than you do – and he got it out of his system in one blog post while you’ll be shrilly harping on about it for the rest of the week and the GLBT community will have forgotten all about it as we get on with our ordinary, mundane, not especially “gay” lives.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah whatever, keep defending his dumb ass.

                      But McKellen has more right to an opinion on the subject than you do

                      Oh fuck off, Key is PM of NZ and since I am a NZer and he’s not I reckon I have just as much say, yeah.

                    • Populuxe1

                      How very liberal of you. Here’s your medal. *applause*

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah it’s enough. I’ll wait a day or two and jump on the next ridiculous dumbass thing Key lets out of his mouth on the world stage. It’s only a matter of time for our PM.

            • Jackal

              Tell me Populuxe1, how exactly have you determined the sexuality of the people your debating here?

              Did I say you couldn’t have an opinion about whether Key was being homophobic or not because you’re gay… No! I said you don’t speak for all homosexuals. Saying that the people you presume are straight cannot have an opinion about Key’s homophobia is drivel. What a strange world you live in Populuxe1.

              Nobody here is trying to tell homosexuals what to do or feel. We are however commenting on Key’s juvenile comments, that have offended many people, not just straight people. Here’s GayNZ’s article on Ian McKellen’s words for John Key.

              • Populuxe1

                Because most gay commentators would probably say so to differentiate themselves from the pearl-clutchers who have no real dog in this particular race.

                I don’t claim to speak for all GLBT people, but I represent a diversity of opinion in that community that far Left likes to pretend doesn’t exist because it undermines their strange assumption that all gay people embrace all aspects of far left politics and are so terribly grateful that you’re protecting our rights because obviously we can’t do that for ourselves and therefore White Male Heterosexuals have some magical priviledge to speak on behalf of GLBT, indigenous, non-white, and female people.

                • Jackal

                  I don’t claim to speak for all GLBT people… LOL! Just a few comment’s ago you were claiming to speak on behalf of all gay New Zealanders, and saying they really don’t give a shit about Key’s homophobic comments. Contradict yourself much?

                  …But I represent a diversity of opinion in that community that far Left likes to pretend doesn’t exist because it undermines their strange assumption that all gay people embrace all aspects of far left politics and are so terribly grateful that you’re protecting our rights because obviously we can’t do that for ourselves and therefore White Male Heterosexuals have some magical priviledge to speak on behalf of GLBT, indigenous, non-white, and female people.

                  FFS Populuxe1, that is one hell of a sentence, and not in a good way. Personally I’ve never heard of anybody who I consider to be politically left saying all gay people embrace all aspects of far left politics. Could you give some examples please?

                  White male heterosexuals do have the privaledge (not magical) to speak about homophobia, just as they have the right to speak about any other issues that affect society… It’s called freedom of speech. I personally often speak about issues on child poverty for instance, although I’m neither a child nor impoverished.

                  You are correct in a way that whether a term that describes a minority group is offensive or not, lies with that group, not with the general public or individuals outside of the minority group who “decide” the term means something else. But the fact that much of the gay community has commented disparagingly about Key’s homophobia reaffirms the right of straight people to also have an opinion on the matter.

                  Your comments are decidedly right wing Populuxe1, which makes me wonder if you wanting to close down debate on Key’s homophobia isn’t politically motivated?

        • Tracey

          On this basis the PM is really only able to comment on foreign currency trading… *sigh*

    • Dr Terry 10.2

      Populux – how the hell would YOU know anything whatsoever about “left wing heterosexuals”?
      Have you been “planted” among these good people?

    • Tracey 10.3

      Jjust on behalf of you. You are not the appointed spokesperson for the gay people who don’t give a shit just because you say you are. Of course there are gays who will love Key whatever he does because they benefit from his politics, just like other groups in society. I also know gay men who constantly called Ms Clark “Alan”. Thought it was hilarious and couldn’t wait for Johhny to be PM. So, what’s your point again? Gays can be small-minded too? Quel surpise!

  11. muzza 11

    No doubt Mckellen is very well aware that in his industry, there are much worse things going on than poor choices of words by w*nkers!

    Perhaps he could do something useful like speak out against it!

    • karol 11.1

      I thought McKellen supported the actors’ unions in the Hobbit dispute:

      The Hobbit executive producer, Sir Peter Jackson, has already said the union making the claims is an “Australian bully-boy”, and that it had a clear agenda “based on money and power”.
      The MEAA has issued a directive that called on actors to boycott the film and says that stars including Sir Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett supported the move.


  12. tarkwin 12

    Who cares what an English actor thinks? There is no such thing as bad publicity, Shearer would give his right arm to be in the news as much as Key. I think most NewZealanders will laugh and side with Key. Anyone who has heard the recording would realise it was light hearted and they were having fun. Has Jamie McKay complained? No, time to move on.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I think most NewZealanders will laugh and side with Key.

      Because they enjoy having a PM who makes smartass remarks to try and impress school girls?

      Or because they enjoy having their country being made a laughing stock by a PM who hasn’t got schoolboy out of his system yet?

    • gobsmacked 12.2

      Six pieces of nonsense in one comment … so what are we picking? Parody? The cliche overload suggests it is.

      It really is hard to tell sometimes.

    • Dr Terry 12.3

      tarkwin – so you believe that discrimination is a laughing matter for New Zealanders. Unfortunately, you may be right.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.4

      First the Pike River report all over the news here in Australia, then its the Tony Abbott- clone Key living in the 1970s.

      All this after stories of kiwis whingeing about not getting Aussie welfare money.

      NZ is copping a hammering in the press over here at the moment

    • Tracey 12.5

      It’s good to know the PM has time for talkback though, dontcha think? Must mean everything is running smoothely in Aotearoa?

      • Chris 12.5.1

        I think key was having a pop at the Labour Party who have three?gay/lesbian members. Hence his reference to the red shirt. He definitely did not mean “weird”,he definitely”in my opinion” did mean gay in homosexual/lesbian context.(not sure context right word)
        I have heard that some people’s social/emotional /intellectual development is sometimes halted in early life due to major trauma or happening in their life.So,something bad must have happened to him in kindergarten!

  13. ropata 13

    Great soundbite on Hauraki today

    JK: “thats a gay red top there mate, its munted”
    Gandalf: “I have not passed through fire and death to bandy words with a witless fool”
    JK: “just givin ya a hard time”
    Gandalf: “BE SILENT”

  14. I love the implicit message McKellan creates by mentioning his secondary school tour and the purpose of it. Also the “New Zealand is not backward” statement. Subtle.

    Yes, I have to say, I think this is simply brilliant.

    What is highlighted here, is the level of maturity we are dealing with when it comes to our PM. And how beautiful, that it is being spread throughout the world what we are having to contend with, I’m sure there will be many souls feeling pity for us today.

    The whole “Gandalf” politely ticking off our PM while we are making such and international push at promoting our country with “The Hobbit” film. One couldn’t hope for a better backdrop to dramatise the interchange.

    This is nearly as satisfying as Beckhams PR people getting in the old . “He remembers the previous leader Helen Clark a lot better.” comment.

    Bullyboy Batshitman appears to have moved off-shore, insulting half the NZ population has clearly got a bit dull for him.

  15. PlanetOrphan 15

    There is only one place terms like this are “Cool” … when used on oneself.

    For instance …..

    I am a Bastard Orphan Cunt who happens to be Gay.

  16. alwyn 16

    I have been reading today’s Dom/Post.
    If there is someone who knows him reading this debate perhaps they could inform me whether it is only a personal desire by Kevin Hague that he be called a homo, rather than gay, or is it a more general desire by members of the homosexual community? I would happily call people by the phrase they desire but I don’t want to upset them if they don’t wish to follow Mr Hagues lead. Some of the gay MPs are much bigger than I am.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Uh, could you maybe rephrase that please, alwyn.

      • alwyn 16.1.1

        Whoops. Actually I had to read it twice before I realised what you meant. The first time I didn’t see anything that could be misinterpreted. I assure you it was not intentional.

    • karol 16.2

      It’s a T-Shirt Hague got in Scandanavia, and it was a slogan used there. Don’t know how it translates in the languages there.  But I have known a lesbian or 2 that have used the term “homo” to describe themselves and others in positive terms – another instance of reclaiming a term.
      For myself, I am not totally struck on using “gay” to describe lesbians, as people often have in the past, and continue to associate the term more with men.  So that leaves a lack of positive terms for women.  I go for using the available terms positively  to describe myself – “lesbian”, “dyke”.
      Urban dictionary on “absolute homo

      Someone who is totally gay without question.

    • Tracey 16.3

      I like to be called Tracey. My sexuality doesn’t define me.

      • lprent 16.3.1

        I got over the whole sexuality thing all at a very early age given my first name.

        There were plenty of el stupido’s like Cameron Slater with child-like formulaic prescriptions in their head to tell me that I had a “girls” name (just rather surprising to find them amongst adults). You learnt that names were just labels and that it is both pointless responding and that it was another convenient way to sift the idiots from the interesting.

        I’m myself, and the only thing that is of any importance in defining me is myself.

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