- The Magazine
A New York Times cartoon that shows Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as a gay couple has been branded “homophobic” and a “dizzying mix of hurtful and boring.”
The animated cartoon was released Monday before Trump and Putin’s meeting in Helsinki, Finland. According to the Times‘ Opinion section, it depicts “the fantasies of this forbidden romance come to life,” as the pair are depicted going on a date.
The animation shows Trump getting ready for a date, complete with a giant portrait of a shirtless Putin on his wall. A muscular Putin arrives and takes Trump out in his car. Their hands touch, and the car turns into a flying unicorn ride, complete with rainbows, butterflies and hearts.
It then depicts Trump and Putin kissing for 16 uncomfortable seconds. Throughout the animation, interviews of Trump praising Putin are dubbed over the animation.
In this episode of Trump Bites, Donald Trump’s not-so-secret admiration for Vladimir Putin plays out in a teenager’s bedroom, where the fantasies of this forbidden romance come to life. https://t.co/cWeQMuzWUz pic.twitter.com/4shBRkloot
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) July 16, 2018
However, the release of the animation has sparked outcry, with some branding it as unoriginal, lazy and homophobic.
Comedian and television host Guy Branum tweeted: “You’ve done it guys. You’ve saved democracy by saying Trump and Putin are gay for each other. The first 1000 times didn’t work, but your version was the final nail. You have humiliated them out of destroying democracy by saying they are like gay people. The union is safe.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) tweeted that the video was “intensely stupid” and “homophobic as all hell.”
“What on Earth makes you think that equating the love that countless people across the planet fight and die for to the unconscionably criminal relationship between these two is OK?! Truly, please explain,” he wrote.
Many Twitter users called out the Times, saying “Gay men are not a punchline” and accusing the newspaper of “throwing your own beliefs under the bus for a political cartoon.”
Comedian Michael Hartney said: “If you defend homophobic Trump/Putin jokes because Trump himself would hate to be called gay, I regret to inform you that he isn’t reading your jokes because they’re not on Fox News. So all you’re doing is serving us a dizzying mix of hurtful and boring.”
And finally, comedian Matteo Lane said: “Please explain to me why being gay is the joke? Oh, I see…being gay is funny because it’ll make them appear weak? FUCK you.”
It’s not the first time that jokes about Trump’s sexuality have drawn outrage. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel apologized in April for a tweet directed at Fox News’ Sean Hannity that some viewed as homophobic, when he asked whether Hannity preferred Trump on the top or bottom.
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