Will Ferrell on homophobia claims: Any comedy will offend someone

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Will Ferrell has weighed in on claims that his new film is homophobic – by asserting that “any R-rated comedy” will offend some people.

The Elf star appears in ‘Get Hard’ as a businessman who is wrongly jailed for tax evasion, and recruits a black friend (Kevin Hart) to ‘train’ him to survive prison.

However, the film has been savaged by critics due to its portrayal of “gay-panic humour” – with its gags branded offensive, cheap and ugly by reviewers.

In one scene, Ferrell’s character goes to a gay bar and attempts to perform a sex act on a man in a toilet, in order to ‘prepare’ for prison, before breaking down in tears.

However, Ferrell has brushed off the criticism, claiming the film’s stereotypes are a natural part of comedy.

He told Associated Press: “Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone… but that’s kind of what we do.

“We provoke. We prod. We also show a mirror to what’s already existing out there.

“We’re playing fictitious characters who are articulating some of the attitudes and misconceptions that already exist.”

Hart added: “Here’s the beautiful thing about Will and myself: You’re looking at two guys that are no strangers to criticism

“The critic’s job is to critique. I don’t think I’ve ever had a great review on a film that I’ve done. Not one.

“Everybody always has had something to say. And if they’re not talking, then you have a problem.”

Kevin Hart said in January that he would refuse to play a gay character, and had turned down a role in Tropic Thunder because it involved homosexuality.

He said: “I feel I can’t [play a gay character] because I don’t think I’m really going to dive into that role 100 percent, because of the insecurities about myself trying to play that part.

“What I think people are going to think while I’m trying to do this is going to stop me from playing that part the way I’m supposed to.”