entertainment

Grease slammed as 'racist and homophobic' as viewers call film out of date

"Shove your homophobia."

2021-01-05

Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Paramount Pictures

Move over The Prom: there's another high school-set movie prompting debate.

(But this one's 42 years old and doesn't involve James Corden, who was barely a month old when it came out...)

We're of course talking about Grease, an enduring favourite of audiences worldwide. It did not, however, fare well with modern viewers during a recent TV airing.

The musical, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John [above, left and right] was shown on BBC One on Boxing Day in the UK.

The plot concerns the lives and loves of a group of teenagers in the 1950s, with focus on 'greaser' Danny and new girl in town Sandy, who belong to different cliques.

"Misogynistic, sexist and a bit rapey"

During one scene set at the high school dance, the host tells a student (after flirting with her) that same-sex couples are not allowed on the dancefloor.

"All couples must be boy/girl? Well Grease, shove your homophobia," reacted one viewer on Twitter.

“Grease peak of homophobia," said another.

Of the cast, one viewer tweeted: “Watched Grease on the BBC, surprised they let it go, full of white people.”

Another said: "Hey, there's one non-white couple at the dance! One! #Grease."

Said another viewer online: "Ahhh man. Just watching #Grease one of my favourite films and it’s so of its time. Misogynistic, sexist and a bit rapey."

Loose Women panellist Brenda Edwards addressed the debate on the ITV show yesterday, saying: "It’s nonsense to be quite perfectly honest. Everybody’s complaining about this on the telly and it’s not based on true facts. It’s light-hearted, let’s have some fun, let’s sing and dance around our front rooms.

"When that came out I never looked at it to think it was this, that or the other. I just looked at it for what it was, great entertainment."

"If you don’t like it, switch off. You don’t have to watch it, it’s pathetic."

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