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Spud apologises for gay comment

2011-01-17 15:09
Durban - Spud himself has responded to criticism levelled against homophobic comments made by a character in the John van de Ruit book.

In an open letter to Judge Edwin Cameron, Spud Milton offers “a sincere apology on behalf of The Guv for his insensitive treatment of lesbians and gays”.

Spud goes on to say that while he doesn’t like the Guv’s “occasional bigotry, or his heavy drinking”, he has “still changed the way that I look at the world around me”.

“It’s tempting to say that I shouldn’t have written that offensive statement down in my diary (…) But that would not have been my true account.”

He said his personal reservation about the film version of his diary related to the fact that his character was played by “a blue-eyed Australian”.

“Not that I’m xenophobic, mind you; it’s just that ever since Shane Warne, I just don’t like Australians that much.”

He said it would probably be impossible to read his diaries “or watch Mr Garland’s film without being slightly offended by something” if you feel really strongly about that particular cause or standpoint.

‘Just not in court’

Addressing Cameron on the word “faggotism”, he wrote: “I guarantee that you won’t find that word in any dictionary (…) I don’t like the word either and would never have thought to use it myself, but I still wrote it down because he said it and I was there (…) I don’t think Rambo accused Vern of ‘fagottism’ by lazy accident. He said that word specifically to demean and humiliate Vern for stealing everybody’s underpants. For that in my experience is the way that boys humiliate each other.”

Regarding Fatty’s comment about Mr Lilly (“What’s so terrible about portraying a flamboyant art teacher who tries his luck at organic rugby coaching?”), Spud said: “what offends you, makes others lurch, makes some people laugh, makes a few debate and the odd person walk out.”

Spud apologises for the offence caused, and ends by saying he hopes to meet Cameron someday - “just not in court”.

In a footnote to Spud’s letter, Alison Lowry, CEO of Penguin Books, said Penguin supports freedom of expression and open-minded, robust and informed debate. “Read Spud. See Spud - the Movie. And make up your own mind.”

The letter comes after criticism of Spud - the Movie, by Constitutional Court judge Cameron who expressed concern about the “casual denigration of gays - the amiable gay-hating incidents” in the movie, and raised the fear that the Guv’s attitude to lesbians is uncomfortably close to “corrective rape”.

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