Kurt’s dad takes on the “new generation of dude”

Get your hankies handy.

If anyone has time to write a transcript in comments, I’d be very appreciative.

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  • 76cents

    i don’t watch this show. I’ve no idea as to the backstory..but I’m crying here.

  • bal

    Transcript…my fav show on right now. And what a moment!
    Kurt: It’s just a room Finn we can redecorate it if you want to!
    Finn: OK, good. Well then the first thing that needs to go is that faggy lamp! And then we can get rid of that faggy couch blanket!
    Burt: Hey. What did you just call him?
    Finn: Oh no no I didn’t call him anything, I was just talking to the blanket.
    Burt: If you use that word, you’re talking about him.
    Kurt: Relax dad, I didn’t take it that way.
    Burt: That’s because you’re 16 and you still assume the best in people. You live a few years…you start seeing the hate in people’s hearts–even the best people. Do you use the N word?
    Finn: Of course not.
    Burt: How about retard. Do you call that nice girl on the cheerios with kirk you call her a retard?
    Finn: Becky, no, she’s my friend, she’s got down syndrome. I’d never call her that. That’s cruel.
    Burt: But you think it’s okay to come in my house and say faggy?
    Finn: That’s not what I meant!
    Burt: I know what you meant! What you think I didn’t use that word when I was your age? Some kid gets clocked in practice and we tell him to stop being such a fag, shake it off. We meant it exactly the way you meant it. That being gay is wrong, and it’s some type of punishable offense. I really thought you were different, Finn. You know I thought that being in Glee club and being raised by your mom meant that you were some new generation of dude who saw things differently who just kinda you know came into the world knowing what it’s taken me years of struggling to figure out. I guess I was wrong. I’m sorry, Finn, but you can’t stay here.
    Kurt: Dad.
    Burt: I love your mom, and maybe this is gonna cost me her, but my family comes first. I can’t have that kind of poison. This is our home, Kurt. He is my son. Out in the world you can do what you want, but not under my roof…
    Place looks great.

  • SarahSimone

    This was my favorite scene not just of this episode but all of Glee. It was such a great resolution to the troubles Kurt was having with his dad spending so much time with Finn – it made me weepy and also really pumped to see such outspoken support for gay acceptance.

  • bal

    On to my comment about it. ;-)
    I love this show. I think it does a decent job of accurately portraying teen angst in a humorous and insightful manner. This was especially poignant. For those not familiar with the backstory…
    Kurt is gay, came out to his dad earlier in the season. He has a HUGE crush on Finn, the quarterback and leading man in Glee Club. Kurt set their parents up together hoping that somehow, he and Finn would be together, knowing that it’s not going to happen. Right before this exchange, Finn calls Kurt out for crushing on him and says how he feels uncomfortable changing in front of him (they now share a bedroom cause their parents moved in together). Finn is also getting teased at school by his teammates because of this. Kurt and Finn are both pretty self absorbed and don’t do a good job of seeing the others’ perspective.
    What’s beautiful about this is that Kurt’s dad, Burt, has been struggling for many episodes with Kurt’s gayness. He’s bonded with Finn over football (Finn’s dad is dead). Kurt feels that Finn is the son Burt really wants and it’s very hurtful to him. This moment is powerful because it shows Kurt that his dad will always put him first and protect him. Kurt needed to know that. Finn also needed to know that he can’t just lash out in a hateful way when he feels uncomfortable. (I do wish that his mom would have asked Finn how he felt about moving in with Kurt and Burt, though, but that’s another story…)
    In the end, Finn comes to Kurt’s defense at school in a fight, with all the other Glee-clubbers. The whole episode is about accepting who you are–and who you aren’t. And I think it did a great job of that.
    (sorry for the long post!)

  • linnycorn

    Here’s a quickie transcript and a little background info to make sense of the scene. :)
    Kurt and Finn are both in Glee Club in their high school. Kurt masterminded a hook-up between his dad, Burt, and Finn’s mom. Kurt does this because he is in love with Finn and he seems to be looking for a way to get closer to him.
    Earlier in this episode, Finn and his mom move in with Burt and Kurt, which means that Kurt and Finn have to share Kurt’s basement bedroom. Finn is not happy with the situation overall, but he’s particularly uncomfortable as he faces his homophobia while he figures out how to live in the same room with Kurt.
    Because Kurt is awesome, he tells Finn that he’ll redecorate the room to be more reflective of Finn’s masculine tastes. The scene in the YouTube clip follows the unveiling of the new decor and Finn’s obvious displeasure with it. [If I'm off on anything, please pipe in and correct me].
    Kurt: It’s just a room, Finn! We can redecorate it if you want to!
    Finn: Okay. Good. Well then the first thing that needs to go is that faggy lamp. And then, we need to get rid of this faggy couch blanket.
    Burt: Hey! What did you just call him?
    Finn: Oh, no no. I didn’t call him anything, I was just talking to the blanket.
    Burt: When you use that word, you’re talking about him.
    Kurt: Relax, Dad. I didn’t take it that way.
    Burt: Yeah that’s because you’re sixteen and you still assume the best in people. You live a few years, you start seeing the hate in people’s hearts. Even the best people. D’you use the n-word?
    Finn: Of course not.
    Burt: Yeah how ‘bout retard? You call that nice girl in Cheerios with Kurt, you call her a retard?
    Finn: Becky? No, she’s my friend. She’s got Down Syndrome. I’d never call her that. That’s cruel.
    Burt: But you think it’s okay to come into my house and say “faggy”?
    Finn: But that’s not what I meant
    Burt: I know that’s not what you meant! What, you think I didn’t use that word when I was your age? You know, some kid gets clocked in practice and we tell him, “Stop being such a fag. Shake it off.” We meant it exactly the way you meant it. That being gay is wrong, that it’s some kind of punishable offense. I really thought you were different, Finn. You know, I thought that being in Glee Club and being raised by your mom meant that you were some new generation of dude, who saw things differently, who just kinda came into the world, knowing what it’s taken me years of struggling to figure out. I guess I was wrong. I’m sorry, Finn, but you can’t, you can’t stay here.
    Kurt: Dad . . .
    Burt [To Finn]: I love your mom and maybe this is going to cost me her, but my family comes first. I can’t have that kind of poison around. [To Kurt] This is our home, Kurt. [To Finn] He is my son. Out in the world, you do what you want, but not under my roof.
    [Finn leaves the basement room that he shares with Kurt]
    Burt [to Kurt]: The place looks great.

  • ElleStar

    I saw this in Tuesday as I was eating my dinner.
    I wept so hard that I almost choked on my nachos.

  • Courtney

    Thanks so much for the transcripts folks!

  • linnycorn

    Sorry for double-posting the transcript. Blurg.

  • dame_elphaba

    I agree- favorite Glee moment EVER (which is tied by Mercedes singing “Beautiful” at the pep rally a few episodes back– I cried). What I loved so much about this was that he compared “fag” to “retard” and the “n” word, saying that it is just as hurtful and offensive and not okay as those words. Based on experience, I think that that is something a lot of people either forget or don’t realize at all. “Fag” is not just a word. It has meaning. Thank you Glee writers for writing this.

  • pedestrian

    Wow. The sad thing is, I just cannot even imagine a father like that. I had a similar crush on a straight, athletic, homophobic friend in high school and my parents did ban him from the house once they suspected my feelings for him, but they also kicked me out not long after.
    I spent a long time blaming my mother for not being more assertive, more self-actualized, more protective of my siblings and I. I just took it for granted that men are tyrants who would eat their young and it is up to women to make the world a better place. I still think that a lot of my own problems were rooted in my father’s misogyny and my mother’s underdevelopment as a feminist, but men obviously have a lot of their own work to do.

  • Zoe

    I saw this! Me and my friends got very excited. We can only hope that this is something that gets said between more fathers and young men.

  • viruswshoes

    It’s impossible not to be aware of “Glee” at this point; the show’s ubiquitous. I have a tendency to resist ubiquitous. It’s just how I’ve always been. So I don’t watch the show.
    Now I might start.
    In my freshman year of college, I went home for the holidays. I’d been reckoning with my sexuality long before I left for school. It’d been a huge bone of contention in my family. My privacy was routinely violated. I was put into therapy to make me straight. My parents threatened to sue my first GF for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    While home for Christmas, I bought an Indigo Girls tape at Target with my own money. My mom found the receipt, jumped me, and then beat my head into the couch. My father threatened to punch me in the face. I was thrown out of my house Dec. 26th for being queer.
    It is profoundly moving (not to mention a little shocking) to me that a parent would throw someone out for making homophobic comments.
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I really appreciate it.
    – Brianna
    ABQ, NM

  • Mighty Ponygirl

    “Show them how it’s done.”

  • middlechild

    Immediately after watching the episode I had a bad taste it my mouth, and it disappointed me it b/c I’m glad that a show is so plainly discussing lasting homophobia and violence experienced by LGBTQ students (or anyone labeled as such, regardless of whether they actually define their sexual orientation) in middle and high school, or the difficulty some parents may have bonding with, accepting, supporting and fully loving their gay kids.
    The AUDIENCE, if not Finn (explicitly) knows that Kurt has had a crush on Finn. And that Kurt seems to have played a role in having Finn leaving the home he grew up in.
    They gloss over that and make it seem like Finn’s anger (if not the language he used) is 100% due to homophobia. He’s simply cast as unjustified in his discomfort.
    I just doubt the writers would have dared setting up a heterosexual GIRL who said some angry (or even regrettable, controversial) things as a villain if she had replaced Finn–if the scenario included a hetero (or lesbian, whatever) girl blithely being moved out of her home and into the same room as a male hetero roommate who made her uncomfortable, especially if that roommate seemed to have some personal boundary issues.
    I just don’t know. Are we supposed to side with Kurt even though WE know he nursed a one-sided crush on Finn? Not just that–Burt offered him money (inappropriate? Maybe, but given that Kurt and Finn’s parents went behind Finn’s back without giving him notice), and Kurt snatched it to re-do the room as FINN supposedly would want it.
    He didn’t care what Finn wanted or how Finn felt about any of this. He re-did the room as he wanted it to look.
    I suppose, thinking over the episode now, I can understand that both Kurt AND Finn acted problematically, which removes some of the taint from otherwise great speeches (Burt’s speech, which, while decrying homophobia, also cast Finn as a villain, and the speech at the end, when Kurt declares to the bullies that he LIKES being different, and his fellow Glee “freaks” surround him and defend him).
    I still felt there was some sloppy writing in this episode. Guess the crew wanted to react to that Newsweek article.
    Isn’t this the same website that decried the nefarious, passive-aggressive “Nice Guy?” It’s a show, we know our characters are good but flawed,and root for them accordingly, but still, how is it that Kurt gets cast simply as a victim here?

  • Jessica Lee

    I nearly cried when I saw this scene. This was just a really good episode in general. :)

  • Jessica Lee

    Also, I was surprised at Mike O’Malley’s performance. I think he usually does comedic roles, so this goes to show he can do more dramatic roles as well.

  • Janet

    While I do agree this scene was incredibly awesome, and Finn was in the wrong to say what he said; however, we can’t dismiss Finn’s justified feelings. Being raised by just his mom, and all of sudden she is dating another classmate’s dad and now they are moving in together and having to share a room. This is a major adjustment for anyone. I am a single mom of a 6 year old, and when she was 4 we almost moved in with my then-fiance. And she had terrible anxiety about it, because it had always been just me and her, and she was only 4. Imagine being 16. At 16 moving in with another person regardless of their sexual orientation can be awkward, frustrating, etc. I can totally understand Finn’s want for privacy and space. He needs time to adjust. And Kurt makes me mad, because he manipulated this situation, and keeps trying to go after Finn without considering Finn’s feelings. He has actually become kind of creepy, in a stalker kind of way with his desire for Finn.

  • aftercancer

    I’m a Mom of two and have developed a serious Mom crush on Mike O’Malley on this show.

  • thetestosteronewars

    Kurt’s dad has been an incredible character all season. He struggles to understand sometimes, but has never been anything but supportive of his son. The relationship between Finn and Kurt’s dad has been an interesting angle, as they have more in common and were becoming close (which hurt Kurt), but this was critical moment where once again he came through for Kurt. It was really something. I think a lot of GLBT teens would be lucky to have a parent like that. I hope they do.

  • Emily

    It’s not that Finn is being admonished for his justified feelings about being moved form his home, sharing a room with someone who has sexual feelings for him which he doesn’t reciprocate etc. It’s that he his using his straight privilege to put down Kurt using a word and the violent and homophobic attitude feeling behind that word to shut Kurt down. Instead of using his words to articulate why he is upset he instead evokes his privilege to reduce Kurt to less than human. It is exactingly why the word bitch, cunt, slut etc. are inappropriate, even when used against a person who is doing wrong hurtful things such as lying cheating stealing etc. The words are a way of shutting down and reducing another person or group of people and are unacceptable, even if they are used against people who are doing something wrong.
    I still like both Finn and Kurt after this, I just think Finn did a really shitty thing and needed to be called out on it and Kurt’s dad was right in defending his son. Those words are NEVER justifiable.

  • pedestrian

    Being a gay teenager is incredibly confusing and unstable. You don’t know who else is gay and might be interested, who might beat you up, or who will support you. Many of us don’t feel safe in our own homes, let alone at school. For feeling the normal hormonal drive to be closer to a crush that every teenager feels, gay kids get beat up, murdered, and disowned by their families.
    Finn’s response isn’t that Kurt is unwelcome because he isn’t interested, it is that Kurt is unnatural and threatening because of who he is. Gay men don’t oppress straight men in our society in the way that straight men oppress women, so the analogy you make doesn’t hold. Imagine that the girl in your scenario rejected a boy in a wheelchair by denouncing his “cripple lamp” and his “cripple blanket”. Or rejecting the affection of a young man of color by hurling racial epithets at the things in his home. These aren’t perfect analogies either, but my point is that there is a big difference between having your affection spurned and being attacked on the basis of your identity.

  • ElleStar

    I think you’re missing the point. The point is that Finn should not have used his heterosexual privilege to try to hurt Kurt.
    I just doubt the writers would have dared setting up a heterosexual GIRL who said some angry (or even regrettable, controversial) things as a villain if she had replaced Finn–if the scenario included a hetero (or lesbian, whatever) girl blithely being moved out of her home and into the same room as a male hetero roommate who made her uncomfortable, especially if that roommate seemed to have some personal boundary issues.
    This isn’t an apt comparison. A more apt comparison would be if a young woman was moved out of her home and into the home of someone she can lord her status as a part of a majority over, like if she moved in with a black family. She may not have liked moving into this new home, and probably with some really good reasons. That she has good reasons, however, does NOT give her the right to then use the N-word.
    People can be angry. However, using slurs, whatever they may be, that utilize one’s privileged place in society to cut someone else down is despicable.
    Finn had some valid reasons for being angry. However, instead of using his words and explaining exactly why he was so upset, he instead lorded his heterosexual privilege over someone who he knows is routinely bullied and looked down upon because he’s gay. Kurt didn’t deserve that.
    He deserved the lecture from Burt. And getting kicked out. That was a father protecting his son and it was pure awesome.

  • dondo.myopenid.com

    I was annoyed with the parenting that led up to this moment. What the hell kind of parent rooms two teenagers of sexually active age together, when you know that one of them could be attracted to the other? You wouldn’t ask an unrelated teenage boy and girl to room together, surely it’s a bad idea to ask unrelated gay teens of the same gender to do so. It’s just asking for trouble of some kind.
    So yeah, it was a great speech. I just wish the writers had gotten there without first making the parents act like self-absorbed boneheads.

  • davenj

    The speech itself is spot on, but as has been stated by others here the set-up was sloppy, especially given Kurt’s prior behavior and in general his lack of development as a character on the show.
    First, Finn’s use of “faggy”? Completely wrong, and obviously the crux for the speech. Part of Finn’s evolution as a character, in which we can see the “stereotypical jock” archetype change in ways that make him a better person more in tune with his wants and what’s right. And in that sense this speech gets it completely right.
    The problem, though, is the set-up. This is because Kurt’s actions, in the context of the show, have been completely awful, to the point of being almost stalker-ish, and (as middlechild put so eloquently) a perfect example of the “Nice Guy” problem.
    How did we get here? Kurt has an unrequited crush on Finn that Finn overtly knows about. Finn says as much in the latest episode, but this has been a known entity even before this point. Kurt subsequently orchestrated a series of dates between his father and Finn’s mother, with the express goal of eventually living with Finn. This goal came to fruition in this episode. When Kurt’s father gives Finn some money to decorate the room and make himself more comfortable in an incredibly anxious new situation Kurt appropriates the money and does what he wants with it, again extending his authority over the room.
    Finn’s response is awful, not the least because it’s not a response to Kurt, but rather the pressure he faced from the two jocks in the bathroom earlier in the episode. The “lesson” for Finn here is that it’s okay to be himself, be a “freak”, and it’s wrong to say “faggy”. All good lessons.
    None, however, that are pertinent to a situation in which he is, in fact, the victim of some pretty manipulative behavior. And this is the problem with Glee’s portrayal of Finn: he’s supposed to be the everyman, with Rachel being the everywoman. The show’s gotten better with spreading the development around for its female characters, but it has lagged significantly with the male ones.
    Kurt is, in this episode and in the show in general, a caricature. That’s the only way his behavior gets glossed over in the way it does. When Rachel elaborately manipulates characters for her music video a few episodes previously she gets her comeuppance and learns a lesson. Not so with Kurt. And that’s problematic.
    It’s great that Glee is willing to portray gay characters, and to combat words like “faggy”. But the buildup to this lesson for Finn seems really off-kilter, mostly because Kurt has become this caricature to whom the rules for the “deep” characters of the show don’t apply.
    Side note: those who enjoy Mike O’Malley’s performance on Glee might also like his portrayal of a gay policeman on My Name is Earl. Lots of nuance there for the show it was.

  • bal

    As an avid watcher of Glee, I think they’ve done a great job of making all of their characters multidimensional–likeable in many ways but irksome in others. Kurt is not painted as a victim or as a villain. Neither is Finn. The father’s speech is remarkable more because of the relationship between Kurt and Burt, not so much because of what Finn does. Finn has been pretty comfortable (relatively speaking) with Kurt throughout their relationship–he’s not a “typical jock”. And I think that this episode was great for showing how many layers there are to homophobia. I agree with Emily–it wasn’t really rooted in “homophobia” or “hatred” for Kurt’s sexuality, but it was rooted in Finn’s discomfort and anger that he takes out on Kurt, using his position of relative power and dominance to hurt with the worst words possible. Finn learned a lesson. So did Kurt.
    I think you have to be a regular fan to really understand the importance of this scene and all its nuance–and why it’s not just a straightforward scene. Though it is pretty powerful as a clip.

  • MLEmac28

    This scene gave me the chills when I watched it the other day.

  • Quill2006

    I haven’t been watching Glee, so I don’t know the whole back story, but I LOVE that the writers put this scene in.
    The only thing I’d change is that I hear “that’s so gay” far more than I hear “faggy.” SOOOO many people don’t even think about what it means when they say it, and I’ve even heard little kids, who don’t really understand what homosexuality is, say it. I wish they’d included that term as well.

  • Mighty Ponygirl

    Not having ever seen the show (other than that clip), I have to ask: Is Kurt really a “Nice Guy” ? I mean, does all unrequited love automatically make a man a Nice Guy?
    From what I hear, Kurt has a crush on Finn, has made some questionable decisions in attempting to pursue that interest, but has not decided that he “deserves” Finn, or that the way to get Finn is to trick him, or even that being with Finn is a sort of inevitability that if Kurt just hangs around Finn enough it will have to happen. It sounds more like he’s trying to give himself as much time with the object of his desire as he can while accepting that it’s about the best he can hope for.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m really only basing this on what people are writing and have not seen the show. So I could be completely wrong and I’m fine with that. But it sort of depresses me that we would throw around the “Nice Guy” label to anyone who has a crush on someone they know they’ll never be able to actually be with.

  • middlechild

    I cannot imagine being a gay teenager and crushing on someone whose orientation you are unsure of, how difficult, how frightening it would be.
    That said–Finn is moved onto the turf of someone who has a crush on him that he is not going to reciprocate. There’s a mix of both straight privilege here and not-so-ridiculous discomfort. I considered that watching the episode…Kurt’s a high schooler with a crush.
    But still, going with this idea of oppression and privilege–women don’t typically oppress men (not as often, at least, as men oppress women), either, but again, I SERIOUSLY doubt the writers would attempt casting a girl as the villain who deserved to be kicked out of the house for using an offensive term. Burt made the speech, it seems, on the assumption that Finn was simply homophobic. I still think Kurt was acting a little obnoxious. I know the show is a little unrealistic for plot purposes–how likely is it that one classmate could encourage the parent of a classmate to move in together in a week?
    Honestly, in retrospect, I understand that the lessons about homophobia and the hurtfulness of that word still come through. But it hit me the wrong way, at least immediately after watching the episode.

  • jayjay323

    yeah, you completely left out the actual context –
    “Because Kurt is awesome”? I’m sorry, when his Dad gives Finn 300 Dollars to “grease the wheels until he knocks on a wall and builds an extension upstairs”, Kurt directly takes the money and is excited about redecorating the room to be reflective of the way *he wants Finn to be*.
    The entire episode is about Finn being harassed about being “bisexual” because he’s in Glee living with Kurt. And he takes it, all he asks Kurt is to make an effort to blend in a little because they’re not livin in NYC but in Ohio, and Kurt is all flirty with him when they’re together while having troubles getting his KISS makeup off… “you are such a boy”
    Then finally, the scence, Kurt and Finn walk down the stairs, Kurt presents the room, it’s an oriental lounge. This is what is preceding the youtube scene in the OP, and the transcript. Leaving it out is a gross omission –
    Kurt – It’s a perfect blend of the masculine and the feminie, the muted and the theatrical.
    Finn – Are you freaking insane. I can’t live here, I’m a dude. … Why is this so hard for you to understand. I don’t want to get dressed in front of you. … I don’t want to have to worry about that kind of stuff in my own room, man.
    Kurt – And what stuff are you referring to.
    Finn – You know. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t play dumb. Why can’t you just accept the fact that I’m not like you.
    Kurt – I have accepted that.
    Finn – No you haven’t. You think I don’t see the way you stare at me? How flirty you get? You think I don’t know why you got so excited that we’re gonna be moving in together?
    Kurt – It’s just a room, Finn. [and as per above]
    I’m sorry, but Kurt’s father got this completely wrong. When Finn says “faggie pillow” he meant “faggie pillow” and nothing else. He didn’t mean to insult Kurt and Kurt didn’t take it that way, because he understood well what Finn said, and why. As opposed to his dad, who entered later, and just got the part linnycorn quoted.
    So, yeah, sure, it’s great that he’s standing up for his son, but to be honest, he’s admonishing the wrong guy – Kurt has pushed Finn. Kurt is constantly screaming “accept me” but when it was time to accept Finn, he didn’t. Kurt blew this, not Finn. If anything, Kurt’s father owes Finn an apology.
    And the fact that this is a great monologue for youtube and other educational purposes doesn’t change it – in context, this is beating up the wrong guy, and everyone who’s excited about this monologue is excited about the wrong thing.
    Think about it.

  • tzaddi-93

    I absolutely loved Kurt’s dad’s speech. I felt like he not only articulated things that people need to hear about homophobia, he also set an excellent example for Kurt–that it’s not OK to accept abusive words from someone you care about.
    I do wish they had also addressed the underlying reasons for Finn’s anger better. Finn’s anger and frustration is absolutely valid–it was the way he expressed that anger through hate speech that was dead wrong.
    I also wish they had not let Kurt’s behavior slide in the plot line. High school is a confusing time for all kids and LGBTQ teens have several more layers of pain and confusion on top of that. But Kurt’s behavior crossed the line. Finding an excuse to hang out after practice is a crush. Manipulating your parent and the parent of your crush into living together is clearly in stalker territory. I can see an argument for not wanting to weaken the fantastic message of Kurt’s dad’s speech, but I hope they come back to how far over the edge Kurt has gone here in later episodes.

  • Sigmund

    I’m currently still catching up with Glee (as I’m behind), and I do think that Kurt’s become more self-centered and less aware of Finn as a person with his own problems and needs, which factors into this scene somewhat.
    I think this scene works so well *because* we have some sympathy for Finn. Finn is in no way justified to use the word that he does, but as the audience, we know the backstory that Kurt’s dad doesn’t. The fact that Burt is willing to go to such a selfless extreme to defend his son contrasts with the sort of self-absorption Kurt’s been falling into, and I’m hoping that this will help ground him a bit.
    That being said, I absolutely loved this scene. It was beautiful and wonderful, and I cried the first time I saw it. I really hope this causes some people to rethink their use of the word “fag” as an insult.

  • Sigmund

    I’m waiting to see where they go with this, but I think Kurt’s growing self-centeredness may have been intentional, rather than an attempt to gloss over his behavior and excuse it. As the audience, we understand what Burt doesn’t in this scene: Kurt has been manipulating Finn for his own (fairly selfish) reasons, which contrasts with his dad’s selfless act of defending his son. While Finn isn’t excused for using the word that he does, you’re right that Kurt shouldn’t be seen as blameless.
    I’m wondering if this scene isn’t, in a sense, Kurt’s comeuppance. We’ve been seeing an uglier side of Kurt lately, and this is a fairly humbling scene for him. I also think you’re right that Kurt runs the risk of becoming a caricature, but it depends on how Kurt’s interactions with Finn are handled in the future.

  • middlechild

    Kurt has been trying to get closer to Finn in part by seeing that he and Finn’s mom move into his house, not just pining away and attempting harmless, if pointless, gestures. He’s been manipulative. I understand, when you have a crush on someone, you get desperate, but Finn has made his feelings clear…the attraction is not mutual. Read other reviews of the episode.

  • middlechild

    When Kurt’s father gives Finn some money to decorate the room and make himself more comfortable in an incredibly anxious new situation Kurt appropriates the money and does what he wants with it, again extending his authority over the room.”
    Thank you. That was the point I was making.
    Kurt’s creepiness notwithstanding…it was a good speech. My initial distaste towards, as you put it, the set up, has worn off. Lets see if the writing for this show (and for Kurt) is better.

  • davenj

    Season 1, Episode 16 (“Home”)
    Kurt: “We’ll be roommates by midterms [Finn]… give it up, it’s inevitable”
    Sorry, but in the context of the show that is exactly what Kurt has become, and as quoted above he acts coy when Finn calls him on it prior to Finn’s use of the word “faggy”.
    There was also a quote in this episode early on about how Kurt would decorate the joint room to show “what he wants Finn to become”.
    This speech is spot on in regard to hate speech. What’s unfortunate is the context surrounding it. Finn has straight privilege here, but Kurt manipulated Finn’s mother and his own father into creating a family dynamic in which Kurt has a heck of a lot more power than Finn, given that Finn is forced to move into his home and live in his room as a result of his machinations.
    It’s downright scary, and unfortunately the show has played it as camp up to this point. It’s this “silly Kurt Hummel with his crush on Finn, what will he do next?” schtick, but the schtick has gotten progressively creepier, to the point of just getting completely out of hand. Relatively innocent flirting and attempts to sabotage a makeover of Finn’s love interest have progressed to a scenario that is just horrendous.
    Hopefully this explosion is a precursor to the moment where Kurt reveals his machinations to his father, and ends up growing as a person by realizing that he needs to let go of his crush on Finn and quit manipulating the people he loves to get to the person he likes.
    Hopefully. The alternative is that this ends up being played for comedy, with Finn and Kurt being oddball roommates and the writers failing to acknowledge Kurt’s awful behavior.
    I really hope the Glee writers don’t show two sets of standards for their characters, because I really hope they’re trying to make Kurt a fully developed person who learns and grows over the course of the show. But that means calling him on his bad behavior. And hopefully that’s where they’re going with this, because the alternative is a comedic endorsement of Nice Guy behavior.

  • davenj

    “I can see an argument for not wanting to weaken the fantastic message of Kurt’s dad’s speech, but I hope they come back to how far over the edge Kurt has gone here in later episodes.”
    Exactly. Unfortunately, I think the message of this speech is dulled by its context. It makes for a great YouTube clip, but in the context of the episode one has to feel bad for Finn, and angry at Kurt, whose reckless manipulation and continued advances led to the ultimate blowup.
    It seems like the dream speech of the supportive parent of a LGBTQ teen wedged into a plotline that just doesn’t warrant it.
    And yeah, hopefully they explore Kurt’s descent into being a creepy stalker-ish guy instead of playing it for laughs. It’s important for them to do so if they want to make Kurt a multi-dimensional character, and not just the gay teen they roll out for easy laughs and “very special lesson” moments.

  • Mighty Ponygirl

    OK, fair enough. Good on the writers for doing something more complex. Yes, Kurt’s behavior is wrong, but that doesn’t excuse Finn’s use of the word.

  • Libbierator

    Agreed, davenj, not just with the above post but with all your posts in this thread. You are very articulate and I agree very much with the points you and about six (ish?) other people have made on here. (The context makes it not such a dream-speech)
    I had similar thoughts while watching the episode. On its own, great speech. But, in context, Kurt IS super manipulative and creepy; I’ve sort of thought of him as glossy, like the writers just want him to gloss over everything. Life, design, humor, clothing, his sexuality, his relationships. Except when they want a teachable moment. And I LOVE those moments; I just wish they’d do them with respect to *everyone* involved in the scene.
    The only bit I have to add is that I think it was extreme for Burt to throw Finn out of the house. People – including on Glee – are multidimensional and capable of forgiving and talking things out. And especially with Burt’s amazing development as a person, I think they could have talked about it; asked Finn why he did that, dealt with the roots of Finn’s anger (Kurt’s actions). They don’t need to run away from each other. They don’t have to. I don’t like that the writers are always so extreme; throwing someone out of the house instead of talking about it. That’s a general television thing too, though.

  • Chelsa

    While I get what you’re saying… Kurt was totally inappropriate, Burt wasn’t off the mark with his speech.
    The whole premise of his speech is that language is powerful. That he may not have called Kurt a fag, when he uses the word the way he did, he’s reinforcing the notion that being gay is a bad thing, a detestable thing… and that’s the poison he did not want in his house.
    It doesn’t matter what Kurt did. Finn shouldn’t be flippantly using “fag” as pejorative. Every time he does, the effect is telling Kurt (or any other gay person for that matter) that they are less-than. It’s the same as telling boys they “throw like girls”.
    The wink and nod implication here being that being female makes you less-than. Get it?
    I’m not condoning Kurt’s behavior. It was selfish and little creepy. But Finn doesn’t get a free pass for perpetuating attaching derogatory connotations to “gay” because of it.

  • AtrociousR

    I find it all so deliciously ironic. Kurt plays the angles and manipulates all around him to put himself in a position of social power of the one he desires most, and when the object of his desires finally retaliates, the brutish manner in which he does so has his father perform the only unambiguously noble act and thwart all of Kurt’s machinations.

  • tzaddi-93

    @davenj–I think the plotline did warrant the speech that Kurt’s dad gave. It doesn’t matter why someone uses hate speech; it is never appropriate. Kurt’s dad was *absolutely right* to call Finn on his hate speech and read him the riot act. He was absolutely right to stand up to anyone, in any situation talking to his son that way. I think that part of the plot was absolutely spot-on.
    I don’t think the context diminishes the actual message, but it gives an opening for people to say, “but, but, but…”
    Life is never simple, and there are several other real problems that need to be addressed. The way that Kurt, Kurt’s dad and Finn’s mom completely ignored Finn’s objections to joining households, the way Finn was given no warning that the move was actually happening, the way that Kurt has been stalking Finn (and how Finn doesn’t seem to have anyone he can complain to about the behavior), and the way the school does NOTHING about the bullying except to tell the Glee kids to work harder so they will be more accepted…just off the top of my head.

  • Nicole

    TOTALLY agreed. I love Glee, but I have always looked at it as a show that is fun and entertaining and escapist, but not exactly brilliantly written or thematically exceptional. It’s even a little offensive sometimes in its reliance on “othering” gays and minorities, and it can be really tokenist in the way it uses those characters to make a “moral of the episode” point but doesn’t grant them the privilege of really driving the plot.
    However, this episode really gave the show a little more credibility, I think, and this speech absolutely amazed me. The comparison to the “n-word” was perfect and actually really subversive.

  • Nicole

    Don’t apologize, I think that was a perfect depiction of the backstory, and it really does give it context for the non-Gleeks like you and me! :)