People re-watching 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' are getting seriously offended
For many people in the 90s, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (starring Jim Carrey) was one of the most iconic, and zany, comedy movies of the decade, and it's still fondly remembered by many people.
I myself had the VHS tape in my home, and would often watch it with my sister, despite the fact that some of the more bawdy, adult jokes went completely over my head.
However, as an adult, many people who had nostalgic memories of the film have opted to give the 1994 film a rewatch, only to find that sadly, it hasn't aged too well when it comes to social justice issues.
Spoiler alert for those who haven't seen it, but the problem stems from the fact that the key twist in the narrative is that female police lieutenant Lois Einhorn (played by Sean Young) is actually the deranged football player Ray Finkle - the mastermind behind the missing mascot that serves as the movie's McGuffin.
This would be all well and good, were it not for the fact that many of the movie's jokes about Finkle appear to be quite transphobic in hindsight. Many modern viewers have found the gags uncomfortable at best, and outright offensive at worst.
The debate over the movie's sensibilities appears to have been reignited by Joe Rogan on his podcast, who opened up about watching the movie with a more liberal perspective, finding much of its content distasteful in a modern day context.
Rogan stated: "Do you know what I made the mistake of doing yesterday? I watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with my eight-year-old and my 10-year-old. I didn’t realise how transphobic that f*cking movie is."
Soon after, many other people decided to check it out, and also voice their distaste on social media. For instance, the social activist and transgender model Munroe Bergdorf took to Instagram to share her feelings on the subject. She wrote:
"As an 8-year-old, I remember watching the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, starring comedian Jim Carey, at a classmates house after school. Sorry to ruin the ending if you haven't seen it (don't bother), it ends in the movie's villain being caught, stripped to her underwear and exposed as in fact 'a man'. Then to add insult to injury, everyone in the room starts vomiting as they have all engaged in sex with her. This film was given a PG certificate."
"Imagine being eight years old, knowing that you're transgender but not having the language to verbalise it and then seeing a scene like this including a trans person, played by a cis woman - it may seem trivial to some but I carried that 'punchline' throughout my adolescence, it made me feel guilty and confused about who I truly was, so I pushed my true self into my subconscious and tried to be someone I was not."
I have to say that, although it's still a funny movie, a lot of the jokes do leave a bad taste in the mouth. Maybe that's why there's never been a third film in the franchise?