The director of 'Bring It On' says he would rethink the film's use of a gay slur if the movie was made today

"Bring It On."Universal Pictures
  • "Bring It On" director Peyton Reed spoke to Insider about the use of a gay slur in the movie.
  • It occurs in two scenes: when the Toros are driving to the football game and when football players address two male cheerleaders.
  • Reed said the intention of the word was to deal with the sexuality and gender politics in the movie.
  • However, he admits, if the movie was made today it would be approached differently.
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There are a lot of things that aged well if you look back on the 2000 movie "Bring It On," but even director Peyton Reed says the movie is not perfect.

One moment in particular when watching the movie 20 years later is the use of the gay slur "f--" in the movie.

It occurs twice. Once when Missy (Eliza Dushku) says it while in the car driving to the football game for her first time as a member of the Rancho Carne Toros cheerleading team. The second time is when two football players use it when addressing male cheerleaders Jan (Nathan West) and Les (Huntley Ritter).
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Looking back on it now, Reed says the word was used intentionally to deal with sexuality and gender politics in the movie.
Missy asking Les if "you speak f--?" in "Bring It On."Universal

"When the football players are talking to Les and Jan and they use that word, it's definitely hate speech — it's intended to be hate speech," Reed told Insider in a recent interview celebrating the movie's 20th anniversary. "Then when Missy uses it in the car to talk as the new girl on the team, she's kind of co-opting the language."

Reed points out a big theme from Jessica Bendinger's script was kids co-opting language. So that was the intent of Missy using it.
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"If we were to make the movie today, it probably would be approached in a different way," Reed said of the use of a gay slur. "A lot of things would."

But there are many things in the movie that have stood the test of time, including the movie's exploration of white privilege. Reed said he is most proud of its ending where the East Compton Clovers (the squad whose routines were stolen by the Toros) win nationals. "I will say, over the years people will say to me, 'Does it seem right that the Toros lost?' And I'm, like, 'Absolutely it seems right!'" Reed said. "It's very interesting how different people perceive the ending, and also very telling."
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More from "Bring It On" 20th anniversary:

Read our entire 20th anniversary "Bring It On" interview with Peyton Reed.

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