Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has a significant problem that has recently come to light among fans. As the movie celebrates its 25th anniversary, it is being criticized for its inclusion of Homophobia and Transphobia, which has not aged well over time.
Comedy is a genre that can be subject to aging poorly, as some jokes and references may not hold up over time. This is the case with some popular shows like Friends, which has been criticized for its portrayal of Homophobia, Misogyny, and Transphobia.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is another example of a comedy that has not aged well. The 1994 film, starring Jim Carrey as the zany detective Ace, who investigates the case of the missing Miami Dolphins mascot, Snowflake, has been criticized for its inclusion of Homophobia and Transphobia.
Joe Rogan, a UFC commentator, and radio host, has spoken out against Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, calling it "insanely transphobic" on an episode of his show. During a conversation with his guest, New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss, Rogan expressed his surprise at how "super transphobic" the 1994 film is.
"Do you know what I made the mistake of doing yesterday? I watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with my 8-year-old and my 10-year-old," he admitted.
"I didn't realize how transphobic that f**king movie is."
Rogan then went on to talk about the major plot twist in the movie, in which a detective character played by cisgender actress Sean Young is revealed to be transgender.
"All the cops are throwing up... It's off the charts," he added.
"Everyone is freaking out. It is so insanely transphobic."
"When I saw that movie, I was 10. Transphobia was not a thing. Now it is a thing. That's good. That's good news," Rogan's guest, Bari Weiss said.
When Ventura discovers that Finkle and Einhorn are the same person, he reacts with both vomiting and crying in the shower. This reaction is also echoed by many on Twitter, with one individual expressing similar sentiment.
"Have you ever rewatched a movie from your childhood and realized shit is not only unfunny but hella offensive? Wtf? Why was I allowed to watch Ace Ventura?"
"At the very least it's homophobic. Ventura re-enacts the shower scene from The Crying Game - a film about a transwoman - as a response to having kissed a man he thought was a woman. And it's played for laughs. Grim," another Twitter user shared.
"It's base level comedy with no intelligence to it. I don't think it's either trans or homophobic as such but it's touching the edges of being offensive. I do believe there's a difference. You can offend without hating something," a third Tweeted.
"Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is one of the most problematic movies ever made. Transphobic: this goes without saying. The dolphin's name is Snowflake: the alt right's degrading name for people who fight for social justice issues. Makes fun of mental illness: mental hospital scene," another noticed.
"Oh wow the end of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is super transphobic."
There are those who have come to the defense of the movie, with some taking to Twitter to express their support.
"So people that are just now watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for the first time are saying it's too offensive. Yeah, it is because that's what we did then. We watched offensive shit without getting fucking offended like a bunch of bitches... End rant."
"The character played by Sean Young was not trans. He was a man hiding as a woman to exact his revenge. Lighten up, it wasn't about gender discrimination," another pointed out.
Jim Carrey has stated recently that if the movie were made today, it would not include the same type of jokes.
The 1990s were a complicated period in terms of the representation of LGBTQ+ issues in films and particularly in comedy.