Filmmaker John Waters characterized politically correct language policing as an issue that mostly wealthy kids wring their hands over and predicted that President Donald Trump will win re-election because of it.
In an interview published Saturday in the U.K. edition of GQ, the 73-year-old Waters spoke mostly of his famously transgressive career spanning half a century but also touched on the political climate of the United States.
After speaking of first lady Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations at the White House, which Waters described as “goth Las Vegas,” he was optimistic about Trump’s prospects for re-election. Asked whether he thought Trump would secure a second term, Waters said, “I most certainly do. I don’t think that we have one of [the Democratic candidates] that’s strong enough to beat him.”
Regarding whether divided Americans “need to find something to break bread over,” Waters said his fellow countrymen at least need to “openly talk, because they’re not going to change their minds if we act like they’re stupid.”
He went on to criticize rampant political correctness, even though he conceded he agrees with it:
You know, the insane political correctness – even though it’s mostly correct – is gonna make Trump win. It’s a class issue. I promise you, in the neighbourhoods in Baltimore that are really struggling with poverty, they’re not worrying about pronoun usage. I’m not saying that some don’t! But it’s rich kids’ schools who are the most stringent police of it. I never understood what a trigger warning was, I thought you went to college to have your values challenged. I thought that was the point of education.
Born in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland, Waters achieved fame for indie “Cinema of Transgression” cult films, such as “Pink Flamingos,” “Multiple Maniacs,” and “Polyester.” His 1988 film “Hairspray” was internationally successful and became a long-running hit on Broadway.
Waters, who is gay, was also asked about how he regards fellow “cult gay heroes” such as Morrissey and Bret Easton Ellis, who lean right. “You know, I have friends that are Republicans,” he responded. “I don’t agree with them, but as soon as we make other people feel stupid, we’ll never get them to change their minds.”
Last week, outspokenly liberal film director Oliver Stone criticized Hollywood as “too fragile,” “too sensitive,” and too politically correct. In an interview with The New York Times about his new memoir, Stone said, “The problem is in Hollywood. It’s just so expensive – the marketing. Everything has become too fragile, too sensitive. Hollywood now – you can’t make a film without a Covid adviser. You can’t make a film without a sensitivity counselor. It’s ridiculous.”
“The Academy changes its mind every five, ten, two months about what it’s trying to keep up with,” Stone continued. “It’s politically correct [expletive], and it’s not a world I’m anxious to run out into. I’ve never seen it quite mad like this. It’s like an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea party.”
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