On Tuesday, November 28th Matthew Daddario was live streaming to Facebook from the official Shadowhunters feed when suddenly Dom Sherwood opened the door to Daddario’s trailer, announcing his presence and ultimately ruining his week by uttering the words “sup, fag.”
It’s evident that Sherwood was oblivious to the fact that Daddario was in the middle of live streaming when he opened his castmates door and felt that they were entirely alone.
Fans all over social media have been in an uproar since Sherwood’s outburst — some fans saying that Sherwood should be forgiven for letting a homophobic slur out by accident. Others, on the other hand, are rightfully upset at the fact that someone so dear to the LGBTQ+ community could just casually allow that word to come out of their mouth.
Now, I want to voice my opinion on the situation and why this is still an issue that needs to be addressed even after an apology video.
The Issue At Large
I’m going to be blunt – you do not casually say fag as a greeting to somebody, and it is okay. It does not matter how you think you mean it, don’t say it. For a straight white male to use the word fag and have the audacity to say that he means no harm by it is astounding.
It’s even worse when you’re one of the leads on a show that is helping fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community. You know what that word means. You know that it comes from a place of hate. I’m sick and tired of hearing excuses for people when they display casual homophobia and then turn around and say that it was just a joke or that’s not how it was meant.
Not that it surprises me that I’d have to, but I also want to bring up that the “fag means cigarette” argument is ridiculous and invalid. “Sup, cigarette.” Yeah, that’s precisely what Sherwood meant by that word. Get a grip.
Dominic Sherwood is a grown man who casually throws around homophobic slurs like it’s no big deal. He doesn’t need for you to defend him. What he needs is to educate himself and realize that without Shadowhunters he would be nowhere.
Fag is a slur in any context, no matter how you use it, and is offensive to people of the LGBTQ+ community no matter how you feel about the word.
The fact that Sherwood’s automatic response to Daddario’s scrambling is because of what he’s wearing and not what he said tells you everything that you need to know about him.
Oh yeah, don’t think that Daddario is in anyway innocent in this situation.
Did he expect Sherwood to barge into his trailer? No. Did he expect him to say “sup, fag”? No. What he did was freak out and immediately move his hand partly in front of the camera, trying to take the stream down all the while not saying anything about how Sherwood has addressed him.
You can even see Daddario half smiling as he rushes to try and get the video down. It is downright disgusting. Daddario was more worried about the public reaction to Sherwood saying fag than him actually using the word and that’s a problem.
Daddario’s reaction tells viewers all that we need to know. All the way from his casual “stop, stop,” to his little head tilt and smile. This is something that they obviously say to each other on a regular basis, and Daddario knows that the both of them have just been exposed to the quiet homophobes that they are.
How can someone like Daddario be okay with his friend using this obscene slur? Does Daddario suddenly forget that fans tune in and give ratings to this show because it’s been such a significant support for the LGBTQ+ community and it’s a beautiful thing to have representation on screen?
Well, all I have to say is that I don’t want someone who is okay with their friends throwing out homophobic slurs, but claims to be this warrior for the LGBTQ+ community, to represent me. It’s fake, and it’s hurtful to fans who looked up to him for helping push the movement for equality.
We all have that moment where we help educate our friends on why something they are doing is wrong or immoral, and this was a time where Daddario should’ve stepped up and did just this.
Instead of laughing the problem away he should’ve used this moment to teach Sherwood about the harms of using that word, but that won’t happen when he more than likely uses it himself when they greet each other.
A message from Dom. pic.twitter.com/rSnJkzgZ1A
— Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) November 29, 2017
First off, let’s just go ahead and state the obvious that Sherwood is clearly shaken, not because he truly is sorry that he said the word but because he got caught saying it.
The only reason this video was made is because Sherwood knows that things like this can make or break a career and he needs to save his look. It’s a difficult task to get an actor replaced on a show, but not impossible, especially if fans no longer want to continue being fed lies when the people playing these characters and pushing representation are secret homophobes themselves.
The impact that fans can have on a show is so astounding that nobody is indeed safe to do whatever he or she wants just because they have a lead role in something. That’s something that Sherwood knows, which is another reason why he is clearly worried.
You can say that you are not a homophobe all day and all night long, but if you continue using that word while knowing how it’s used to tear down members of the LGBTQ+ community you obviously have some sort of bias that you won’t admit.
Sherwood is wrong, yet again, when he says “Matt’s reaction was absolutely correct, it was one of disgust.” I’m sorry, disgust? Is that how you characterize Daddario half smiling at the camera as he slightly laughs to himself at what you had said?
“I think so many problematic phrases go unchallenged and they perpetuate negativity, hate, and intolerance, and today I was apart of that.” Oh, just today? That’s the only time you’ve used this word? Hmm, think again, honey. What he should be apologizing for is using the slur on a daily basis because it is obvious that it’s something he uses all of the time.
Stop accepting bullshit apologies from cis white males when they screw up because they know they’ve messed up; it’s not sincere. He is a grown man who knows the power his words have, and he most definitely knows how negative that word is. He’s okay with using the word fag because it has no detrimental meaning to him.
Sherwood has never been beaten up for being gay all while being called a fag. He’s never had the word thrown at him as an insult for doing absolutely nothing other than being himself. The word will always come from a place of hate, but not in the eyes of the cis white straight males who use it.
No matter what is said about this situation, the facts remain that this little stunt has wholly changed how some people view this show and the both of them. To someone who is apart of the LGBTQ+ community, it is disheartening to learn that the people who make the art that make you feel loved and accepted are ones who continue to tear us down by using slurs in their everyday life.
I know that people are mad that fans are causing an uproar, but my question is why? Why should the members of the LGBTQ+ community (and people not LGBTQ+) not speak up when someone who claims to be an ally is caught using hate speech?
Why is it our job to forgive this act and move on when we’re the ones who are being fed an apology full of crap? Why should we have to be the bigger person and lead with love? Guess what, we aren’t going to be quiet, and we won’t let it slide. Spreading love is essential, but it doesn’t get everything done. It won’t fix this problem. Confrontation and education will fix this problem.
I look forward to seeing what Freeform has to say and what is being done to correct this situation because that one little fake apology video isn’t cutting it.