President Obama appeared to equate one of the greatest speeches in American history to a television sitcom about the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman.
The president was speaking at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, Calif. He said people around the world may not know about the Gettysburg Address, but they can get an idea about the nation’s progress by watching shows like “Will and Grace” and “Modern Family.”
Is he trying to equate President Lincoln’s speech to sitcoms featuring progressive story lines? Read and decide for yourself!
“Entertainment is one of America’s biggest exports. And every day, you sell a product that’s made in America to the rest of the world. Every time somebody buys movie tickets, or DVDs, or distribution rights to a film, some of that money goes back to the local economy right here.
And believe it or not, entertainment is part of our American diplomacy. It’s part of what makes us exceptional, part of what makes us such a world power. You can go anywhere on the planet and you’ll see a kid wearing a “Madagascar” T-shirt. (Laughter.) You can say, “May the Force be with you” — they know what you’re talking about. (Laughter.)
Hundreds of millions of people may never set foot in the United States, but thanks to you, they’ve experienced a small part of what makes our country special. They’ve learned something about our values. We have shaped a world culture through you.
And the stories that we tell transmit values and ideals about tolerance and diversity and overcoming adversity, and creativity that are part of our DNA. And as a consequence of what you’ve done, you helped shape the world’s culture in a way that has made the world better.
They might not know the Gettysburg Address, but if they’re watching some old movie, maybe “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” or “Will and Grace” and “Modern Family,” they’ve had a front-row seat to our march towards progress, even if their own nations haven’t made that progress yet. And young people in countries all around the world suddenly make a connection and have an affinity to people who don’t look like them and maybe originally they might have been fearful of, and now suddenly they say, oh, this person is like me — which is one of the powers of art, but that’s what you transmit.”