My question is simple, albeit mildly existential. I recently completed a spec — a raunchy, R-rated, Apatow-esque comedy — that a mother couldn’t love. Even mine. Think “Something About Mary” and you’ll begin to get the picture.
Of course, buried in the premise, there’s a sweet love story and all that jazz, but it’s pretty crass stuff, replete with humor that, if taken the wrong way, could easily offend. Naturally, as an aspiring writer, I don’t want agents and the like to think: “Man, that Evan sure is homophobic and likes to talk about Mormon orgies.” Is there a way to address this in a query letter? Pitch meeting? Or should I just assume everyone will understand writers don’t necessarily create characters that they agree with?
Don’t stress over it. Hollywood folk are savvy enough to realize that actors who play serial killers aren’t themselves dangerous, and that the guys who wrote Saw aren’t any sicker than most screenwriters.
In a query letter, don’t back away from your premise or your big moments. If you wrote raunchy, let them know it’s raunchy. In a pitch meeting, there will be plenty of time to establish that you’re a normal human being without gay Mormon issues. And if they like your idea, they won’t care one way or the other.