Did Bristol Palin's 3-Year-Old Son Tripp Drop a Gay Slur?

"I'm not proud of what he did say -- sadly, he used a different 'f-word'," says Palin after Life's a Tripp catches her boy mid-meltdown

On a recent episode of Life's a Tripp (Tuesdays at 11 p.m. EST, on Lifetime), Bristol Palin's three-year-old Tripp dropped a bad word. In dispute is which bad word it was. One dirty word that starts with "f" is just dirty. Another dirty word that starts with "f" can infuriate the gay community and make you sound, well, egregiously intolerant. Neither word should trip off a three-year-old's tongue, pun intended. But the latter is way worse than the former.

So, which was it? Watch the clip and decide for yourself:

It's not hard to guess which side The Huffington Post came down on: "The Palins have never been known for being particularly gay-friendly -- and unfortunately, it seems as if the youngest member of the family is following in the footsteps of his elders."

But Palin quickly took to her blog to insist that actually, her little guy is just a garden-variety potty mouth, and not a homophobe-in-training. Well, that's a relief!

"Let me be clear," she wrote. "I’m not proud of what he did say.  Sadly, he used a different f-word….Lifetime filmed over 12 months (on and off) and they caught a moment on film that would cause any parent to be red in the face. Tripp is always surrounded by adults -- around the campfires with cousins and their friends, at the shop with my dad and his snow machine buddies. He’s apparently picked up some language that I’d prefer he not use. On national television or at home."

However you feel about the Palins, in this case Bristol deserves the benefit of the doubt. It's totally plausible that Tripp's chosen "f" word wasn't the hateful one. Even if Bristol and her sister Willow are dismissive of gays (and yes, there's some evidence that Willow might be), Bristol, at least, has been in the political spotlight for a long time now, and she would know better than to laugh if her son made a gay slur on camera. It probably was the…gentler "f" word.

Truth is, the scene itself is pretty mild. Tripp doesn't seem headed for a career as a hate criminal. If you are familiar with three-year-olds, you know they don't usually smile their way through their rebellions. Tripp's sassy comments ("I hate you!" etc.) were baby-sized boundary pushes, which is why Bristol and Willow laughed.

Still, it's ironic that Bristol's kid has gotten in trouble for uttering the same "f" word that Modern Family's producers caught heat for when Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) pronounced it back in January. Of course, in the case of that gay-friendly show, the slur would have been just weird. Not that her two dads, Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) wouldn't have played even that comment to hilarious effect!

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