The Navy didn’t mince words in its official reaction to Capt. Owen Honors’ role in the creation of what are viewed by many as overly suggestive or inappropriate videos — meant to be humorous — that were broadcast aboard the carrier Enterprise during his run as XO back in 2006-2007. “Those in command … are held accountable for setting the proper tone and upholding the standards of honor, courage and commitment that we expect sailors to exemplify,” said Cmdr. Chris Sims, spokesman for U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
You won’t find any such criticism on a Facebook page, “We Support Captain O.P. Honors!”, established on Jan. 1 — the same day the story was broken by Norfolk’s Virginian-Pilot newspaper — that describes itself as a “Support Group for a great Executive Officer and his extraordinarily funny XO Movie Night Skits.” It’s growing by the minute, with 1,230 members as of 12 noon EST Monday and nearly 600 posts, nearly all praising Honors, who now commands the ship as it prepares to deploy, and dismissing the videos as harmless fun meant to lighten the stress of shipboard life. Here are some examples:
“I used to be a sailor aboard the USS Enterprise and served while Capt Honors was both a XO and a CO,” one woman wrote. “I was aboard the ship while the videos under question were being filmed and watched them myself. The way the videos were reported to the world as `raunchy’ and `lewd’ is completely unrepresentative of the good-natured humor behind them. Capt Honors’ videos were always a highlight of the week.”
“I served with then-CDR Honors during the 2006 Deployment and know him to be an honorable man,” wrote one man. “The XO made the videos to address real shipboard issues in a comedic fashion. The crew always looked forward to them. Do not sacrifice this officer on the altar of political correctness.”
In the Tell Us What You Really Think Department, 0ne woman really let fly. “I pretty much hated EVERYTHING about being on the Enterprise EXCEPT for the people I worked with, and XO MOVIE NIGHT!,” she wrote. “Way to GO Capt. Honors! F*** EVERYONE ELSE that finds that s*** offensive….let them get back to their Lifetime Original Movies.”
The videos — you can see an edited version here — have generated national attention, with broadcast stories on every network. The videos include scenes of simulated same-sex showers and masturbation and a reference by one of Honors’ “alternate personalities” — a video trick — to another as “fag SWO boy,” leading some commentators to call the videos lewd, sexist and homophobic. Others raise questions about Honors’ leadership style. Sims said Fleet Forces has launched an investigation into the production of the videos.
What do you think?