Letters

Posted on 21 Dec 2006 at 2:42pm

Why lambaste Hudson?

I am highly disappointed at Dallas Voice’s attempt to lambaste “Dreamgirls” actress Jennifer Hudson (“”‘Dreamgirls’ actress says Gay is a sin,” Dec. 8). The anonymous writers of the piece apparently felt the need to append a highly misleading title to their article, in an attempt to down Hudson for being a practicing Baptist.

At no point in the article does Hudson state that she thinks that gay persons are sinners on a level that other persons are not. She even states, “Everybody sins. No sin is greater or different than the other. To each his own. If it don’t bother Jennifer, then Jennifer don’t mind. I don’t really even think about it because I don’t believe in judging people for what they do.”

From her statement, and the rest of the article in which she speaks positively of gay people, it is obvious this woman has no problem with gay people, and your paper’s attempts to spin her story otherwise are highly unappreciated.

The majority of the people who have read the article realize the Dallas Voice is trying to mislead the public, hoping to bank on the fact that more people read headlines than they do whole articles. However, anyone with grade-school-level reading comprehension skills can see that Hudson is not by any means homophobic.

Attempting to gain attention by creating controversy where there is none, as well as bringing someone down for being a Christian and a Christian with an open mind at that are offenses just as bad as if Hudson had actually said something discriminatory, which she did not.

This paper’s actions do homosexuals more of a disservice than anything. One cannot expect progress if they do the same things they accuse another of.

Hudson is a humble and talented performer, and “Dreamgirls” is one of the most important African-American films produced in the last decade. If, for whatever reason, you want either of them to fail, you will need a better reason than the one you have attempted, and poorly attempted at that, to fabricate here.

K. Cordy
Sanford, Fla.

(Editor’s note: The article referenced in this letter was not anonymous. The story was written by Daniel Kusner, Life+Style editor for Dallas Voice, and his byline identifying him as the author was included with both the print and the online version.)

Hudson ambushed by writer

I’m writing to express my dismay over the ambush-style reporting methods of Daniel Kusner (Dallas Voice Life+Style editor).

Earlier this year, we both interviewed George Takei during his visit to Dallas. The purpose of Mr. Takei’s trip was to prepare for his Equality Trek tour, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project. Mr. Kusner not only failed to report on Mr. Takei’s early experience in the internment camps and how the discrimination he felt as a Japanese-American resonated with the discrimination he now feels as a gay American, but he also ambushed Mr. Takei, focusing on Howard Stern’s satellite radio program and Mr. Stern’s use of the word “fag.”

In a later conversation, Mr. Takei told me he felt Mr. Kusner “had some kind of agenda.”

Later in the summer, during the Gay Games in Chicago, Mr. Kusner’s professionalism was again called into question not only by participants from Dallas but also by media organizers in Chicago.

Now Mr. Kusner has again proven that his style of ambush journalism is not well suited for a life and style editor. When Jennifer Hudson was promoting her new film, Mr. Kusner ambushed her by pressing her to discuss her religious beliefs and gay marriage, prompting her to later state that her views had been misrepresented.

I suggest that Mr. Kusner be put on notice that ambush journalism not only alienates readers but also advertisers. His biased reporting is little more than grandstanding, and brings disgrace to an otherwise respectable publication.

Jon Garinn
Advertising writer and editor,
The Dallas Morning News

Hudson not homophobic

Daniel Kusner’s profile of Jennifer Hudson in the Dec. 8 issue of Dallas Voice holds this young woman to excessively high standards.

Although Mr. Kusner may have been surprised and disappointed that she did not “emerge with a thoughtful response” to his questions on the complex intersection of gays, lesbians and religion, he appears to have set his expectations upon a false premise: that Hudson had some obligation to have fully reconciled these issues before setting out on a press junket for a movie which has nothing to do with gays, lesbians and religion.

Mr. Kusner notes that Hudson had already thought about her “responsibility” as a positive role model for African-American women or “zaftig” women (as you put it). That is not surprising, as she is a member of both groups and, in fact, those issues are central to the film she is promoting. It is quite a stretch to then demand, as Mr. Kusner apparently does, that she also be able to state fully articulated views on gay rights issues just because he unilaterally decides that the GLBT community “might look to Hudson to shed positive light.”

Why? Merely because she is appearing in a movie musical?

As far as I know, Ms. Hudson is a 25-year-old-straight woman. At 25, many gays and lesbians themselves have not yet fully reconciled their religious upbringing with their sexual orientation. Some never do; others find a way. Why demand more of her?

When Hudson referenced “the way we’re taught,” it seems she was merely being accurate in describing her Baptist upbringing. Beyond that, nothing you attribute to Hudson strikes me as the least bit homophobic or objectionable. To the contrary, she said extremely positive things.

Your headline could have been “Dreamgirl says we should all have our rights.” But I suppose that would have garnered less national media attention for the Dallas Voice and Mr. Kusner.

I hope the GLBT community will cut Jennifer Hudson more slack than this unfortunate article did.

Nicholas Even
Dallas

Enough is Enough

I must comment on the rash of letters, comments, interviews and so on published in the last year in Dallas Voice by various former members and board members who have left the Turtle Creek Chorale (the latest being Mark Burton and John Westfield). As a current singing member and board member, I find it ridiculous that those that continue to be heard from are those that left the Chorale (the Chorale did not leave them).

These are the same folks that claim to “love” the Chorale and all that it has stood for, but when they get mad and leave they try to take the Chorale down as they leave. They then refuse to really go away. They continue to take pot shots at the very group they professed to care so much about.

I also find it pretty classless to continue to lay blame at the feet of Dr. Timothy Seelig for all that is wrong, broken and needs to be fixed with the Chorale.

As Dr. Seelig finishes his 20th year as the artistic director of the TCC, shall we all look back at where the Chorale was when he came on board and where the chorale has come with his love and guidance?

No man is an island, but Dr. Seelig is certainly due more credit and respect than those that have left the organization are willing to give to him. He has been the visionary that has lead this group, and our patrons, on an incredible 20-year journey.

Many that have left have said they will withhold financial support from the TCC (the group they love so much) until Dr. Seelig’s departure. He leaves this summer, so why not send those large post-dated checks to the TCC office now to show your good-faith? If we really get down to it, most of those that have left this volunteer organization have done so when they could not control it Period. They could not just leave, and now they continue to try and control the TCC after their departure through these written barbs.

Enough is enough! Move on. You left the TCC! We are still a family, and we are still here and doing just fine.

Mark Knight
Dallas

Best is yet to come for Chorale

I am writing in response to letter to the editor in the Dec. 8 issue of Dallas Voice concerning the Turtle Creek Chorale (“What is TCC thinking?”).

I have been a supporter of the Turtle Creek Chorale since 1992. I proudly serve as a non-singing member of the board of directors and the Artistic Director Search Committee. As a board member I have a fiduciary responsibility to the donors, singers, staff and supporters.

Change can be difficult and scary for any institution or organization. It is hard to say goodbye to an artistic director that has been an integral part of the organization and community for more than 20 years.

The Turtle Creek Chorale is a wonderful organization that will continue to thrive and prosper during the next phase.

I have worked side by side with Peter Anderson on a variety of community causes. I feel confident in the leadership and direction of Mr. Anderson as the chair. I look forward to the dawn of a new era with the TCC continuing to entertain, educate, unite and uplift through powerful music.

I encourage all of our friends and supporters to embrace the new artistic director with open arms. The best is yet to come.

Pete Webb
Dallas

Why say gay?

Why was it necessary in your article on the missing climbers to identify Brian Hall as straight? That fact is totally irrelevant to the article as far as I can see.

Patric Montag
Dallas

We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. On some weeks we receive more letters than we can print. In that case, we print a representative sample. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (editor@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 22, 2006.

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