The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, with president Jarrett
Barrios (pictured), celebrated its quarter-century birthday at a
star-studded Los Angeles party on Friday evening. Advocate.com: Daily News
The other day we brought attention to a homophic rant by Dallas radio host Chris Krok of KLIF 570 AM, who ridiculed Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns’ recent “It Gets Better” speech. According to a report from GLAAD on Monday, Krok has been disciplined for the rant, and the station is working toward an on-air apology:
On behalf of Joel and the many others whose life stories intersect with his, GLAAD made a phone call this afternoon to Jeff Catlin, the operations manager for Cumulus Media Dallas, KLIF’s parent company. The conversation was a productive one; Catlin both understands and shares our concern. As the person who oversees KLIF, Catlin acknowledged that he has the “responsibility to be responsible” for what airs on the station.
Without going into detail, Catlin said that he spoke with Krok and that he was disciplined shortly after the segment aired. He also pointed out that Krok has not spoken about this since then.
After speaking with GLAAD, Catlin also realizes the need to issue some sort of on-air apology. He wants Krok (who’s out of the office until tomorrow) to be “part of the solution.” To that end GLAAD, Catlin and Krok will meet on Wednesday morning to discuss what such a solution will look like. We’ll be certain to let you know in advance so you can be sure to tune-in.
KETK, the NBC affiliate in Tyler, has agreed to remove from its website a segment that aired Wednesday morning in which the station asked viewers whether acceptance of homosexuality will be the downfall of America, according to GLAAD. KETK has also agreed to have openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns appear on its newscasts on Friday, GLAAD said. However, the KTBB 92.1 FM radio host who was apparently behind the segment, Garth Meier, has yet to take responsibility for it.
In response to GLAAD’s outreach and community outcry, here’s what KETK plans to do:
–For starters, at GLAAD’s request, KETK has removed from their Web site the eight-minute piece that ran yesterday – the re-airing of the KTBB segment and accompanying video.
–GLAAD pitched Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns to do an interview with the station. Burns, who has garnered significant media attention and praise for his advocacy against anti-LGBT bullying, will appear on KETK newscasts tomorrow to discuss why potentially harmful questions like Maier’s should not be asked – and certainly not broadcast over public airwaves – in the first place. (Please note that this blog will be updated as more time-specific information becomes available about when you can see Joel on KETK.)
–In addition to Joel appearing on KETK, General Manager Dave Tillery has also responded to our request that he appear on-camera to speak on behalf of the station. Dave realizes how important it is that the station acknowledge in front of their viewers what they’ve acknowledged to GLAAD over the phone – that a segment like Wednesday’s has no place on the airwaves of a reputable news organization. Furthermore, Dave plans to acknowledge the potential harm that could be caused by Wednesday’s report and will commit, on behalf of the station, to being more careful in the future.
–Lastly, KETK is rethinking how they will repackage KTBB Talkback content for future newscasts. KETK General Manager Dave Tillery shared with GLAAD that he will be meeting tomorrow with Paul Gleiser, KTBB’s owner/general manager.
GLAAD appreciates KETK’s response to our outreach. We applaud their willingness to learn from their mistakes. We look forward to watching tomorrow’s follow-up and to recognizing the station’s improvement in days to come.
The Talkback question that aired on KTBB Radio and was simulcast on KETK NBC 56 television in Tyler on Wednesday, October 27 was unfortunate in its wording and unfortunate in the perception that it created among a large number of thoughtful individuals. The question, “Will the acceptance of homosexuality lead to the fall of America?” is poorly worded at best and inappropriate altogether at worst. For that, we apologize.
There are many issues surrounding homosexuality that are fair game for discussion in the media and in opinion journalism. The proper role, if any, for openly gay individuals in the military, the legitimacy of same-sex marriages and the public behavior by some individuals at gay and lesbian events held outdoors in public view are among topics about which reasonable people may disagree. These and other topics surrounding homosexuality are topics that talk radio hosts and opinion journalists may legitimately pose to their respective audiences.
With that said, the way our Talkback question was posed might be seen as asking, “Do homosexuals, by their very existence, threaten to bring down America?” We believe that such a question, posed in such a manner, is likely to generate more heat than light.
I understand how those who either heard, or heard about, KTBB’s Talkback question on Wednesday might have been offended. For the offense that was taken, we sincerely apologize.
How can you help show your support for the teens who took their lives because of anti-LGBT bullying?
-Wear purple on October 20!
-Click here to turn your Twitter profile pic purple now through October 20
-Click here to turn your Facebook profile pic purple now through October 20 – then click on the new photo and click “Make Profile Pic”
-On Wednesday, post this tweet: I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay http://glaad.org/spiritday
-On Wednesday, post this Facebook status: I’m wearing purple today to support LGBT youth – make your profile pic purple today for Spirit Day at http://glaad.org/spiritday
-Help promote by downloading this graphic for your blog or website
On Twitter? Use the hashtag #SpiritDay in your tweets – let’s make #SpiritDay a trending topic!
WHAT IS SPIRIT DAY?
The idea behind Spirit Day, first created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, is a simple one, not dissimilar to the idea of “Spirit Week” held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together.
Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it’s also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.
Purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.
As one of the event’s Facebook pages says: “This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple.”
Wearing purple on October 20 is a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and a simple way to stand UP to the bullies. Remember those lives we’ve tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those who are still fighting. ‘Go Purple’ today!
Students in Wisonsin rally around woman who was punched in the face for wearing a "Legalize Gay" t-shirt.
Cheyenne Jackson and his partner of 10 years, Monte Lapka, secretly became domestic partners in NYC over the summer: "We wanted to get as married as we could. I think we were filling in some forms for wills or insurance, and I just thought, Let's just make this as legal as we can."
That bigoted billboard that depicted President Obama as a terrorist, a gangster, a Mexican bandit, and a gay man has finally been taken down.
Scientist claims that cancer is a modern affliction: "The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialisation."
GLAAD has upped the ante in its battle against Universal Pictures. The movie studio agreed last week to remove a "that's so gay" joke from the trailer of its upcoming comedy, The Dilemma.
Though GLAAD made a removal request more than a month ago, it only took a casual reference from Anderson Cooper to get the job done. Now GLAAD wants the joke removed entirely, and put up an online petition asking concerned citizens to voice their disapproval.
"Contact Universal Pictures and urge its representatives to remove offensive anti-gay language from the upcoming movie, The Dilemma. Tell them that phrases like 'that's so gay' are extremely damaging and contribute to putting young people in harm's way. Teen bullying is no joke," reads the petition. "Unfortunately the company has refused to agree to remove the scene in the movie before its January release date. Moreover, after promising to remove the anti-gay trailer, Universal has reportedly still not removed the trailer from theaters." The trailers have been changed online, and Universal insists it will switch out the in-theater previews next week.
Now, our dilemma: Do we pressure a movie studio to remove a joke from what sounds like an adult comedy — "A man discovers that his best friend's wife is having an affair." — or let people make the decision about whether or not they want to see the flick, directed by Ron Howard and starring Vince Vaughn and Winona Ryder?
Every fall season, GLAAD issues a report about LGBT characters on the main networks’ scripted series, and whether that indicates an improvement from years past. This year’s report notes a “significant increase” in gay characters, according to the study — the most, in fact, ever.
ABC leads the pack with 11 of 152 lead or supporting characters (7.2 percent), helped by shows like Modern Family and Brothers & Sisters. Fox has 5 of 100 (5 percent), including Kurt from Glee, pictured, animated character like Smithers on The Simpsons. NBC marked a decline from last year (only three of 143) and CBS was again in last place with one of 125 (Emmy winner Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife).
The study has its flaws. For instance, the report claims zero gay characters on Fox in 2007, yet one listed now includes Smithers, who has been on the show since 1989 but is considered “recurring” (the study doesn’t including recurring characters in the main figures). And it doesn’t account for, frankly, quality — Brothers & Sisters has never been good, but this season has swan-dived into especially odious melodrama with gay stereotypes.
A separate report counts basic cable series, where gay characters (often with more interesting and frank storylines than on broadcast) are more common and realistically portrayed. I mean, True Blood: Who doesn’t watch that for the hot bodies? The study also doesn’t include reality shows, which really dominate the TV landscape. With Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli swishing up the most popular show on TV right now, as bisexual comedian Margaret Cho dances, you’d think that would warrant a mention, as would Jeff Lewis, Jackie Warner and half the contestants on Bravo’s competition series. That would paint a fairer picture. But it’s still nice to see progress.
GLAAD today released its 15th annual "Where We Are On TV" review of LGBT television characters on broadcast and cable television shows. It's a mixed bag.
The good news: gay people are more visible on television than ever; the bad news: there is not one LGBT person of color on broadcast television. Actually, there's not a "T" either.
The report shows that 23 LGBT characters will account for 3.9% of scripted series regulars in the 2010-2011 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.1% in 2007, 2.6% in 2008, and 3% in 2009. The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable networks has rebounded after a two year decline, from 40 in 2007, 32 in 2008, 25 in 2009, to 35 this year.
In cable realm, True Blood takes the cake for having the most LGBT characters, 6 regular, and network ABC wins, again, for having 7.2% of their regular characters — eleven out of 152 — be of the LGBT variety. CBS, meanwhile, came in dead last for having only one LGBT character, the network's first since 2006.
Meanwhile, not surprisingly, the queer characters on television remain mostly white and male:
Male characters continue to outweigh female characters 59% (345) to 41% (242) in overall numbers, while 77% (449) of all series regular characters are white. African American representation has increased slightly to 12% (71) while Latino/a representation has remained steady at 5% (29). GLAAD counted 25 Asian Pacific Islander characters (4%), two more than last season.
Though GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios praised the higher levels of gay on television, he also warned programmers that viewers need to see a positive reflection of their identity, not simply one part of it.
"While the number of characters is increasing, many members of our community still do not see stories reflecting their lives," said Barrios. "It is troubling that the broadcast networks will not feature even one black LGBT character or one transgender character in the upcoming primetime lineup.”