Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gays and the Media

Brent Hartinger writes:
When should a person be angry about some anti-gay slight or slur in the media — and when should we let it slide? But what makes some anti-gay slights “outrageous” and others just tempests in teapots — and how do we decide? And what happens when GLBT people themselves disagree?

Consider the gay media brouhahas from just the last few weeks:
• When the FX reality show 30 Days featured an episode on same-sex adoption, they included factually incorrect comments from a spokesperson from the Family Research Council claiming that gay people have higher rates of “mental illness…domestic abuse, child sexual abuse” — statements that went uncorrected on the program.
• After some British viewers as well as American conservatives including Bill O’Reilly complained, Heinz pulled a humorous European television commercial for Heinz Deli Mayo that showed two fathers kissing, with the company citing “consumer feedback.”
• During the network premiere of Brokeback Mountain, Bravo edited out not just the movie’s profanity and more explicit sex scenes, but also a tender kiss between Jack and Ennis.
• In the new movie Hancock, Will Smith plays a superhero in need of an image make-over, who when presented with various images of comic book superheroes, responds, “Homo. Homo in red. Norwegian homo.”

Let’s face it: there are too many of these offenses to get worked up over everything. We’d be livid 24/7.

And let’s also face it: a lot of “offenses” just don’t rise to a level warranting anything resembling “outrage.” They’re mildly annoying at best — and sometimes they might not be offensive at all, but have just been misconstrued by knee-jerk PC-types, at least according to some in the GLBT community. READ MORE