GLAAD | Morgan Spurlock | News | Peter Sprigg | Television

GLAAD Issues 'Call to Action' Over FX Networks' 30 Days

GLAAD issued a "call to action" this week over FX Networks' Morgan Spurlock series 30 Days from In the episode, which aired last night (and is scheduled to repeat in NYC on Friday night), a woman who opposes gay and lesbian parents and their families lives for 30 days with gay parents Dennis and Thomas and their four adopted sons.

30daysThe episode also airs a disgusting statement from Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (watch it, AFTER THE JUMP). Says Sprigg: "Homosexuality is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse, and those are all reasons for us to be concerned about placing children into that kind of setting."

Writes GLAAD: "While there is no credible scientific research that backs Sprigg’s claim - and much that disputes it - the episode presents his assertion as if it were fact and offers no credible social science experts or child health authorities to challenge Sprigg’s assertion. Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, and many other child health and social services authorities who support parenting by qualified lesbian and gay parents dispute Sprigg’s claim."

I've posted about Sprigg before. You may remember that back in March, Sprigg talked about immigration to the Medill Reports, saying, "I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society."

Dan Savage, who watched the show and knows the family portrayed, had this to add: "I happen to know the gay couple featured, Tom and Dennis Patrick, and their four boys. Every summer my family attends Gay Family Week in Saugatuck (not just me and the boyfriend and the kid, but my whole extended family), as do the Patricks. Tom and Dennis are great, mellow, thoughtful guys who’ve adopted four boys out of foster care. The state of Michigan, which should be pinning a medal on these guys, has instead threatened to take away their health-care benefits in the wake of an anti-gay marriage amendment to Michigan’s state constitution."

Watch the clip in question (via Joe.My.God), AFTER THE JUMP...

(courtesy of Joe.My.God)

GLAAD provided the following contact information for executives at FX, and urges you to contact them:

20th Century Fox Television, Inc.:
Jeffrey Glaser
Senior Vice President, Current Programming
(310) 369-0211

FX Networks:
Nick Grad
Executive Vice President of Original Programming
(310) 369-0949

Chuck Saftler
Executive Vice President of Programming
(310) 369-0949

Scott Seomin
Vice President of Public Relations
(310) 369-0938

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  1. How about the episode in question is actually the statement to say that this statement is not true? That this is their side...the episode is our side?

    Posted by: Sean | Jun 25, 2008 1:15:47 PM

  2. Dan Savage absolutely hits the nail on the head about the state of Michigan. That anti-gay amendment, in addition to its economy being perennially in the toilet, is why I and my partner no longer live there.

    Posted by: Frank L | Jun 25, 2008 1:22:17 PM

  3. Let's not let Morgan off the hook so quickly. The folks that produced/distributed his breakthrough film, Supersize Me, are a gay couple with an adopted kid. Through his own experience he knows that the Sprigg line is total BS. Morgan has more than enough experience as a journalist to know that presenting the counter-arguments (in this case, the facts) is vital to making the broader point clear.

    Posted by: Sean | Jun 25, 2008 1:22:49 PM

  4. A call to action over this? Geez, Glaad conveniently forgets that Morgan did an episode of this series that was a homophobic guy moving into the Castro. That episode couldn't have been anymore pro-gay if it aired on Logo.

    Posted by: Dailylife | Jun 25, 2008 1:27:06 PM

  5. Since I haven't seen the whole episode (or any other) I can't comment on the show in general, but if Morgan has out of touch, ignorant propagandists like Sprigg and Dawn Sell-My-Bad-Childhood-Book spouting nonsense (it sounded like she was saying she remembers her father talking about bathhouse sex when she was 10 months old?!), he has a responsibility to call them on their inaccuracies. Otherwise, it's just lazy ratings-grabbing "journalism" and empty shock value schtik.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 25, 2008 1:34:37 PM

  6. Wait, is Scott Seomin (Vice President of Public Relations for FX) the same Scott Seomin who works for GLADD? Or is just the same name? That would be an odd coincidence.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 25, 2008 1:38:00 PM

  7. I'd like to see this full episode.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jun 25, 2008 1:38:51 PM

  8. I actually think some of GLAAD's outrage is being too narrowly focused towards Sprigg. The inclusion of Dawn Stefanowicz is in many ways more disturbing. She is a rabid anti-gay activist who uses her own personal tale of family strife (which, by the way, she says she only felt free to tell once the rest of her family passed away) to demonize gay parenting as a whole. She is completely in the pocket of the far-right, and has partnered up with groups like the American Family Association. Yet in the piece, she is introduced as little more than an author with some valid points.

    Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 25, 2008 1:47:37 PM

  9. GLAAD needs to stop ass kissing celebrities who "are brave of enough to play gay" (as oppose to us who are gay) and actually watch 30 days.

    If they would watch 30 days, they would see that he allows people to say their nasty stupid stuff and does not present a talking head counter point. Instead he lets his filming tell the story.

    The counter arguement was giving by showing loving gay parents. It was shown through actions and not just words. Which is much stronger and powerfull.

    I saw let the hatemongers rant and rave. Then show loving couples. It is one thing to have someone say how bad gay marriage is and how harmful it is, and how it isn't real, then show Del & Phyllis geting married and that makes a much more powerful statement.

    GLAAD go back to having you award shows that is the only thing you are good for now. You wouldn't know true defamation if it came up to you and gay bashed you.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Jun 25, 2008 2:04:22 PM

  10. Morgan does an extremely good job at presenting all sides to the viewer. These are actually well executed documentaries, not sensational reality shows. The full shows can be seen on if you miss them on FX

    Posted by: Ben | Jun 25, 2008 2:09:05 PM

  11. Morgan does an extremely good job at presenting all sides to the viewer. These are actually well executed documentaries, not sensational reality shows. The full shows can be seen on if you miss them on FX

    Posted by: Ben | Jun 25, 2008 2:09:26 PM

  12. This is a disappointing and egregrious mistake in an otherwise great episode of an otherwise awsome series.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 25, 2008 2:10:27 PM

  13. Given his past, I don't think we have to worry about Morgan.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 25, 2008 2:25:29 PM

  14. Dawn Stefanowicz was aware of homosexual activity in the household at 10 months old?!? She remembers conversations of bathhouse sex at the kitchen table?

    That is one super developed 10 month old...or am I missing something there?

    Posted by: Gregus | Jun 25, 2008 3:01:00 PM

  15. Everyone (including GlAAD) who seems to have an issue with the show should take into consideration this previous episode of 30 days. Yes, while they might not like the statements included in the episode cited above, by no means does the rest of the episode fall along those lines.

    Watch the previous episode, about a straight, conservative christian moving to the castro and his subsequent (yet lengthy) change here:

    Posted by: Devon | Jun 25, 2008 3:04:23 PM

  16. watched it last night..well,half watched it...that lady was bothering me to the point - I cursed at the TV and then changed the channel til she was done ranting her religious Bible crap. Oh and how it bothered her that the men/parents had to tell thier children (if they wanted to tell anyone, that they had 2 was up to them) thought that lady was gonna go batshit over that..? I thought to know "WHY, they have to say that to thier kids lady?" ...because of people like her who raise thier lil' bastards with bigotry and Hate. I also, found myself HOPING that her 2 adopted kids were gonna grow up Gay....tho, she'd probably either religiously abuse them, or dis-own them...thats how she came off to me....I watched maybe 3/4 of it...

    Posted by: DISGUSTED American | Jun 25, 2008 3:14:39 PM

  17. GLAAD is becoming more and more irrelevant... the whole point of the episode was to dispute the woman's claims and biases against same-sex parents. Including statements from Sprigg etc is just building an argument to dispute through actual footage of the couple.

    GLAAD should just stick to giving out "awards" to Jennifer Aniston for doing...I'm not exactly sure what...

    Posted by: JoshEV | Jun 25, 2008 5:48:01 PM

  18. Interesting to note that Scott Seomin used to work for GLAAD. While I condemn this "supposedly" sensational representation of gay and lesbians family, it is a wonder to see GLAAD call out the show while one of its former staffers works for FX as VP for Public Relations.

    But to be truly balanced, you should have some right-wing religious nut spouting the same old trite crap about gays and lesbians. ALL the news channels do it

    "Something is rotten in Denmark" here... Could a venerable organization like GLAAD be using a ploy with the LGBT community to boost ratings for a second-rate television show?

    Posted by: Tom Dempsey | Jun 25, 2008 5:50:22 PM

  19. I have to say, that had it not been for GLAAD sending out the e-mail blasting the show, I never would have known about it or watched it.

    That being said, I'm disappointed in their stand. I agree with everyone above that the show did a great job with the Castro episode.

    To me, the show presented both sides of the story and the clip in question did nothing more than fuel the ignorance of the opposing side. I watched it with my straight roommate and when it was over, I asked him did anything bump him about the show and he said no. It wasn't until I explained it to him that he said, "I thought they were just trying to make guy seem like an idiot."

    To me it was pretty clear that his statement was just that and for those who believe like him. I didn't need (nor do I think the show needed) someone saying, "well what Sprigg said is wrong." It would be like having to refute the Westboro Baptist Church.

    I can't help but think it was a PR move by GLAAD. And it worked on me.

    Posted by: Chad | Jun 25, 2008 6:04:17 PM

  20. kujhawker

    I agree

    30 Days has always Allowed the anti choicer, anti-muslim, anti-gay, anti-enviro, whatever say their crazy sh@t and then refute it simply the reality of what is filmed.

    The muslims were not gun toting terrorists for example.

    I haven't seen the episode yet, but I am going to assume that like all the other episodes the reality of the loving, sane, stable gay couple raising their family perfectly refutes the crazy bs

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jun 25, 2008 6:59:36 PM

  21. I love '30 Days' and Morgan Spurlock. I haven't seen the episode, but I'll bet that he gives viewers enough context to make up their minds for themselves. That's the beauty of the show. The show, "Straight Man in a Gay Man's World," from season 1, is one of the best hours of TV ever produced and is very pro-gay. In that one, he interviewed Fred Phelps talking about "God hating fags." No GLAAD 'Call to Action' there. Is this really where GLAAD chooses to put their efforts right now? There are so many opportunities for change and pressure on shows and networks that truly demean us and devalue us. I'd support them more if they'd be a little consistent.

    Posted by: nethy | Jun 26, 2008 12:18:27 AM

  22. Not only did this comment from this prick Sprigg piss me off, but that one female that was traumatized by her father for his behaviour, that she is now so far in the anti-gay coloumn. She now insists that all gays act the way her father did. She, like the woman who "lived" with the gay fathers, insists that her way is the only way, that her way is the will of god. I am sure that I am not the ony one to think this, or even to put it into words, but, just when did God tell them that they are right and just? When did God speak those words that Gays are not as good as "they" are? From all that I can remember in my many years going to school at a private lutheran school, and the two years I attended a baptist church, I dont one time remember hearing that God said that gays are not as good as the rest of humanity. Not once did I hear that it is against His law to love another person of the same sex, nor allow them to "marry"? Not once, and I went to church every single flipping sunday. 10 years solid. Not once did I hear that God said Gays should be punished for loving another of the same sex.
    But then again, I guess I really did not go to the same church that these wing nuts did.

    Posted by: Crash | Jun 26, 2008 1:51:24 AM

  23. I watched the show last night and I was appalled. Yes, some could say that Spurlock did present all sides, but I don't think he did. What he presented was extreme cases...First you have the "bitch" religious nutcase who is adopted herself and was so damned stuborn that her way was right that she refused to see anyone else point...even when the biological parents of the one of the adopted kids said this is a better place for him then living in her house.
    Then you had the kids who grew up in the foster care system and even when they showed her where children are being raised...she still would not back down on saying, well at least in a gay or lesbian home...they would be safe and taken care of. And she even made comments that only two married parents should be allowed to adopt...well "bitch" where the hell are these people then...nothing prevents them. I mean this woman as a B*I*T*C*H.
    Furthermore, the woman who was raised by HER biological father and was exposed to gay sex at the age of 10, had no business being in this me that is a huge setback for this movement. Because that was a fucked up parent, who happened to be gay and he didn't adopt her.
    But, the main thing that they failed in this experiment is this woman was not attacked people said her "Explain" yourself and they could agree to disagree, but she actually is a believer that laws need to be enacted...which makes her more dangerous because she doesn't disagree...she wants to take action and that is where these people need to be pulled down a few pegs. They need to understand that first off, it is none of their God damned business who wants adopt or get married...that it is a right in the pursuit of happiness and that religion takes a back seat to the law.
    she doesn't understand constitutional law and what it means. and everything she says is all based on her belief that being gay is wrong and fucked up. so she was the wrong candidate for this show. She was just a major bitch who has her own problems and her own agenda!!!

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 26, 2008 12:44:34 PM

  24. I never heard a sensible reason why a gay relationship is any threat to a straight one. I've never heard a reasonable argument against two men raising children - specifically children otherwise without a home. I've never heard an honest claim that a gay man or woman isn't capable of love and responsibility. Heroes have been despised since Jesus - these two men who're raising those children are heroes. They're giving love to a world that often doubts their very worth.

    Posted by: bryanD | Jun 28, 2008 12:26:26 AM

  25. Well thank goodness for sleep timers so my tv would go off when this show came on. No excuse for even showing people like this. Thank God I moved from Michigan to California and am happily married now.

    Posted by: QueenZafrona | Jun 28, 2008 12:37:33 AM

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