Outrage Director Kirby Dick Responds to Awards Snub:
‘Isn’t it Time for GLAAD to Stop Protecting the Closet?’

Last week I posted about GLAAD’s perplexing explanation of their snub of Kirby Dick’s Outrage, a documentary exposing hypocritical, closet politicians, from its media awards. Among those questioning it, Movieline said GLAAD delivered Kirby Dick’s “very brave, very necessary” film “a final insult” by snubbing it. Indiewire wondered why it had been ignored.

In a statement to Towleroad, Kirby Dick has responded.

Wrote GLAAD:

The GLAAD Media Awards are about elevating and promoting
the fair, accurate and inclusive stories of LGBT issues, people and
allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for our
lives and our pursuit of equality.

Outrage is a fine movie and an important one that focused
attention on anti-LGBT politicians whose efforts put our community and
our families in harm’s way. But the GLAAD Media Awards aren’t the
Academy Awards, they are about highlighting media that move America by
telling the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people –
not those who run from who they are.

The decision to come out as LGBT is an extremely personal one that
benefits the individual and the people who know them. While there is
certainly an argument that is made for speculating on the sexual
orientation of anti-LGBT politicians in an effort to hold them
accountable for the harms they inflict on our community, that sort of
speculation doesn’t promote awareness, understanding and respect for
our lives and thus does not fit the criteria for the GLAAD Media Awards.

Kirbydick Towleroad obtained an official statement from filmmaker Kirby Dick about the snub and GLAAD’s explanation for it.

Writes Dick:

“While I was understandably disappointed that Outrage did not receive a GLAAD Media Award nomination, I know that awards are subjective and am happy that attention is being brought to all the excellent LGBT media projects that were nominated. 

However, I take issue with GLAAD’s statement explaining the reasoning behind their decision to not award the film a nomination.  Their claim that Outrage  “does not fit the criteria of the GLAAD Media Awards” is untrue.  In fact, the film meets all four criteria listed on their website: “Fair, Accurate and Inclusive Representations” of “the LGBT Community”, “Boldness and Originality”, “Impact”, and “Overall Quality”. 

More troubling is their position that the subject of my film –  the hypocrisy of closeted politicians and the harm they do the lives of millions of LGBT citizens – is inappropriate for the GLAAD awards.  By taking this position, GLAAD is playing into the same philosophy that has kept the closet in place in politics for decades and has caused so much damage.  Like the mainstream media which has been silent on this hypocrisy, GLAAD seems to think that by avoiding this complex subject it will go away.  Just the opposite, the longer attention is not brought to the subject, the more the damage of the closet will continue, both in politics and in Hollywood.  

The Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that exemplifies this country’s long history of keeping LGBT concerns in the closet by voting to not allow cameras to cover our country’s most urgent civil rights trial.  Isn’t it time for GLAAD to stop protecting the closet as well?”

GLAAD Responds to Questions Over Outrage Award ‘Snub’ [tr]


  1. GregV says

    I think what I’m reading from this is that, after decades of gay people being portrayed as negative stereotypes in the media, GLAAD is there to reward those who restore balance by making more positive portrayals.
    Outrage is depicting hypocrites who cause harm to the rights of gay people while portraying themselves as heterosexuals.
    I’m not sure about the history of GLAAD, but have they ever given an award to, say a movie about a gay criminal, killer or dangerous madman? If so, then this would be ironic to snub Outrage, but if it is consistent with a history of recognizing positive portrayals, it isn’t a snub and I understand it completely.

  2. says

    Has anyone ever watched a film because it got a GLAAD award? Really, isn’t the group’s sole purpose to put on a fancy awards ceremony so some people can wear pretty clothes and pat themselves on the back?

  3. says

    A lot of what GLAAD is rewarding is what Sarah Schulman calls “Fake Public Homosexuality” – unrealistic portrayals of LGBT people who are unconnected to community and exist only as supporting characters to bolster the liberal appearance of straight characters.

  4. says

    Here’s a quote from Schulman’s book “Stage Struck”: “As we have shown, the existence of homosexuality is no longer being denied. Instead, a fake public homosexuality has been constructed to facilitate a double marketing strategy: selling products to gay consumers that address their emotional need to be accepted while selling a palatable image of homosexuality to heterosexual consumers that meets their need to have their dominance obscured. Rather than elevating the centuries-old underground gay and lesbian culture to the level of mainstream visibility, straight people have invented their own homosexual culture and placed it front and center.”

  5. says

    GLAAD stands for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

    just exactly what fights defamation more than a film about closeted and bigoted gay politicians that continually propose and enact legislature AGAINST GAY PEOPLE? the entire ‘outing’ process is irrelevant here. we are not talking about private citizens that are struggling with their personal identity in the face of adversity, we are talking about closeted and bigoted gays making laws against gay people to help cover their OWN asses. they are vile and despicable human beings, and if by shining a light on them isn’t helping the fight against anti-gay defamation, i don’t know what is.

    GLAAD is just another big bucks lobbying JOKE more interested in keeping their own status quo rather than doing anything substantive for gay rights. pretty little movies about pretty little gay people is NOT going to do a damn thing to advance our rights in the 21st century.

  6. stephen says

    GLAAD may not think so, but they belong to ‘us’… everyday gay-Americans.

    Whether they think so or not, the film Outrage did something new, controversial, brave… and necessary.

    We’re talking about having given ‘cover’ to politicians seeking to discriminate against us… what could be more relevant to GLAAD?!

    My suspicion is that they have insulated themselves from the struggles that inequal gays face daily. No problem if you’re a well-to-do, middle class white guy… but what if you’re not? They simply missed the boat.

  7. Jon says

    The film wasn’t that good. Why did they out Sheppard Smith (and not Anderson Cooper)? Regardless, he isn’t even a politician. This movie was more akin to a conspiracy theory.

  8. Jeffrey says

    I agree with Casey!!
    To Jon and Travis: Did you actually SEE the film??
    Sheppard Smith works for a network that is a mouthpiece for the Republican party. Both of which defame GLBT citizens regularly. Anderson Cooper does not.
    Which just proves the point that the film is not about outing anyone unless they are a danger to the very community that they are secretly a part of. The movie demonstrates how closeted politicos are especially dangerous because they promote anti-gay legislation in order to deflect attention from themselves.
    It is an excellent film and should have been the FIRST choice for a GLAAD award. Nothing else from 2009 even comes close.
    GLAAD is just SAAD.

  9. says

    GLAAD was part of the group of eight organizations that included Lambda Legal and the ACLU who issued an advisory statement to the community a year ago that essentially advised the community to “not make waves”and to refrain from lawsuits.

    of course GLAAD is going to ignore a film that’s confrontation. They’re a bunch of fucking wuss ass faggots.

  10. says

    GLADD said “The decision to come out as LGBT is an extremely personal one that benefits the individual and the people who know them.”

    I completely agree with GLADD and this statement, however these are politicians who vote against gay rights. They are hypocrites who hide their sexuality in order to be in a position of making decisions against their own sexuality and against all of us who have come out.

    These politicians wish to stay in the closet so that they can remain in a political position as they continue to harm our LGBT rights. As a Lesbian, I find these closeted politicians more damaging to the LGBT community then Kirby Dick exposing them for the hypocrites that they really are.

    I would think GLADD would want to support and nominate “Outrage” for exposing how these politicians are actually hurting the LGBT community.

  11. nic says

    “… the GLAAD Media Awards aren’t the Academy Awards, they are about highlighting media that move America by telling the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – not those who run from who they are.”

    wtf is the difference? kirby dick is not running from who he is. his effort was to expose those who are. GLAAD’s statement and reasoning is muddleheaded. we “aren’t the Acadamey Awards…”. in real speak, what does that mean — live in a glad, fantasy world? ignore those who are trying to effect change for the positive?

    goodbye GLAAD, not glad to have known you.

  12. Steve says

    I just rented this DVD a few days ago and thought it was an excellent film, and the bonus features were great too. “Outrage” underscores how warped the thinking around gay issues is in our country in that the media knowingly lie about politicians’ sexual orientation. In what other area is it acceptable for the press to disseminate lies?

    This film is absolutely about “anti-defamation.” GLAAD’s decision emphasizes what a dated and irrelevant organization it is. They honored Jennifer f***ing Anniston in 2007. Nothing against her, but come on. What do they actually do besides release an occasional statement and thrown an awards show?

  13. says

    The time has come for all of us to stop being ok with the notion that “coming out is a personal decision.” It’s not personal. No one says it is “personal” when straight people come out as straight. It’s no different for anyone else.

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