News | Television

Watch: CNN Asks, Are Gay TV Characters Bad for Society?


The way this Showbiz Tonight special segment is framed is pretty disgusting. And who the F is Charles Gainor of the Culture and Media Institute?

There's a "furious new debate" (see screenshot) about gays on TV? I guess I didn't get the memo.

Imagine if Showbiz Tonight did a segment questioning if TV was too Black, or too Jewish?

It's particularly nasty when you see that CNN is also running a poll, which seems to be related to this sensationalist piece, but stands alone, with no apparent connection on CNN's front page.

Watch the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: CNN pulls poll at GLAAD request.


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  1. Here's the Culture and Media Institute's address:

    They're pretty clearly a right wing wackjob "institute." Sad that CNN gave them such a platform.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Sep 10, 2010 2:27:12 PM

  2. @ Liz,
    I believe Christians are the ones who have historically thrown the first stones (and continue throwning them) at pretty much every group when it comes to civil rights: women voting, race, sexual orientation...

    Sorry if I can't sympathize with you feeling persecuted back.

    Posted by: castaway | Sep 10, 2010 2:33:04 PM

  3. liz, is it also tough being white in america compared to, say, black? Hard, is it? You and michael weiner have a lot in common...probably look alike, too.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 10, 2010 2:36:36 PM

  4. I was going to comment on Liz's ridiculous, delusional post, but see so many others have done so that mine is not needed. Then I thought, what the heck!

    The only targeting occurs when those who speak out get the coverage they seek. If consequences occur (e.g., rational people see "christian" bigots for what they are), it's your own damn fault.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 10, 2010 2:37:08 PM

  5. @ Liz,
    I believe Christians are the ones who have historically thrown the first stones (and continue throwning them) at pretty much every group when it comes to civil rights: women voting, race, sexual orientation...

    Sorry if I can't sympathize with you feeling persecuted back.

    Posted by: castaway | Sep 10, 2010 2:33:04 PM

    Well you see - Liz NEVER had to FIGHT for Her RIGHTS....She's Takin them for GRANTED. She has her Rights due to the HARD Fought work of Women's Movement in the 60's/70's...and the 1900's..suffrogettes....Religion WAS USED Liz to Keep Women Barefoot,Pregnant..and without any say in thier daily lives,or gov't. Religion Fought against women havingthe RIGHT to Vote...cause to meant the DOWNFALL of American Society IF Women had a say...sound familiar hon? Please - edcuate yourself - before you come on here and make a fool of yourself. Look up the name Alice Paul

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Sep 10, 2010 2:48:18 PM

  6. The single Will and Grace characters were much more "safe" than Mitch and Cameron in Modern Family being together and adopting.
    Also threatening is the reality of gay teens struggling.
    As for the Fundies and Evangelicals wanting to control T.V. just watch your boring T.B.N. and reruns of the Andy Griffith show... Perhaps " I love Lucy reruns are too racy" Ricky and Lucy being an interracial couple....
    What these "Christians" really are is anti-truth. They hate that we can have stable long term relationships and make good parents. It threatens their world view.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Sep 10, 2010 2:51:22 PM

  7. Christians do get abused on gay websites like this one, but that's about it here in the US. Koran burning preachers don't exactly create the best PR for themselves and other Christians, nor do pedophile priests, but that's not quite the same as being abused or oppressed.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 10, 2010 3:09:39 PM

  8. The Showbiz part was supportive but the woman who introduced the story was NOT support AT ALL.

    Gays "INVADING" television? REALLY?

    Everything about her introduction, from word choices to tone of voice, was VERY antagonistic!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 10, 2010 3:16:54 PM

  9. F. YOU CNN.

    Posted by: Bosie | Sep 10, 2010 3:18:00 PM

  10. @Tom in Long Beach... W&G was safe because the gays there were swishy and funny... thats how Middle America likes their gays on TV... the butt of jokes. Truth be told even though I enjoyed W&G there was a certain Amos and Andy quality about it I just found offensive. I had to sit thru a client meeting once where they tried to decide if I was a "Will" or a "Jack"

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 10, 2010 3:26:14 PM

  11. The man's name is Dan Gainor, not Charles and he's part of the ultra-conservative Media Research Center, which started The Culture and Media Institute. So, he's a closeted right wing homophobe. The courts are slowly realizing that homosexuals are being discriminated against and he must want to get some licks in. Dear Dan: MYOB and stay out of my bedroom. You're not wanted there!!

    Posted by: mad1026 | Sep 10, 2010 3:46:37 PM

  12. Is Liz a Poe?

    Posted by: Bambam | Sep 10, 2010 3:46:44 PM

  13. Media that bashes gay people is very popular as you can see by the more than 25,000 votes for this poll which is why Showbiz Tonight created this segment.

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 10, 2010 3:49:24 PM

  14. The poll right now is:
    "Should imams relocate NY Islamic center to stop Quran burning?"
    Could they think anything more moronic to put on their website? I mean, their logic is completely flawed!

    Posted by: topher | Sep 10, 2010 3:53:29 PM

  15. I really enjoy this site and consider it to be presented really well and very intelligently, but I have a hard time not leaving it in a bad mood. Gay culture is a reality, and for that reality not to be presented on TV simply presents a close-minded fantasy. If we are to grow as a people, then we have to open our minds to all culture and stop trying to find so much fault in groups that are different.

    Posted by: Greggie | Sep 10, 2010 4:03:15 PM

  16. You can provide feedback at this link...and feel free to cut and paste my letter if the words suit your thoughts.

    Re: CNN's QuickVote "Is the surge in gay TV characters 'bad for society'?"

    How appalling to have to see this today. Please replace "gay" with "Black", "Jewish" or "Hispanic" and then consider reposting and reporting. Not appropriate, right? Sadly, CNN has chosen to legitimize the last acceptable form of bigotry. Blithely stating "This is not a scientific poll" will do little to thwart the use of this poll by religious extremists as they marginalize citizens of this country.

    Shame on you.

    For the greater good, please stop devoting air time and web space to this sensationalistic form of "reporting". This topic is too important. In your attempt to generate traffic, advertising dollars and viewership you are damaging real families and further polarizing this great nation.


    Darren K. Graff

    Posted by: Darren K. Graff | Sep 10, 2010 4:33:10 PM

  17. I just think it's funny that they are asking if TV is too gay but they only mention 3 current shows. It's just that 2 out of those 3 won emmys.

    Posted by: Rachel | Sep 10, 2010 4:45:25 PM

  18. The question is offensive.

    Would they ask the same of Blacks or Jews or Latinos or Asians or Women?

    Are 24 hour news networks with reductive content bad for society?

    Posted by: MarkDC | Sep 10, 2010 5:07:49 PM

  19. The women on Showbiz Tonight are Scary...Did AJ write this?.....

    Posted by: alan brickman | Sep 10, 2010 6:08:58 PM

  20. This is a HLN show.

    It is weird they did this. They have glass closeted AJ on Showbiz Tonight and out lesbian Jane Velez Mitchell hosting a show on the network. And it's not straight guys watching HLN gossip shows.

    Posted by: greg | Sep 10, 2010 7:00:27 PM

  21. I have just one teeny comment...and I make this a lot, I know, but...

    What's with the anti-femme backlash in the gay community? Huh?

    WTF did RuPaul ever do to StuffedAnimal (btw, I love his website so don't hate on me SA!)?

    Will and Grace showed gays in a positive light regardless of whether or not they showed one "type" of gay.

    Sheesh! I hate it when feminists do this to other women, too. Unless you wear a nosering and have armpit hair you're not a feminist--okay, I exaggerate, BUT stay at home moms are looked down upon by other feminists as if somehow motherhood is too antiquated or some shit like that.

    There are gays who play sports, gays who are bankers, gays who are drag queens, gays who are chefs, gays who are actors, gays who are software programmers...same as anyone else. So what is wrong when the gays who are "femme" like Poppycock or "Jack" get press? Seems to me that those gays were the ones who stood up to the most oppression, who were the forebearers of the movement, who took all the slings and arrows for being "different" and now somehow they are some ass kissing Uncle Tom?

    Puh-lease. Stop with that. It's just not nice. When people like StuffedAnimal (sorry to pick on you) complain about Poppycock or Bob complains about W&G its like telling those kids who choose to be flamboyant that they are doing something wrong. How utterly divisive.

    It takes all types. The mom of six is no less a feminist than a bra burner, and the drag queen in heels is no less a man than Tom Brady.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 10, 2010 7:42:08 PM

  22. The blond TV Barbie doll introducing the story made it sound like the US had been placed on terrorism threat color-code: RED. And what the F%

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Sep 10, 2010 7:55:00 PM

  23. who are the two apparent c*nts who did this segment?

    (Was the black woman who had a little statement about glaad a distinct voice from the other two? If so, she shouldn't be blamed.)

    I want names and I'll consider them personally blackballed. They should have told CNN they refused to report/talk this offensive way bc their principles were higher. anyone got names? They sounded like FOX journalists to me, but they were on CNN. WTF.

    Oh, and f u, liz. u deserve every trashing you've gotten on this site. but i swear, u can change; just be honest for a change.

    Posted by: wanting names | Sep 10, 2010 8:05:08 PM

  24. I love it how Liz assumes that NONE of us would know what it feels like to walk a mile in a Christian's shoes.

    Most of us probably do, or at least have at some point in our lives, walk in Christian shoes.

    I walked in them for 42 years, and NEVER, NOT ONCE, felt discriminated against as a Christian. The only time I ever had people give me any grief about my particular form of Christianity came from OTHER CHRISTIANS.

    I'm glad that I kicked off those Christian shoes and now walk blissfully spiritually barefooted. Best decision of my life!

    Liz, come on down from your cross sugar plum. Winter's a'comin' and we're gonna need the wood!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 10, 2010 9:58:04 PM

  25. If Liz is like your average self-professed "Christian" in America today, she wouldn't have a clue what it feels like to walk in a real Christian's shoes.

    What Gandhi said!

    "Your Christians are so unlike your Christ!"

    Posted by: Jared | Sep 10, 2010 10:04:26 PM

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