GLAAD Calls on National Geographic Channel to Denounce the Boy Scouts’ Anti-Gay Policies

In advance of a new show called Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout to be broadcast this spring, GLAAD is standing in solidarity with 20 year-old gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver, who launched a petition calling on the National Geographic Channel to denounce the BSA's anti-gay policies.

NatgeoWrites Oliver:

As an outdoorsman and an Eagle Scout, I'm urging National Geographic to speak out against the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy and issue a disclaimer before airing the new TV series "Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?"

By airing "Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?", National Geographic has stepped into a uniquely influential role as a strategic business partner of the BSA. The show is being used to market the Boy Scouts of America to young people, but fails to inform viewers about the organization's dangerous anti-gay policy. I urge the network to speak out now to protect gay youth and leaders like me.

NatGeo released a weak statement in the show's and its own defense:

"National Geographic Channel is an international media company that is an equal opportunity employer.  We do not discriminate in any capacity.  As it relates to our upcoming show with the Boy Scouts, we certainly appreciate all points of view on the topic, but when people see our show they will realize it has nothing to do with this debate, and is in fact a competition series between individual scouts and civilians."

Said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick: "That National Geographic would brush aside countless gay teens suffering at the hands of the BSA, shrugging off injustice as just another 'point of view,' is irresponsible. By airing this program, National Geographic is providing support and publicity to an organization that harms young people simply because of who they are. If the network is truly committed to standing by its non-discrimination practices, it should have no problem airing a disclaimer to that effect."


  1. says

    BSA and the entire scouting organization sucks in young boys, before they have a chance to realize their sexual identity, then tells them they are wrong for developing as gawd created them.

  2. niles says

    A shocking and disgusting chapter for Nat. Geographic. That they would align themselves with one of the most notorious hate groups in the nation is bad enough, but then to belittle the rank discrimination and hate mongering as “different point of view” is outrageous! They need to go back to showing sagging native boobies.

  3. turing's ghost says

    If you follow the logic of National Geographic, then there should not be any objections to possible spinoffs called: “Are you smarter than a Nazi?” or “Are you smarter than the Taliban?”

  4. LP says

    If they are sincere in their statement that “we certainly appreciate all points of view on the topic, but when people see our show they will realize it has nothing to do with this debate, and is in fact a competition series between individual scouts and civilians” then they need to slot a gay scout or former scout into the competition. If it has nothing to do with the debate, let a gay scout compete.

  5. Craig says

    Being anti-gay is a minor issue compared to the fact that they have been protecting pedophile scout masters for years. I”m sure Nat Geo won’t be mentioning that little problem either.

  6. Jeff says

    Actually young Will called on Nat Geo to denounce the BSA. GLAAD just hitched their wagons to it. The headline is misleading.

  7. Peter M. says

    The National Geographic has sided against the LGBT community. They are a corporation, like Chick-fil-a and the Salvation Army. They have the legal right to make that choice and they have made it. And we have the right to call them out on it and let everybody know that they have sided with a discriminatory, homophobic organization against the LGBT community.

  8. David Hearne says

    Anyone is free to be angry with the BSA and NG, of course. My objection to the BSA is not that they exercise their Freedom Of Association, it’s that they continue in some areas to do it with government assistance and approval through the public schools. It’s unfortunate that they can poison the mind of youth, albeit homosexuality is rarely if ever discussed with youth, but this does not differentiate them from all sorts of religiously affiliated groups.

    We as gay people, exercise our Freedom Of Association and defend our right to it when it suits us. It’s disturbing to see/hear gay people and the so-called Progressives show such contempt for Freedom Of Association. He’s far from my hero, but this was what Rand Paul was actually talking about when he said that the Civil Rights acts abridged Freedom Of Association…. triggering a hissy fit from Rachel Maddow and the idiot Lawrence O’Donnell.