Michael Sam | Television

CNN Puts Michael Sam’s Kiss in Context With Other Watershed Social TV Moments: VIDEO

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On Monday night’s CNN Tonight, host Bill Weir looked at Michael Sam’s emotional kiss with his boyfriend within the context of other iconic, groundbreaking, and controversial television moments.

Star trekFrom William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols’ interracial kiss on Star Trek in 1968 to All in the Family writing the first gay character into a network television script in 1971 to Modern Family’s upcoming gay wedding, television has had a quite a long history breaking down societal barriers.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP

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  1. I know this is totally OT, and probably inappropriate (hey, it's me, after all), but I'd do Bill Weir in a heartbeat.

    Posted by: dommyluc | May 14, 2014 9:10:17 AM


  2. I'm glad he's the first openly gay player. Do I think he will be this awesome NFL superstar? probably not from what I understand of his size and/or speed. I've heard mention of him being put on special teams. I'm a baseball fan so I'm not real sure what that is.

    That being said, how does everyone feel about the story on queerty about his b/f's gay porn past (which is really he just dated a gay porn star and apparently likes to be beaten during sex). I feel it has no relevance other than shock value and/or gays trying to beat each other down.

    Posted by: Matt | May 14, 2014 9:20:30 AM


  3. **slow clap for Matt**

    That is some impressive keyboard gymnastics to bring up salacious gossip while simultaneously appearing to condemn such gossip.

    Posted by: crispy | May 14, 2014 9:25:10 AM


  4. Nice piece. And, yeah, Bill Weir is a hottie

    Posted by: Jim | May 14, 2014 9:40:52 AM


  5. @Crispy.

    I wasn't trying to bring up gossip. It's on other gay sites/blogs. So apparently it's an issue people want to discuss. I have friends who have escorted and done porn. I see how they are treated like pariahs even though everyone loves them on cam. I've even had one friend fired from teaching even though he performed almost a decade before that so don't school me on bringing up gossip.

    I truly just want to see where people's heads are on this.

    Posted by: Matt | May 14, 2014 9:45:24 AM


  6. Love triumphs.

    Posted by: Ken | May 14, 2014 9:45:49 AM


  7. To fuel Bill Weir fantasies, check out his BJ joke: http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/17/cnns-bill-weir-makes-quite-the-blow-job-joke/

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | May 14, 2014 9:58:18 AM


  8. cute. it's history already. that's good.

    Posted by: woody | May 14, 2014 10:00:06 AM


  9. I think less of you Matt for reading, remembering and giving any credence to any bs reported on by Queerty. They are essentially an anti-gay organization out to destroy gay celebrities and gay culture. Why are you even giving them web traffic?

    Posted by: Kevin | May 14, 2014 10:10:40 AM


  10. The interesting thing is that so little has been made of the interracial component of the Michael Sam kiss. Maybe we've made some progress.

    Posted by: Alan | May 14, 2014 10:27:14 AM


  11. "The interesting thing is that so little has been made of the interracial component of the Michael Sam kiss."

    I suspect it is in fact on many peoples' minds, but is considered even more politically incorrect to underscore than the same-sex aspect of it. Which is actually an interesting sort of sociological koan that I don't have time to expound upon.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | May 14, 2014 10:33:06 AM


  12. Ah, Northern Exposure had a gay wedding prominently featured in an episode back in the early 90's, but I guess TV viewers are now too young to remember that, and the first regular gay character was Billy Crystal's on SOAP in the late seventies. The first real life gay character was on PBS American Family documentary (a precursor to reality TV in a way) about the Loud family and the gay son (who was moving to NYC when the show was filmed). Implied gay characters go all the way back to the beginning of TV.

    Posted by: anon | May 14, 2014 10:55:32 AM


  13. Honestly speaking, it wasn't until someone mentioned his Italian boyfriend, that I even noticed the couple was biracial. However, if have issues with race, you probably noticed first thing. I think we are at a good place as far as the majority of America.

    Of course, the teabaggers might not agree, but, who cares!

    Posted by: Gaiboi | May 14, 2014 10:58:11 AM


  14. Matt,
    If you want to know how people feel about low-brow gossip, why not discuss it at low-brow gossip sites like Queerty, TMZ, or even Perez?

    Many of us don't read those sites and hadn't heard those rumors until you took such delight in passing them along.

    Posted by: crispy | May 14, 2014 11:01:45 AM


  15. http://littlekiwilovesbauhaus.blogspot.ca/2014/04/are-pride-parades-too-sexual-is-there.html

    What I've been enjoying is this - that kiss, no different from the kiss any heterosexual couples can, and HAVE, made.....has inspired a whirlwind of blisteringly angry hatred and bigotry.

    You'd think that Michael Sam had ejaculated all over his BF on national television and then started fisting him, or something. Nope. It was kissing and embracing. Just like we see hetero couples do on television, numerous times every day.

    So, as Pride Season comes around...let's remember something: hateful ignorant bigots will always always ALWAYS look for something to be outraged and disgusted by. And if they can't find anything? Well, they'll just make something up.

    So, as the time of year comes for the still-Closeted hand-wringing ninnies of the gay communities to screech that "pride parades are too sexual!" - because a few folks, a decided minority of marches, choose to wear @ssless chaps or fetish gear - just remember: to a hateful bigot, even a kiss is a reason to be angry. So stop thinking that neutering yourselves and "de-sexualizing" yourselves will make them accept you. It won't. It'll just show them that you're a doormat who caters to bigot's whims.

    For real - the freakouts this week over Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend as he MADE HISTORY have been brilliantly asinine. Haters are gonna hate, and they're desperate to have something to complain about. We win when we keep on doing what we do - and we step it up even more.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 14, 2014 11:02:31 AM


  16. This "gay kiss" is only a big deal to the hetero-privileged set that prefers to imagine we don't even exist.

    Of course there have been tons of gay people just being gay in media... Is it b/c it shifts their paradigm of masculinity b/c he's black, an athlete, something else? Is it that they are forced to acknowledge that we won't go away?

    Straight people are exhausting.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | May 14, 2014 11:05:13 AM


  17. Pete - i think we're seeing the anger of people who feel, yes, "emasculated" by the fact that more and more of us gay folks *AREN'T SCARED OF THEM*.

    they want us to be living in fear of their bigotry. they want us to censor and edit and compartmentalize ourselves, because it means that they therefore control us.

    when we live out loud, we show them that we don't care to cater to them. that's why they get angry. it's a bully saying "why aren't you scared of me!?!?"

    we will outlast every fight against us.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 14, 2014 11:13:04 AM


  18. If gay people try to "hide in shame" or whatever, that just validates the mistaken belief that there is something wrong with being gay.

    Being comfortable with yourself allows others to get comfortable with you.

    I was really impressed with Sam's answers and demeanor when at his press conference.w

    Posted by: steve talbert | May 14, 2014 11:21:33 AM


  19. Weir IS hot, but he's also SO wrong about SO many things in this segment no matter how well-intended. First, the American gay rights movement was NOT "young" in 1971 but, in terms of continuity, was over two decades old by then.

    Lear might not have used "gay," but the episode, again however well-intended, was peppered with "fag, faggy, queer, pansy, and fruit." Obama did not "evolve" on marriage equality but simply re-recalculated the politics and returned to his 1996 position. And, wonderful as it was, Michael Sam's kiss, was NOT “the first unscripted gay kiss” on TV—an assertion so LUDICROUSLY ABSURD even Weir would have realized it himself had he stopped to think about the countless same-sex couples that have been shown kissing for decades in TV coverage of gay protests, parades, mass gay weddings during marches on Washington, and San Francisco’s 2004 “Winter of Love.” In fact Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO showed Jack Baker and Michael McConnell kissing after their wedding ceremony in 1971—just a few months after the “All in the Family” episode.

    EARTH TO LGBT-FRIENDLY “JOURNALISTS” LIKE WEIR: a sincere thanks for your shout outs to love and self-acceptance and acceptance of others. But you can do that and ALSO get your facts, you should pardon the expression, straight.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 14, 2014 4:58:31 PM


  20. I've been following this story since it broke but I hadn't actually watched the video. The kiss was about 1/4 of a second long if that. I was expecting it to be a make out session from all of the controversy. If you blinked, you missed it. People need to get a life. I've seen straight men on TV exchange longer kisses than that.

    Posted by: Trevor | May 14, 2014 5:49:02 PM


  21. I suspect the "negative" opinions of "the kiss" is centered more around race than gay. It's a fact of life...if it had been 2 white men sharing a celebratory (admit it, folks this was a "chaste" kiss in reality)the negative polls would have been much different...in favor of it. I think the saddest commentary is that there are those who really don't want to see this couple share a beautiful moment and take away their joy with their unease. THAT is really where the line is drawn. Why does it have to be negative when someone is living their truth and is joyful?

    Posted by: thom | May 18, 2014 10:04:34 AM


  22. I think the only thing that will altar bigotry and homophobia is by MORE visbility by gay couples (holding hands, appropriate kissing and coming out) not less visibility. Visibility is what desensitizes people and accepts gay relationships as much like their own

    Posted by: Watv505 | May 18, 2014 4:14:18 PM


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