NBC Hub




NBC Straightwashes Its John Constantine

140509_2781062_Constantine_Official_Trailer

2005’s Constantine, directed by Francis Lewis, was essentially an excuse to watch Keanu Reeves smoulder on screen and Tilda Swinton rock a pair of post-modern angel wings. Constantine, which was based on Vertigo Comics’s Hellblazer series, was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie bore little resemblance to the source material other its characters’ names. John Constantine was no longer blonde, English, charming, or apparently bisexual the way he’d been on the pages of Hellblazer.

Late last year Deadline reported that NBC had greenlit a Constantine reboot for its fall lineup. As casting announcements were made and promotional footage released, fans of the comics were left wondering if this incarnation of the supernatural antihero would be truer to its roots.

M3ywffzyvmwu7jzedbenDaniel Cerone, executive producer for NBC’s Constantine, set the record straight this past Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s press junket. One of the more interesting things about the Hellblazer series was that its characters aged in real time over the book’s 30 year run. Bisexual as Constantine may have been, the bulk of his love interests were women.

“[T]here might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man.” Cerone explained, musing about future developments for the character. “So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”

Unlike his love of cigarettes, Constantine’s sexuality was never exactly an ancillary aspect of his character. But it wasn’t something that the character himself, and his writers by extension, ever outright dismissed or retconned. Charlie Jane Anders of io9 agrees that the NBC’s decision to tone down Constantine’s smoking is a little more egregious, but felt as if the network definitely missed an opportunity:

I didn't mean to skate over this issue quite so glibly — blame deadlines and pre-Comic-Con phone calls. I do think erasing queer people from pop culture is a shitty thing to do, and we desperately need more pop culture that represents the whole range of human sexuality. And it really wouldn't have cost much for them to include an aside about ex-boyfriends along with ex-girlfriends. At the same time, to me the most important aspect of John Constantine is not who he fucks, but who he fucks over.  

A Pew study published last June reported that bisexually identified individuals composed the largest percentage of their survey sample that included gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgendered people. Conversely, on average lesbians and gays reported being far more open with friends and family about their sexual orientation than their bisexual counterparts.

One of the major challenges to combating what many queer people have identified as “bi-invisibility,” is finding opportunities to introduce bisexuals into the popular conscious. Calls to action for compulsory comings out for bisexuals are neither moral nor realistic, but programming like Constantine has the potential to push that conversation in the right direction.

Check out the promo for the new Constantine AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NBC Straightwashes Its John Constantine" »


Ralph Reed Working on Behalf of MSNBC Parent: Report

Evangelical strategist Ralph Reed is doing Capitol Hill consulting work in an unofficial capacity on the behalf of NBC Universal’s parent company, Comcast, according to the Washington Blade. Reed’s Duluth-based PR firm, Century Strategies, is said to have been on retainer with Comcast for the better part of a the past decade.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a5118a5b46970cReed’s work for Comcast, which has owned MSNBC since 2011, is common knowledge amongst Hill insiders.

"It's widely known because Ralph's been on conference calls," one insider told The Blade. "It's been at least eight years; it's been quite some time."

Though unconfirmed it is likely that Reed is functioning in a role just shy of lobbying, assisting in Comcast’s $45.2 billion acquisition of Time-Warner Cable. Reed made headlines earlier this month after drawing comparisons between various legal fights advancing Marriage Equality and Dred Scott v. Sanford.  

“Only six of them, six out of those 17, six out of 50 states, [legalized same-sex marriage] by referendum or by state legislature,” he said, according to Politico. “In every other case, it was imposed by courts. Just like the courts had to impose Dred Scott. Because they couldn’t do it on the country because the country didn’t agree with it. The country, by the way, doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage.”

Dred Scott, widely recognized as being one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions of all time, is frequently trotted out to raise the spectre of judicial activism, governmental overreach, and flat out war.

Reed debated whether opposition to same-sex marriage was tantamount to discrimination with MSNBC newshost Rachel Maddow on Meet The Press in 2013. Check out the clip AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ralph Reed Working on Behalf of MSNBC Parent: Report" »


NBC's Networks Devoted 119 Minutes of Coverage to Russia's Anti-Gay Laws During Sochi Games

HRC reports that over the course of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, "NBC has dedicated 1 hour, 59 minutes, 42 seconds across NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC, CNBC and USA to discussing Russia’s anti-LGBT laws."

NbcsochiIn total, 30% of coverage aired on NBC with 66% on MSNBC and just over 3% on CNBC.  On the final day of the Games, there were three mentions of Russia’s persecution of LGBT people, including an interview where host Bob Costas asks International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach whether the IOC might change its policies to specify that certain things have to be in order in a country before the Olympics would consider going there.  After Bach stated that it was not the job of the IOC to influence politics, Costas went on to question the IOC’s decision to punish any athlete who spoke out against Russia’s mistreatment of LGBT people during official Olympic proceedings.

Coveragetime


NBC Hit With Protests for Ignoring Gays in Russia in Lead-Up to Sochi Winter Olympics: VIDEO

Weir_nbc

Queer Nation protested outside NBC's Sports Department holiday party outside a restaurant on East 30th street in NYC yesterday. The banner was sewn by Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag.

Earlier in the day, the group hit the Today show holiday party.

Pogrom Nbc_wtf
The group explained its actions in a press release:

Charging that NBC is misinforming its viewers about the dire circumstances of LGBT Russians ahead of its broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, LGBT activists will demand that NBC tell the truth about Russia and its anti-LGBT laws.

“NBC has dispatched Olympic commentator Johnny Weir and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, two openly gay men, to soft-pedal the Russian government’s anti-LGBT bigotry,” said Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation NY, an LGBT rights group. “LGBT Russians have been vilified, assaulted, tortured, murdered, and fired from their jobs by the Russian government and by Russian thugs. It’s past time for NBC to report the facts about Russia.”

NBC, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the broadcast rights for the Sochi Olympics, said in a Dec. 3 statement, "As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law.” The following events have transpired since then; NBC has reported on none of them:

- Dec. 5: New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asks 10 Olympic sponsors to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 6: At his Moscow concert, Elton John condemns Russia's anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 8: German President Joachim Gauck declares he will boycott the Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Dec. 10: European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding says she will boycott Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Violence against LGBT Russian continues unabated and Russian government does nothing.

Weir and Roberts cover the Olympics for NBC. Roberts hosted the Nov. 9 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow and broadcast on NBC; in Moscow, he made comments that minimized the harm of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws. Weir, who also works for the Russian consulate in New York City, has consistently praised Russia and defended one of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws at a recent appearance at Barnard College.

A story on Americablog revealed yesterday that Weir's bio claimed that he worked for the Russian consulate, a detail that was scrubbed immediately after the story came out.

The scrubbing was followed by a statement from Weir and his publicist saying that the figure skater had never worked for the Russian government.

Weir also tweeted: "I have never worked at or for a Russian consulate. I don't know where people get this stuff. XO"

Queer Nation also released a video yesterday, Olympic Jive, highlighting the Russian anti-gay laws and denouncing the IOC and its sponsors for standing by and doing nothing.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NBC Hit With Protests for Ignoring Gays in Russia in Lead-Up to Sochi Winter Olympics: VIDEO" »


NBC Expresses Support for Johnny Weir's Apology to Gay Activists

NBC released a statement late yesterday expressing support for their correspondent Johnny Weir's apology after Weir lashed out at Queer Nation activists, calling them "idiots" at a talk at Barnard College earlier this week. The activists were protesting Weir's decision to serve as an NBC correspondent during the upcoming Sochi Games in Russia and his ongoing defense of the country despite its anti-gay laws.

Deadline reports: Weir

NBC just released a statement in response to Johnny Weir’s comments this morning that he feels “remorse” for insulting protesters during an appearance Monday at Barnard College. “We’re supportive of Johnny’s apology for his choice of words last night in an emotional setting. As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law”, NBC said.


Johnny Weir Faces Off with LGBT Activists at Barnard Appearance, Calls Them 'Idiots'

Earlier I posted about Queer Nation protests of Johnny Weir at a talk at Barnard College last night. Weir appeared at the talk with his husband, Victor Weir-Voronov. The openly gay skater is contracted to work at the Sochi Games as a commentator for NBC.

Weir_voronovApparently there were fireworks inside the talk as well, as Weir defended his love of Russia and attacked the LGBT activists protesting him outside.

Reports Andy Humm at Gay City News:

During his talk he spoke of “idiots like the ones outside tonight, dumping vodka in the street,” action he dismissed as useless.

“They say all these stupid things,” he told the audience of about 40 Barnard women students. “I never supported the [Russian] government. I supported the people.”

Polling shows the Russian people support the anti-gay laws overwhelmingly.

...

“We’re angry at him for not telling the truth about what’s going on in Russia to LGBT Russians and everybody else who dissents, who are being brutalized,” said Ann Northrop of Queer Nation at the protest. “He is selling out millions of people to satisfy his desire not to forgo his income or status. Is this what he would have done in Germany in 1936?”

Protest_weirVersha Sharma at Vocativ backs up Humm's report:

The real tension came when he referenced “idiots like the four outside,” referring to the half-dozen activists from organizations Queer Nation and RUSA LGBT who were protesting the event. They held up a banner in front of the school gates that read, “Weir: Russian Olympic Clown; N.B.C.: Naive Bloody Collaborators.”

...

“I as a gay man hope there’s a beautiful iconic moment, but I don’t think it will happen in Sochi,” Weir said.

The iconic moment of Weir’s talk came when longtime activist and reporter Andy Humm called out Weir for his “idiots” comment and demanded the figure skater apologize.

“You insulted them,” Humm told Weir, pointing out that the activists outside “have 100-plus years of experience…they won your right to get married.”

“When I feel attacked, I have the right and ability to say something,” Weir responded, and then apologized.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged