GLAAD asks Fox channel in Houston for apology after 'extremist' report on gay characters on 'Glee'

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has asked a Fox affiliate in Houston for a formal apology after their news broadcast aired a segment criticizing Glee‘s portrayal of gay teens. Last week, Glee aired a special 90-minute episode inspired by Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and devoted to teaching the series’ characters to celebrate what makes them unique. After the broadcast, Houston Fox affiliate KRIV-26 aired a segment called “Is TV Too Gay?” which focused on whether or not shows like Glee “delve too much into homosexual relationships.” One of the panelists, Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association, reprimanded Glee for portraying homosexuality which, in his words, “is conduct that bears enormous psychological and physical risk to those that engage in it.” GLAAD says that the channel has yet to issue a formal apology, and claims KRIV-26 initially seemed remorseful about the segment but now stands behind it.

Read more:
EW’s recap of the “Born This Way” episode
EW’s cover story on how ‘Glee’ is leading TV’s gay-teen revolution

Comments (181 total) Add your comment
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  • whatevs

    They’re really grasping at straws here.

    • oh no not again

      I can’t believe this stuff is still being talked about. I have been reading this stuff ever since the argument about the movie The Dilemma. Why does GLAAD keep asking everyone for apologies? The channel Fox Houston is entitled to have an opinion. GLAAD needs to stop trying to control people.

      • Kris

        I’m sorry but any “news” outlet being allowed to spew this venom and opinion is just wrong. If they were screaming racial slurs, condemning jews or siding with Osama Bin Laden, you would be singing a different tune but because they are attacking gays its ok? News outlets aren’t suppose to voice opinions.

      • deedeedragons

        Agree.

      • SisterZip

        I’m with you Kris. It is reports like that the convince the kids they are right to kill themselves.

        There is a “non-apology” apology that they could do. Run a disclaimer that the views of this guest does not reflect the views of the station. That works every time.

      • @oh no

        The fact that you actually said that the *news* channel had a right to their *opinion* says a lot about the state of journalism in this country right now.
        No, they did NOT have a “right” to spew hatred as if it were factual reporting.

      • whit

        that’s not an opinion, that’s hate speech. Don’t get it twisted.

      • Nick P.

        Totally. It really irks me that some groups can’t take a little criticism.

      • jbinminot

        They have a right to their opinion. Gays and liberals spew venom against Christians and conservatives all the time and they only complain when it comes back on them.

      • Cygnus

        I live in Houston, and actually saw the segment they;re talking about, which probably more than most of you can say. You’re jumping to conclusions about a segment you didnt see yourselves, based upon what GLAAD is wanting you to believe. The reality is that it wasnt a hateful segment, it was a panel discussing how hard it is to be gay in America, and that shows like Glee shouldnt be giving off the wrong message that being gay is all rainbows and gumdrops every day. It’s not a question of whetehr gay is right or wrong, but don’t give the wrong impression of the lifestyle. Just like schools argue every day about the best way to educate about sex. Sex is a huge responsibility with many ramifications. Kids shouldnt jump into it with such casualness as TV always shows.

      • WarRoom92

        Cygnas,
        It’s clear you jump to conclusions. Glee doesn’t paint being gay as all “rainbows and gumdrops” One of the characters was threatened, had to leave school, was continuously bullied for being gay, so actually watch Glee before you show your ignorance against people who are gay

      • The Truth

        Hey WarRoom92 you need to sharpen your reading skills. Cygnas commented only what the panel discussion was about and not about his opinion on what Glee is, but what the panel members think Glee is. Now I have seen several episodes and I got the Glee message loud and clear. The message is conform to our beliefs and opinions our you are wrong, end of message. You can almost hear the NAZI boots goose stepping in the background. You don’t agree with Glee, vas is dos, SIEZE HIM!

      • Kiki

        So, you’d be good with a NEWS station airing a segment asking, “Is TV too black?” after airing a repeat of In LIving Color?

      • Cygnus

        Kiki, we see plenty of stories about how TV and movies are too WHITE, and how they lack enough black actors.

        WarRoom, I do watch Glee. I happen to enjoy it. I’m very aware of how the show portrays gay issues. The problem is that the show gives the impression that all gay hardships will be worked out, and you can be like Curt, returning back to New Directions, all happy and resolved. The reality is that gays will continue to be persecuted for a long long time, like any other minority. GLAAD doesnt need to act like they’re the only game in town, and the only minority being persecuted.

      • thin

        @jbinminot: Gays would not have a single issue with Christians if the Christians didn’t take issue with them.

      • thin

        @Cygnus: Dunno what to say here. You do seem to be aware of what’s going on with the show, but your perception of it seems completely out of touch with what’s actually happened. Yes, Kurt is back at McKinley, but the road there was far from easy, and even now his situation there is far from resolved. And aside from Kurt, there are two other gay characters who don’t show any signs of coming to a happy resolution about it any time soon.

      • Zakry

        NO, news programs are NOT allowed to have an opinion. They are supposed to inform the public. It sounds like the segment was slanted anti-gay. Local news channels are definitely not supposed to take one side of an issue or another, just present the facts -hopefully both sides in balance, and let the public decide how they feel about what they’ve learned.

      • Jones

        Um GLAAD isn’t trying to control people. They’re trying to help people…gay people! and straight people…and bi people…and transgendered people…which then helps ALL people!

    • Neil

      This show is so gay.

      • jbinminot

        Amen and it sucks and is worshipped by the writers at EW. I swear if they cancelled it all the staff at EW would have the biggest hissy fit the world will have ever seen.

      • Adam

        Which would send EW into more of a tailspin: the loss of Glee or the loss of Twilight?

      • killemall

        Exactly, this is why I cancelled my subscription. I got sick of all the pro-gay everything.

      • USA

        My thoughts exactly.

      • Lori

        GLAAD needs to get over itself or perhaps be reminded of free speech and opinions. They want their own to be respected. Well, they have to follow suit and respect others to as well.

  • Jessica

    Has anyone seen this segment? Were multiple facets of the issue addressed?

    • Chris

      I live in Houston and Fox 26 is known for segments like this. I didn’t see the one on Glee but I have seen previous ones and they do show both sides of the issue. The sad thing is that the anchors are not very good at balancing out the issue. They usually take a side. I remember one segment on gay marriage that they did and the anchor said as a Catholic he would be horrified if his son didn’t marry a woman. I’ve since lost respect for that anchor. Anyone wanting to get an idea of how ridiculous this news station is type in “roving reporter” in youtube. I’m embarrassed right now to be from Houston.

      • Chris

        Make sure you select the “roving reporter: ettiqutte lesson”. That guy is the senior reporter on Fox 26. Shows just how much class that station has. There are several videos of that guy. Watch them all for a good laugh.

      • Krsi

        Oh please. I’m from Houston too, bit this sort of thug happens everywhere. Are forgetting that Houston has an openly lesbian mayor. The only major U.S. To elect an opening gay mayor.

        People have different opinions. So what.

      • AB

        I think San Francisco beat you to the punch, Houston, ages ago, with the gay mayor thing, sweetheart.

      • Gil

        AB, now I don’t know if Krsi’s gender, but the “sweetheart” remark is sexest. Bigot!

    • Kris

      According to the GLAAD blog there aren’t. They only speak to people who are against gays and compare showing gay teens on TV to product placement (meaning that because Kurt is gay, teenagers watching are going to want to be gay).

  • ks

    Really? I want an apology for the crappy covers Glee does *sarcasm*

    • Shaun

      While I find the FOX station’s “news” reporting distasteful, I have to agree with that. Not a show I watch.

      • Tom

        There has to be some gay person somewhere just hoping that all these gay-exhibitionists just go away

      • Bill

        ^ That would be. I’m gay and I’m embarrassed by Ryan Murphy and company.

      • JasonInDFW

        That’s right. Be good little queers and sit in the back of the bus and don’t make any noise so we can pretend you don’t exist.

        Why, exactly, are you embarrassed, Bill?

  • topazbean

    I think choosing to have a debate in the first place entitled “Is TV too gay?” is pretty questionable, regardless of whether both the “yes” and “no” sides were considered. The wording also implies that there can be a tone to a TV programme that is inherently “gay”, which is offensive and stupid. As for the number of gay characters and individuals on TV, the idea that there is even a case to answer is ludicrous. A debate like this is put on purely for the sake of sensationalism and stirring up resentments. Very dodgy.

    • Chris

      That station is known for sensationalism. They recently had a segment called “Pole dancing for Jesus”.

      • The Snack Bar

        Every station in America aired to Pole Dancing for Jesus story.

      • Zakry

        No they didn’t dummy.

  • stu

    2 & 1/2 Men,Private Practice,Gossip Girl… y not do a segment on those shoes cramming hetro story lines down our throats.

    • Woot

      I don’t want the straight agenda corrupting my children’s minds!

      • EigrubAD

        I seriously want that on a t-shirt. Despite my being straight, of course.

    • unicornwasp

      you said it!

    • JasonInDFW

      Exactly, Stu. Name the gay characters on prime time network TV. Not really all that many.

      • Mike

        I agree, but WHY do the ones that are on TV have to be so stereotypical??? My favorite gay character right now has to be Max on Happy Endings–though they do feel the need to constantly remind us he’s gay (I’m guessing that’s a first-season get-to-know-the-characters thing), he’s decidely not a walking stereotype. Can’t say the same for Glee; when Kurt came out to his dad, and his dad said (paraphrasing) “I know, because when you were 3 you asked for sensible heels,” I seriously wanted to throw something at the TV.

        I appreciate what Glee is trying to do, and as a gay male I’m all for the “pushing” of an “agenda” of tolerance, but I really wish the gay characters in the media didn’t all have to be an over-the-top stereotype. Why does Karofsky have to be a closted bully; can’t he just be a masculine gay? Or if/when he finally does come out, will he be joining Kurt and Blaine in discussions about Patti Lupone??

      • JasonInDFW

        I hear what you are saying. Having less stereotypical gays would be nice, because we come in all different types. But there are stereotypical gays out there, and they face a lot of bullying, so there is a place for that on TV too.

      • thin

        I hear what you’re saying, Mike, but the reality of the situation is that sitcoms (or whatever you would categorize Glee as now, since it’s rarely funny anymore) are built on stereotypes.

      • fasty

        Kurt is not a pure stereotype. There’s more depth to his character than anyone on that show. So he’s on the feminine side of the spectrum. Blaine is pretty much right in the middle. And Karovsky is uber-masculine. One is bullied and abused, one is fairly well adjusted and one battle his own demons. This attitude like Kurt represents all of “gay” on Glee is ridiculous.

  • Shaun

    Big shock, it’s Texas… It’s full of bigots. I lived there for a time. It was true then (the early 80s) and it’s true now. With the exception of Austin, which is a cool town, the rest of that state could do the nation a huge favor and secede.

    • Chris

      Austin is no better than Houston. Houston currently has a lesbian Mayor. Austin doesn’t. The views of a highly conservative leaning news station should not represent the entire city. No one really watches Fox 26 anyway. It’s all about ABC 13 down here.

    • Mary

      Come on…we’re not all bigots in Texas. I’m from Houston and I’m ashamed that one of our local affiliates did this report.

      • Chris

        I also live in Houston and after reading this I will never watch Fox 26 news again.

    • Bill

      LOL….you must not actually live in Austin. There’s just as many bigots here as anywhere else in Texas.

      • Krsi

        Word. Austin desperately wants the rest of the country to thinks it’s San Fran. Not by a mile.

    • JasonInDFW

      I, too, am from Texas and am not in favor of anything like this. Texas, like all places, has a diverse population. It skews a little conservative, but even W. didn’t get 100% of the vote.

      • thin

        It skews more than “a little” conservative, man.

  • jordan

    Is TV too straight?

    • TorontoTom

      Exactly! Politically, I tolerate the hetero “lifestyle choice”, but having it constantly, night after night on network television, shoved down our throats is offensive.

      • Jay

        Heterosexuality is basic mammal instincts to propagate a species… it is not a “choice”.

      • tvgirl48

        We date, we’re straight, get used to it!

      • my opinion

        I think what Toronto meant when he said he finds it hard to tolerate heteros is that men and women are confused about each other. Look at the quote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. I think people make the choice to be gay because they are scared and lost when they think about the opposite sex.

      • RightOne

        Sorry, My Opinion, being gay is NOT a choice! Just as being straight is not a choice. We are all attracted to who we’re attracted to, it cannot be helped. You may be attracted to the opposite sex, others are attracted to the same sex. I’m not confused about the opposite sex. I just don’t want to sleep with them.

      • my opinion

        I should have explained better. You are correct about thats who they are, not a choice. All I am saying is that at times peoples emotions can change who they are. I have heard about people going from straight to gay because of experiencing a traumatic or emotional moment.

      • Jon

        Toronto Tom is being facetious.

        “my opinion” is being an ignoramus.

      • Ames

        Yes, ‘my opinion’ there are many people out there who are confused and act without thinking of the long-term consequences. Usually we call these people “teenagers.” This is why so many people lament promescuity on TV, b/c teenagers are so impressionable and want to fit in. People are worried their kids will ‘act’ like the teenagers on TV, including the gay ones. This is why parents need to put down the pamphlets they get from these coalitions and start talking to their kids. Find out who they are, and start being the models for behavior rather than plopping the kids in front of the TV for the night.

  • Chet

    It’s not really fair to include a far right religious organization like American Family Association. They are notorious for being very anti-gay so of course they would think Glee is too gay. They probably think the Ellen show is too gay

    • topazbean

      I have no doubt they think the Ellen show is too gay. I watched the debate, and Ray Hill spoke very well – the other guy was on another planet.

  • media

    Here it comes again, the GLAAD argument debating media. Make it stop.

    • unicornwasp

      yeah, geez, how dare they call out people for being hateful and hold them accountable for the inflammatory stuff they say.

  • whatevs

    While I know everyone loves to destroy people who disagree with them, there can be an argument made that the percentage of gay people on TV far exceeds the actual percentage of gay people in the population.

    They just get a much larger representation in the media then say, Hispanics or Asians, who make up a larger portion of the American population.

    • Ben Linus

      I’m not so sure about that, where I live every one you talk to seems to know a gay person, hell the best man at my wedding was gay. Of course I live in NY state though so I imagine there would be more gay people in a blue state then a red state like Texas. Ah hell those redstates do have some credibility over the middle east, at least they don’t stone people and make them wear burkas.

      • whatevs

        Do you know more gays than minorities, though? It would surprise me if you did.

      • CarlPhren

        “Where you live” is the important qualifier. I have at least half a dozen gay friends from college. But out of the hundreds of people I work with, none of them are gay (as far as I can tell). And there’s no reason for them to be hiding their orientation – I live in amongst the ‘bluest’ of states, where gay marriage is legal and the company actually offered domestic partner benefits even before the law changed.

      • Woot

        I wouldn’t say it’s that disproportionate. Gay people make up about 5% of the population. I would say gay characters take up 8-12% at most.

      • TorontoTom

        NAIVE, folks. There are gay people EVERYWHERE. The ones in the red states are closeted and get satisfaction on the down-low (and that includes LOTS of married men)

      • Bill

        ^ Do you speak from experience?

      • Zakry

        Maybe he does know more gays than minorities because gays can be any race!

        I swear, I look at your posts and I think “does he live in Pleasantville?” How do you not understand this??

      • Victoria

        Whateves (asking: Do you know more gays than minorities, though? It would surprise me if you did.): I do. I am not by any means racist, and have several minority friends, but I know more gay people.

    • Tyler S.

      But you also have to see it from a storytelling perspective. Racial issues aren’t as prevalent anymore, especially compared to the issues that gay people face everyday. Gay characters offer emotionally dense storylines and appeal to younger audiences that are more open to gay characters. Its a creative and marketing jackpot.

    • Amber

      Where are these large numbers of gay characters on TV? Honestly I can only think of four major television series with staring, recurring gay/lesbian/bisexual characters (Grey’ Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Modern Family and Glee) and these are ensemble casts. I do agree that Asian Americans are vastly underrepresented (although LGBT and Asian Americans are about the same percentage – 3% – of the population so the contention that they are a A-A are a much larger group is false)

      • Lisa London

        There are also gay characters on Happy Endings, The Good Wife, White Collar, Torchwood, and 90290 – that I can think of (or that I know of).

      • Zakry

        You think the gay population is only 3%?

    • joblo

      Good point. There are very few asians on TV for example. And when people talk about minorities they usually do not include asians in the conversations (it’s usually blacks and hispanics). It’s a valid observation you made.

      • Sigh

        American Indians, remember us? We came out of our teepees and long houses, we actually have tv and internet. oh and cars. We have cars.

    • JasonInDFW

      Do you really think the number of gay people to straight people on TV is disproportionately gay? I would argue the other way. Really, how many gay characters are there?

    • Pam

      I’d have to disagree that there are more gays on TV than real life. I think gays and lesbians are very under-represented on TV, so much so that when a show has GASP more than one character, it’s somehow considered too much. You probably aren’t even aware of how many gays and lesbians are in your own personal world of neighbors, friends, co workers or a church,etc. So many are not open about their sexuality due to the prejudices of others. And no, not all gay men are effeminate and not all lesbian women are butch, so you don’t necessarily know.

      • JasonInDFW

        I agree. If a show has more than a single gay character, then it is too gay.

  • Stacey

    I watched the segment online. While it’s true the guy from the AFA had some typically slanted “facts” to throw out, there was a gay rights advocate who gave a rebuttal that I thought seemed very effective. Local news shows have those kinds of debate segments a lot, so as long as they’re giving equal time to both sides of the issue, I don’t see the need for an apology.

    • Jones

      Yeah but usually the news programs have so called “experts” rather than someone with no background in psychology spewing b.s.

      • Mike

        Gawd you f@gs are drama queens

      • Brian

        Bryan Fischer is a member of the American Family Association and the group has been listed as an anti-gay hate group my the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      • Jon

        Mike, way to hide behind the Internet. Come over here and I’ll punch you in the face.

      • LP

        I didn’t see the piece, but this Bryan Fischer is a real piece of work. He used to live in my home town, and makes a habit of spreading hate wherever he goes.

    • JasonInDFW

      I disagree. News programs often try to present both sides, but they often end up taking a side with maybe 5 people and elevating it to legitimate status.

  • Thomas

    Is TV too racially integrated? Is TV too heterosexual? Does TV make men look too stupid, and is it too misogynistic at the same time? Are there any Middle Eastern characters on TV portrayed as normal? Silly hicks, TV is pandering to you, and the minute a show colors outside your lines, you get all a-dither. Grow up. Gay people exist. Deal with it.

  • Jones

    “conduct that bears enormous psychological and physical risk to those that engage in it?” I would say it’s far more likely that those who have to hide it because if they come out they’ll have to deal with ass—– like this guy are far more like to have issues.

  • Davis

    We finally got rid of the intolerance of Osama Bin Laden! Now it is time to rid America of intolerant activists! Don’t like Glee! Don’t watch!

  • allie

    You know what’s interesting is that there is NOTHING in the news about this in Houston. Not even on the Houston Chronicle website. But to be fair, it’s FOX. Why is this news?

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