Saturday, January 21, 2006


Yet more proof arose today that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than sit around and make trouble about nothing.

Reports are circulating on various websites and the American Idol newsgroup that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have responded in outrage to the treatment of two contestants on the latest episode of American Idol. Specifically, they refer to the remarks against Charles Berry (who was told he should shave his beard and wear a dress) and Zachary Travis (the androgynous boy.) GLAAD is seeking a meeting with the program's producers.

And the rest of the world, busy trying to handle things that actually matter, continues to spin on its axis and revolve around the sun.

Surely I can't be the only person that's getting tired of one group fighting another.

First of all, the two contestants in question were untalented, to say the least. And there's little question that Zachary dressed the way he did to provoke attention (probably in hopes of getting on the air.) And even if that weren't the case, hasn't it always been the case that contestants who are rejected have been the recipients of various other nasty remarks? If everyone got all worked up about that, wouldn't we have millions of special interest groups marching on Fox?? Shouldn't Weight Watchers be storming the studios after Simon's "bigger stage" comment for Mandisa Hundley?

Secondly, what about the previous gay contestants? Jim Verraros (season 1) and Anwar Robinson (season 4) are both gay, and they got the same star treatment as anyone else. Clay Aiken (season 2) claims to be heterosexual, but certainly his orientation has been called into question many times and his mannerisms are decidedly effeminate. He is still treated well by Idol after climbing the ranks to finish second. If it is true that there is homophobia running rampant throughout Fox, 19 Media, TPTB, or any other related entities, would they have been treated so well?

Sometimes one just has to wonder if issues aren't manufactured just so the people that bring the allegations can justify receiving their paychecks for yet another week. But let's be real, folks. It's just a television show. Granted, it's popular, and it has millions of fans, but in the bigger scheme of things, is it as important as it's made out to be?

For GLAAD's part, their website claims that they have been mis-represented in other reports. They claim that they have only said the following: "GLAAD is reaching out to the show's producers to discuss our concerns and the concerns of community members and allies who have contacted us about this matter. The real offense here was in the producer's decision to add insult to injury by turning a contestant's gender expression into the butt of a joke."

This after they all but belted Gene Shalit in the mouth for disliking Brokeback Mountain.

And if I may, as a heterosexual and one on the outside looking in, offer this bit of advice to the gay community: If you wish to be accepted into society, the bullyish tactics of GLAAD are not going to help; rather their tactics diminish the credibility of anything you might be wishing to accomplish. The fighting over non-issues, whether it be the AFA fighting over The Book of Daniel or GLAAD squabbling over American Idol, only serves to bring more strife and less peace. Getting angry and hurt over every little thing that someone says doesn't help either, and siccing the speech police on every little non-politically correct offense just engenders resentment and strife.

So let's all just sit back, calm down, and enjoy the show.


At 6:36 PM, Blogger Brownsoul said...

I wasn't happy about Simon's big girl comment, but honestly, we know the type of image that they're looking for.

As far as the "homophobic" comments. It was down right wrong. We are such an exclusive society. We like to pick out a group of people to make them feel unwelcomed or not "normal". Once someone speaks up to say that it's wrong, and movements bring about such a change that it is almost taboo to be vocal with such prejudice, we pick another group to alienate.

Now, with all that said. People are who they are. Simon just happens to be an ass. You can't change him, nor can you do anything about his opinions or the fact that many other people co-sign these opinions. Deal with it. It really is the way of the world. You change what you can, and you accept the things you can't.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Simon hasn't reserved his snarky tongue just for effeminate men, either. He's always commenting on fashion sense, weight, name it. He's made quite a sizable limit off of bluntness and acidic speech. If you get down to it, that's what hooks the American people in the first place (and then they stay after the contestant drama picks up.) Everybody boos Simon, but they can't wait to see what he says next.

In any case, it's not as though Idol has been unkind to former gay contestants, so I see no basis to attack the whole show as homophobic


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