EDITORIAL: Private Industry, and anti-Gay Boycotts
We have heard a lot of controversy and even litigation about public school curricula lately, about such matters ranging from evolution to homosexuality. There seems to be a fault line between rationalism (“secular humanism”) and religion here. It’s understandable that the spending of public funds for sharp-edged curricula will raise questions and objections.
But over the years there have been attempts by the Right to
Recently Microsoft was caught in a
crossfire. It had been supporting a workplace anti-discrimination bill
A more alarming incident concerns Proctor and Gamble. The
soap manufacturer in
To someone who would like to sell scripts of major
storylines with unusual treatment of gay themes to film and television
investors (if not outright Tinseltown) this is an
alarming development. It is interesting to note that a few other major dramatic
shows featuring teens and young adults have introduced homosexual characters in
at least brief (sometimes substantial) episodes. These shows (particularly on TheWB) include Everwood, Jack & Bobby, One Tree Hill, and Smallville.
Generally, these treatments are respectful of various points of view,
present some major arguments, avoid showing explicit sex, and fit within the
practices of mainstream television, even what seems “PG-13” in child suitability.
presents the problem of being both gifted and “different” and having to hide
with a “don’t ask don’t tell” mentality that almost equates extraterrestrial
origin (of teenage
Will the Christian right target these shows next? Well, I certainly hope they wouldn’t get anywhere if they did. I wonder why their religious intolerance has moved beyond what is publicly funded to what people may choose to see in their own homes and can easily avoid if they want. Okay the cable and network industry can do even more to give parents the ability to block shows that, for their own convictions, they don’t what their kids to see. But what is really going on here?
It does seem like there has been a backlash against cultural rationalism, ever since Lawrence v. Texas. The harder economic times and scary atmosphere in the wake of 9-11 certainly contribute. People see homosexuals, particularly, as having cheated on family responsibility and, by competing in the same economic and cultural space, making it harder to raise kids. That’s a tempting thing for the right to play on.
For one, though, I like the trend of the newer dramatic shows, to present homosexual people as simply part of a diverse world, that bring their own salt and pepper to the moral ambiguity that makes us root for these characters and feel disappoint at their falls. I, for one, want to develop a property where at least one of them doesn’t fall. But, the Right tolerates no ambiguity, takes no prisoners, and says there is only one Way to be.
©Copyright 2005 by
Catholic League and Assemblies of God: http://www.religioustolerance.org/disney1.htm
Murray, “How Microsoft Tripped Over Gay Rights,” The Wall Street Journal,
C. Symonds, “Earthly Empires,” sidebar on p 29, “Caught
in the Crossfire,” Business Week,