GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) which was originally founded by gay activist and hero Vito Russo to monitor LGBT representation in media is jumping the shark once again. This time by attacking sexual freedom liberator and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner after his death.
Hefner, who died Wednesday at 91 of natural causes, has been praised in some circles for his early and steadfast support of LGBTQ causes. In 1955, he published a story by Charles Beaumont that envisioned a world where gay people were the majority; after facing pushback, Hefner said: “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong, too.
Hefner also wrote a Playboy editorial in 2012 advocating for same-sex marriage. “No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed,” he wrote in his conclusion. “This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.”
But ” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, pushed back at the praise of hefner in a statement saying:
It’s alarming how media is attempting to paint Hugh Hefner as a pioneer or social justice activist, because nothing could be further from reality. Hefner was a not a visionary. He was a misogynist who built an empire on sexualizing women and mainstreaming stereotypes that caused irreparable damage to women’s rights and our entire culture.”
Ellis who had no real LGBT activism work under her belt before becoming the president of GLAAD holds degrees in Sociology and minor in Women’s Studies from Russell Sage College and is mostly known most widely known for launching and turning around media brands within magazines such as New York, InStyle, Real Simple, and Vogue.
Ellis’ current salary at GLAAD is . $260,961.00 a year.