On this day in 1956, WRCA-TV (now WNBC) aired an award-winning weekly panel discussion program called “The Open Mind”. The program, hosted by Richard Heffner, was not only well ahead of its time when it first went on the air in May 1956, it is still an acclaimed syndicated program on American Public Television,
Heffner and The Open Mind hosted the first televised discussion on the East Coast on homosexuality. The Daughters of Bilitis’s magazine The Ladder featured a review of the program by Sten Russell (real name: Stella Rush).
“The moderator asked if the homosexual could accept himself if society didn’t accept him. The conclusion was that it was very difficult, indeed. The moderator asked if there were cultural factors in the present making for more homosexuality. Miss Kelley asked if homosexuality were [sic] growing or just being more talked about. She cited Kinsey’s books as examples. The moderator said that the matter of national “security” had focused attention on this problem. He mentioned blackmail potential as part of the “security problem”.
Laidlaw said that a homosexual was not necessarily neurotic or psychotic, but that he was more likely to be in certain ways, due mainly to the pressures of public opinion which caused him to have to hide and cover up his actions and desires. Dean Swift was concerned as to the shock children experienced when approached by adult males. Laidlaw said that that depended on the predisposition of the child. Miss Kelley said that she was not worried about the “predisposition of the child,” but that the American Law Institute wished to protect any child from the traumatic shock of any sexual attack.”
Despite the misinformation and prejudices,the show was as even handed as it possibly could have been at the time which outraged the New York Archdioceses of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Francis Spellman started a war with the station and threatened to go to the FCC to have the NBC affiliate’s broadcasting license revoked.
That didn’t stop Heffner or WRCA. They scheduled another program on homosexuality just two months later which was followed by another in January. The episodes covered topics including whether homosexuality should be treated as a criminal or a medical matter, nature vs. nurture as the cause of homosexuality and how society indoctrinates young people into gender roles
Unfortunately no surviving tape of this episode still exists just this one still shot below.
A gay Comcast executive who’s the telecommunications company’s LGBTQ liaison filed a 45-page federal lawsuit filed last week, claiming that he has “been subjected to discriminatory conduct” because he doesn’t conform to “traditional sex and/or gender based stereotypes.”
Klayton Fennell is Comcast Corp.’s senior vice president of government affairs and the company’s highest-ranking openly gay employees. Fennell also serves as the company’s key contact with LGBT advocacy organizations.
In the lawsuit Fennell atets that he was denied promotions by his bosses who told him “on more than one occasion, in essence, that his sexual orientation and manner was the reason he was not promoted.” Also that on more than one occasion he had been called a “faggot” and “high-pitched,” and sent to an “executive coach” when he was told he was “too gay and too flamboyant” for the company’s “conservative” culture.
Fennell complained about the discriminatory conduct, but Comcast failed to investigate the allegations and the company “allowed the hostile environment to persist.” He then filed a complaint of discrimination with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which resulted in further retaliation against him, he says.
Since he started working for Comcast in 2001, the company wanted to present him as “an example of their non-discriminatory or ‘inclusive’ environment in an effort to bolster their public image and further their business as a media company,” Fennell alleges in the suit. But senior executives have consistently subjected him to discriminatory treatment because of his sexuality, he claims.
Comcast denies the discrimination claims.
Fennel is seeking unspecified damages, including back-pay, front-pay, compensatory damages and lawyer fees, according to the suit.
We think of the Will & Grace’ reboot episodes the way Karen Walker thinks of martinis – 51 is not enough, 53 is too many,” added executive producers Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and James Burrows. “That is why, after consulting with the cast, we all have decided this will be the final season of ‘Will & Grace.’
“In 2016, Bob Greenblatt came to us with the idea of doing a 10-episode reboot of ‘Will & Grace.’ They say you can’t go home again, but we did. And now, three seasons and 52 episodes later, we’re even more proud of something we never thought we’d get a chance to do again. We have had a once-in-a-lifetime experience twice. And for that, we owe a double debt of gratitude to NBC, this show’s supportive and caring home since day one.”
NBC has coldly shoved a stake into the heart of the GLBT friendly supernatural drama “Midnight, Texas.
A Universal Television, “Midnight, Texas” revolves around supernatural activity in a fictional Texas town. It was based on the book series by “True Blood” author Charlaine Harris.
The series bowed in 2017 and is set to wrap its nine-episode second season on Dec. 28.
When the first season premiered on Tuesdays in July 2017 with 3.6 million viewers, it became NBC’s No. 1 drama in the key 18-49 demographic.
When moved to a Friday timeslot, one of the worst days of the week for television viewing, the second season has seen ratings hover around 2 million viewers, though the Dec. 21 airing pulled in a season high of 2.6 million viewers that will grow with delayed viewing factored in.
Midnight Texas’ story revolves around gypsy psychic Manfred Bernardo who is told by the ghost of his grandmother to seek out refuge in the town of Midnight There, he finds a community that can help him. Full of diverse characters both straight and LGBT—including a vampire, a witch, a fallen angel, a half-demon and a werecreature—Midnight faces numerous threats from the outside world as it welcomes the newcomer and they all become family.
According to Deadline.com, “Midnight, Texas” is reportedly being shopped to other networks by Universal Television.
Hulu currently has the streaming rights and Netflix has since purchased Albuquerque Studio.
It’s been more than half a century (!) since the American tribal love musical first hit the Broadway boards, debuting at the Biltmore Theatre in April 1968 — six months after its off-Broadway bow as the inaugural production of Joseph Papp’s Public Theater.
With music by Galt MacDermot and a book by James Rado & George Ragni, the show had an initial four-year run on the Great White Way and has been revived there four times since, most recently in 2011.
The musical inspired a 1979 movie by Milos Forman — his follow-up to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the 1975 pic that earned him his first Oscar for Best Director. The Hair film cast included Treat Williams, Beverly D’Angelo, and John Savage.
How MBC will handel lyricls like:
Sodomy Fellatio Cunnilingus Pederasty Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
In NBC’s upcoming drama Rise, inspired by the true story of high-school teacher Lou Volpe, whose story was told in the bookDrama High about a high-school production of Spring Awakening, NBC has made a major change by straight-washing Volpe’s lead character from a closeted gay man to a happily married straight family man.
Of course this had nothing to so with having a gay male lead on television during prime-time.
Katims added that despite the straight- washing of the lead character the show does include a trans character and a young closeted character in the main cast. “I was inspired to tell the story of Michael [Ellie Desautels], this transgender character, and Simon [Ted Sutherland] who’s dealing with his sexuality and growing up in a very conservative religious family,” Katims said. “Those stories felt like they resonated with me as a storyteller, I wanted to lean into that.”
Spring Awakening, for those of you who do knot know is a musical about the sexual awakening of a group of students that includes a romance between two male characters. NBC which originally gained praise for taking on such an ambitious project now with the major change in Volpe’s character from a closeted gay man who is experiencing his own sexual awakening and who pushed so hard to get Spring Awakening put on in the high school where he taught to a straight family man not only makes the project fall flat but is a cowardly change just for the fear of having a gay male as a lead character.
NBC News has fired longtime “Today” show host Matt Lauer for inappropriate workplace behavior.
The network opened the “Today” show on Wednesday with news of the termination. NBC News chairman Andy Lack released a statement, saying the network had “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer.”
“It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment,” Lack wrote. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Plans for a revival of the beloved ’90s series,Xena: Warrior Princess, which was slated to focus more on the lesbian relationship between the Amazonian heroine and her sidekick Gabrielle are officially dead.
The reboot plans hit a major bump in April, when writer and showrunner Javier Grillo-Marxuach (of Lost fame) left the project citing “creative differences” which many believe to be Grillo-Marxuach’s desire to put the romantic relationship between Xena and Gabrielle in the forefront of the story and network executives pushing back at the idea.
NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke has confirmed the revival won’t be going ahead at all.
“Nothing is happening on that right now,” Salke told the Hollywood Reporter. “We looked at some material; we decided at that point that it didn’t warrant the reboot.
The cancellation of the project comes at a time when new LGBT representation on television is at a low. The original show was beloved for its emphasis on female strength and friendship. While it did receive criticism for unwillingness to be open about the nature of Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship. The 2017’s reboot was expected to be out and proud.
A large majority of registered LGBT voters support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, according to results of two weeks of the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll. Seventy-two percent of registered LGBT voters support Clinton, compared to 20 percent who support Trump.
On the campaign trail, Trump has touted himself as the better candidate to fight for LGBT rights, but his decision to pick Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running-mate was seen by some as contradictory to his LGBT-friendly claims.
When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are added to the match-up question, Clinton still maintained the lead among registered LGBT voters with 63 percent support. Trump, on the other hand, had 15 percent support. Johnson was not far behind with 13 percent, followed by 8 percent support for Stein.
In past elections, LGBT voters have played an important role. According to results from the 2012 NBC News Exit Polls, 5 percent of voters identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual** and 76 percent voted for Barack Obama. Voters who did not identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual were split—49 percent voted for Obama and 49 percent voted for Romney.
It just goes to prove that stupidity and greed knows no sexual orientation or gender.
Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle, while Fierstein will return to the role of Edna Turnblad, for which he won a Tony for in the Broadway stage version. He will also write the teleplay.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hairspray Live!” will follow the movie and Broadway show and place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV show, and she launches a campaign to integrate it.
“We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for ‘Hairspray Live!,’” said NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we’re happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time. We’re also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle and we know her rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ will literally stop the show.”
No mention of who will be cast in the lead role of Tracey but longtime NYC activist and blogger Jeremy Hooper of Good As You mentioned on Twitter over the weekend that there was an open call taking place near where he lived and there was “spunk lined up around the block”.