Did you catch the mini-uproar over the whole ‘lesbian-video’ thing recently?
In a nutshell, The Hallmark Channel, known especially for its heart-warming, if somewhat bland holiday movies and mini-series, ran an ad featuring two lesbians sharing a loving kiss at the altar on their wedding day.
This horror of horrors so enraged the ultra-conservative One Million Moms that they instituted a campaign beseeching their membership to sign a petition ‘asking Hallmark to do what is right and reject airing movies and commercials with LGBT content!’ Unfortunately, Hallmark, rather short-sightedly, caved in to the pressure of and pulled the ads, resulting in a public reaction it probably did not expect…
We should probably skip ahead for a moment, and note that, as a result of the popular out-cry, Hallmark reversed itself, issued an apology, and announced it would reinstitute running ads from Zola, the marriage planning company who commissioned the subject ad in the first place.
Now, this result *almost* makes up for Hallmark having taken the cowardly route of capitulating, and they should be accorded a modicum of kudos, one supposes, but this still leaves us with the issue of how we should respond to tiny-minded, right-wing, fringe organizations who manage to punch far above their weight class in terms of exerting economic pressure in the marketplace.
One Million Moms operates out of Tupelo, Mississippi, and its mission is broadly stated as:
“One Million Moms is strictly an online campaign focusing primarily on the entertainment media (television, music, movies, etc.). The goal of this campaign is to stop the exploitation of children by such media. “
Well… the ‘Moms’ currently have over twenty ‘campaigns’ on the go, and all have rather less to do with preventing the actual exploitation of children than they do inhibiting the expression of social or political ideas deemed outside the bounds of ‘acceptability’ as narrowly defined by this extremist Christian organization.
To be fair, the Mom’s *do* occasionally target media they deem offensive because it might, conceivable be seen, and possibly even noticed by a child, but their stated concerns are largely disingenuous. One campaign targets a video advertisement for Hotels.com in which the word ‘condom’ is uttered in a way that reasonable people would regard as being harmless and even vaguely humorous….
Scandalous, right? The ‘Moms’ howl at how inappropriate it is for the word condom to be heard on television when children are likely be watching, and go on further to denounce Hotel.com for failing to consider ‘the fact that children often repeat what they hear.’ They conclude by warning us that ‘There is nothing funny about kids repeating the word “condoms.”’
Seriously? Even if we are able to accept, for the moment, that young children are somehow more likely to repeat words like ‘condom, as opposed to, say. ‘discount’, ‘detergent’, or ‘heating oil’, it is a little bit harder to swallow the suggestion that One Million Moms is merely concerned that youngsters might parrot naughty words. In the commercial in question, the subject of condoms, in particular, and birth control in general, is handled with obviously tacit approval. Clearly, it is this, *not* the utterance of profane or off-color words that concerns this organization. Quite simply … and to repeat … The campaigns of this organization have less to do with opposing child exploitation than they do inhibiting the public expression of views contrary to those of the organization and its members!
In the context of the recent episode, the real aims of One Million Moms become apparent if you read their website on the issue. They call for a petition to issue demanding that the company cease offering content that is pro-LGBTQ, and thus not ‘family friendly’, even going so far as to supply ‘comments’ from (obviously fictitious) supporters:
“Our family was watching a wonderful Hallmark movie based on a true story. It was late, but our daughter was up late with us. During the commercial break, there was a commercial from Zola with two women lip locking! Please Hallmark … we are fed up with having the gay agenda crammed down our throats! You are one of the few channels we thought we would not have to deal with this issue! Please remove this and any other gay, lesbian, bisexual, or anything else it is called from your channels. … We love you but won’t keep watching with this type of ads.”
Ah yes… here we go with that tired out, and essentially meaningless ‘homosexual agenda’ the religious right loves to go on about…
I, for one, would like to clearly state that no gay person has ever tried to shove *anything* down my throat, let alone an agenda of any sort. It is not even clear what the nature of this ‘agenda’ might be, other than to be free from hateful attacks from the bigoted merely for enjoying the same freedoms as anybody else. On the contrary, it is the tiny-minded One Million Moms and their ilk who actually have an agenda – the suppression of anything that counters their own narrow views – and whose method of advancing the same more closely resembles gullet-fucking…
It is high time that anti-LGBTQ bigotry and hate speech be socially viewed in the same light as racial bigotry. Moreover, groups like the above who resort to bullying tactics not merely to express their views, but to prevent others from expressing their own, need be called to account along with the cowardly, who pander to them for economic reasons, or the rest of us who shrug them off out of apathy.
Ridicule is the best weapon here, but simply calling ‘SHAME” where shame is due goes a long way!