On Monday I was forwarded an email supposedly written by Heidi Lee, an officer at GLAAD detailing how the Dr. Phil show was taping a show on “healing” gay teens and GLAAD had a special arrangement with the producers by which they sought to pack the audience with allies. As I do with all forwarded press releases, I wrote to GLAAD seeking verification. Tuesday (10/5/05) Damon Romaine, Entertainment Media Director at GLAAD wrote me back:
We have not issued any press release on the Dr. Phil episode so I don’t have any information at this time to pass on to you.
Warren Throckmorton found all of this to be rather odd and launched an investigation. In his blog, Throckmorton details how he called producers who initially confirmed they had an arrangement with GLAAD and then passed him off to voicemail when he explained he was doing an article on the matter. Taping of the show was yesterday. Throckmorton cites unidentified sources but believes the show was fair to all sides and the audience really played no role.
But Throckmorton and I still have questions:
GLAAD is regularly openly involved with the content of TV shows, why are GLAAD and the Dr. Phil show being so paranoid about this?
Why did GLAAD feel the need to pack the audience in the first place?
Does GLAAD really think group of Los Angeles residents will turn ugly on a gay teen?
If XGW readers would like to know more, I encourage you to tell your favorite gay media outlet that you want them to ask these questions. Also, feel free to contact GLAAD, an organization that represents your interests, if you feel they have failed in this matter.
Entertainment Media Director, GLAAD
5455 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90036