Wednesday, December 01, 2004

CBS and NBC reject an add from the UCC showing acceptance of gays and lesbians

I was alerted to this via chuck currie's blog, and then read this article about it on CNN.com which i quote below:

CBS bans church ad inviting gays
Network says church spot welcoming gays is advocacy advertising; NBC said to take same line.

December 1, 2004: 4:24 PM EST
By Steve Hargreaves, CNN/Money Staff Writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -


CBS has refused to run an ad by a liberal church promoting the acceptance of people regardless of sexual orientation because the network believes the ad is advocacy advertising.
The church also says the ad was banned on NBC.
The 30-second spot, run by the United Church of Christ, features two muscle-bound bouncers standing outside a church, selecting people who could attend service and those who could not. Among those kept out are two males who appear to be a couple. Written text then appears saying, in part, "Jesus didn't turn people away, neither do we."

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast," the church quoted CBS as saying.
A CBS spokesman confirmed that the ad was banned, but would not comment directly about the above statement.
"It was against our policy of accepting advocacy advertising," said the spokesman.
NBC did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
"It's ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed too controversial," said Rev. John Thomas in the statement.
"We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas, but when it comes to a church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line."


I highlighted the two sections most disturbing to me - first, the CBS would actually reject the commercial because the Bush Administration might hold views and advocate for policies that are in conflict with the UCC's views - appalling, and scary. Second, I think Rev. Thomas hits on an important fact - with programs like Will & Grace which show gay and lesbian lifestyles as acceptable, how can they reject this commercial? I'm frightened at the implications of decisions like this. Where will it stop?

By the way, you can check out the 'offending' commercial at www.stillspeaking.com
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