Posted: 25 Jan 2010 03:39 PM PST
On January 13 GLAAD reached out to Taco Bell Corporation after receiving numerous complaints about a transphobic radio commercial that was airing across the country. BorderHouse blog published the most complete description of its content on January 7th:
“Some male tells a female (presumably his wife or girlfriend) that it’s a surprise that there is nacho cheese in a layer of the Taco Bell burrito. The woman responds with “Well, I have a surprise for you. I was born male, my name was Claudio” and her voice is lowered several octaves. After which, the male says ‘Ew.’”
GLAAD contacted Taco Bell’s Media Relations staff about the collective outcry over the use of someone’s transgender identity as the punch line of a joke and Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch swiftly issued this statement:
“We sincerely apologize as the ad was not meant to offend anyone and as soon as it was brought to our attention, we immediately stopped airing it.”
Unfortunately GLAAD has received several reports that the problematic ad is still running in places like Indianapolis, Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio and Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Advocate Magazine also reported hearing a similar commercial on Sunday morning in Los Angeles on KIIS-FM during Ryan Seacrest’s weekly American Top 40 countdown. According to the Advocate, “In this ad, after a fight between the man and the woman, the woman says, “Well then I don’t feel so guilty telling you… [I wasn't born] Martha.” The woman’s voice then changes to a man’s voice, which says, “I’m Marvin.”
We reached out to Taco Bell to ask that the company rectify this situation immediately and explain why the problematic commercials are still reportedly running in several markets. Taco Bell issued this response:
“We are very concerned to have learned that over the weekend some stations were airing a radio ad that we instructed them to remove on January 14. In the process of replacing the ad, we discovered that some stations inadvertently ran the original commercial. We sincerely apologize that this ad ran again and offended people. We’re in the process of contacting all of our radio partners to ensure that the original ad never airs again. We appreciate that GLAAD brought this to our attention so that we could take immediate action.”
We appreciate Taco Bell issuing this apology but urge our members to hold the company accountable for fair advertising standards moving forward. If you hear anti-LGBT radio commercials in your local area please contact GLAAD immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what time the commercial aired, on what station, and in what city. Taco Bell must live up to its word, pull all of the spots immediately, and cease defaming LGBT people in all future advertisements. GLAAD and the community will be listening.
Clear Channel Issues Statement Regarding Radio Host Jim Quinn’s Outrageous Remarks; GLAAD Asks the Company to Live Up to Its Own Diversity Policies
Posted: 25 Jan 2010 01:16 PM PST
Last week, GLAAD called on our constituents to speak out about syndicated radio host Jim Quinn’s defamatory attack on victims of HIV/AIDS.
On the January 14 edition of Clear Channel’s nationally syndicated radio program, “The War Room with Quinn and Rose,” host Jim Quinn made outrageous and defamatory comments about people living with HIV/AIDS and what he called the “homosexual AIDS lobby.” Quinn erroneously compared contagious tuberculosis patients to people living with HIV/AIDS and went on to say, “When you get AIDS, pal, the door opens up to you. You have got all kinds of government goodies, including a maid to clean your house, transportation – I mean it’s – there’s just a wealth of wonders that come.”
Following our Call to Action, GLAAD allies wrote numerous e-mails to Clear Channel executives and demanded that Jim Quinn be held responsible for his outrageous comments.
As a result, Clear Channel’s Chief Communications Officer, Lisa Dollinger, released the following statement to GLAAD:
Clear Channel doesn’t condone Jim Quinn’s remarks and we don’t share his view. Clear Channel has raised considerable funds and positive awareness for HIV/AIDS and the GLBT community over the years and we will continue to do so. We’ve spoken with Mr. Quinn about the seriousness of this incident.While GLAAD appreciates this statement from Clear Channel Communications, we urge the company to live up to its own diversity policy which states in part:
Our ZERO TOLERANCE policy that prohibits discrimination extends beyond our employees, into each and every market in which we conduct business.If Clear Channel is truly committed to prohibiting discrimination, the company must ask Jim Quinn to apologize for his grossly inaccurate and offensive remarks and ensure that these kinds of defamatory attacks cease in future broadcasts.
Please continue to write to Clear Channel Communications and tell the company that Jim Quinn’s inaccurate and appalling comments are unacceptable and Clear Channel must stop allowing Quinn to perpetuate hatred, fear and misinformation.
Chief Communications Officer
Clear Channel Communications
Programming Senior Vice President
Robert H. Walls, Jr.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Posted: 25 Jan 2010 12:15 PM PST
GLAAD joined Pride Houston on Monday in an effort to correct problematic news coverage about the tragic murder of Myra Chanel Ical, a transgender woman whose half-naked body was found in the Montrose area of Houston on Jan. 18.
Authorities have no suspects in the case.
The Houston Police Department issued a Press Release last Wednesday which incorrectly identified Ms. Ical by the male pronoun.
Following the BPD’s lead, The Houston Chronicle published an article on Jan. 20 which erroneously calls Ms. Ical “a man” and also uses the male pronoun. Both the BPD and The Houston Chronicle also list Ical’s birth name as primary identification.
Both The Associated Press and The New York Times’s style guidelines prohibit reporters from using a pronoun that an individual does not prefer.
From The Associated Press:
“Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
“If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.”From The New York Times:
“Unless a former name is newsworthy or pertinent, use the name and pronouns (he, his, she her hers) preferred by the transgender person. If no preference is known, use the pronouns consistent with the way the subject lives publicly.”Houston’s local Fox affiliate, KRIV-Fox 26, also failed to accurately report the murder, again incorrectly calling Ms. Ican “a man” and listing her birth name, rather than her lived name.
It should be noted, meanwhile, that Houston’s local CBS affiliate, KHOU-11, fairly and accurately reported on the murder and even reached out to the Transgender Foundation of America for its story:
After being alerted to the problematic coverage, GLAAD contacted Pride Houston to offer our assistance in the matter.
(To read Pride Houston President Meghan Stabler’s analysis of local media coverage, click here)
GLAAD has since reached out to both The Houston Chronicle and Fox-26 Houston and requested that their stories be changed to reflect accurate terminology.
A candlelight vigil for Myra Chanel Ical will be held tonight, January 25, 2010, at 9 P.M. at the site where Myra’s body was discovered. Please join over 160 confirmed attendees to remember Myra’s life and raise awareness about anti-transgender violence.
For more information about tonight’s vigil click here, or visit the Memorial for Myra Ical Facebook page.
Anyone who might know anything about this crime or who might have witnessed it is urged to call Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-8477 tips hotline or submitted online at www.crimestoppers.org that leads to the identification, arrest and/or charging of the any of the suspects in this case.
GLAAD will continue to insist that media fairly and accurately report on the murder of Myra Ical. Updates will be made available on GLAADblog.org
UPDATE: KRIV- Fox 26 Houston Drastically Improves Coverage after GLAAD Outreach
Last night, approximately 200 advocates and allies gathered on the 4300 block of Garrott in Houston to remember Myra Chanel Ical.
Fox 26 Houston was on the scene and made notable improvements in its reporting after GLAAD and Pride Houston reached out to the network.
Fox 26 originally identified Myra as a man and used her birth name instead of her lived name.
In covering the vigil, however, Fox 26 corrected its mistakes, used correct pronouns and identified Myra by her lived name.
GLAAD applauds KRIV-Fox 26 Houston adhering to journalistic standards of fairness and staying in-line with contemporary usage. We will continue to act as a resource for Fox 26 in its future LGBT reporting.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Posted by De Sube at 1/26/2010 04:56:00 PM