Last night FX aired the first episode of the third season of Morgan Spurlock’s dickwad switcheroo series, 30 Days. For those unfamiliar with the show, for most episodes the premise is to take somebody who espouses hate for a particular group of society and immerse them among the people they most detest, ostensibly to show how once the seemingly strange becomes familiar, the hate fades away.
GLAAD gave the series an award in 2006 for the episode in which a homophobic military man is put to work in a Castro gay bar. But GLAAD was singing a different tune about the series on Monday when it issued a “Call To Action” about last night’s episode.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today urged community members to contact FX Networks to express their concerns about a defamatory claim by an anti-gay activist that will appear, unchallenged, in the June 24 episode of 30 Days.
30 Days, FX Networks’ original series produced by Morgan Spurlock, “examines social issues in America by immersing individuals in a life that requires them to see the world through another’s eyes,’” according to the show’s Web site. In 2006, the series won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Program for the “Gay/Straight” episode.
During the June 24 episode, entitled “Same Sex Parenting,” Kati, a woman who opposes gay and lesbian parents and their families, lives for 30 days with gay parents Dennis and Thomas and their four adopted sons. The episode includes the personal stories of kids raised by lesbian and gay parents.
Regrettably, the episode also features a defamatory statement by Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay activist organization, who claims: “Homosexuality is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse, and those are all reasons for us to be concerned about placing children into that kind of setting.” While there is no credible scientific research that backs Sprigg’s claim – and much that disputes it – the episode presents his assertion as if it were fact and offers no credible social science experts or child health authorities to challenge Sprigg’s assertion. Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, and many other child health and social services authorities who support parenting by qualified lesbian and gay parents dispute Sprigg’s claim.
After reviewing a screener supplied by FX Networks, GLAAD and the Family Equality Council, a national non-profit working to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, contacted FX Networks last week, requesting that the inaccurate claim be removed from the episode or that a credible social science expert or child health authority be brought in to provide an on-air correction. FX Networks, however, refused to remove the defamatory content or, at minimum, address it during the course of the episode.
I recorded the show last night and here’s the bit that got GLAAD so torqued.
Take action with FX Networks if you agree with GLAAD:
Executive Vice President of Original Programming
[email protected] Eric Shrier
[email protected] Scott Seomin
Vice President of Public Relations