Los Angeles Affiliate KABC-TV Refuses to Air Ad With Gay Families During Inauguration: 'Too Controversial, Families Will Be Watching.'
Non-profit organization GetToKnowUsFirst.org produced five 30-second commercials featuring gay and lesbian families, with the message "Marriage promotes families. Support marriage equality." The ads, while not tied to any current election, are the result of California's passage of Proposition 8 in November. The group aired the spots in 42 of the states' 58 counties -- everywhere the initiative passed by 50% or more -- during Tuesday's coverage of the Presidential Inauguration. KABC is the only station that refused to sell the ad space.
The rejected ad profiles two African American men raising five children ages 6 through 25. Ironically, the family lives in Los Angeles.
The media buy was attempted by the organization's ad agency, New and Improved Media. Its CEO, Keith Fisher, was surprised that KABC rejected the group's money. Fisher said, "We usually only see this with risque content, as in a trailer for a movie." He added, "If KABC thinks they have to protect the public from this family, something's obviously very wrong over there."
Chris Yokogawa, the ad agency's media buyer, worked with the station, attempting to ease any concerns they might have. He said, "We went back and forth a couple of times. I explained that this family is far from controversial. They were firm in their rejection. They said it was too controversial to air during the Inauguration, since 'many families will be watching.'"
The ad aired across California on Tuesday -- before, during and after the Presidential Inauguration on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Despierta America (Univision) and Levantate (Telemundo) broadcasts, as well as on a wide range of regional news stations, CNN and FoxNews during evening coverage of the day's events.
Project Coordinator John Ireland expressed astonishment at KABC's rejection. He said, "This ad is about families. I challenge anyone to watch the commercials at www.GetToKnowUsFirst.org and articulate what is inappropriate about airing it at any time of day."
One week prior, at attorney Gloria Allred's urging, Rev. Rick Warren indicated he would be willing to show the ads to his congregation at Saddleback Church in Orange County. Days before the Presidential Inauguration, he changed his mind, dropping the offer.
These are all beautiful advertisements! I would just LOVE to see who this individual is (at kabc in Los Angeles) who thinks that these ads are inappropriate because "families will be watching." He (or she) must be a very small-minded individual indeed.
posted by Chris L., at
1/21/2009 2:29 PM
And the kids that they're trying to 'protect' are probably more savy and sophisticated about this subject than their parents are. These are the same type of people who dashed to turn off the tv so their little white cherubs wouldn't see Captain Kirk kiss Lt. Uhura.
posted by gary, at
1/21/2009 4:39 PM
Yes, parents will rush to turn off the TV when they see romance or love on the screen, but when a movie comes on with a brutal axe murderer who disembowels his victims, that's just fine for the kiddies. It's more evidence of our puritanical roots, which is something that must change.
posted by Chris L., at
1/22/2009 10:13 AM
Beautifully done, viewing should be mandatory on every station.
To digress folks...I just heard Sweden is about to offer marriage to its Gay citizens come May 1, 2009! Way to go, Sweden, the 7th country to do so. Meanwhile, we in the U.S. won't get anything for many decades to come, we're a backward, regressive society on social issues compared to other countries. We should have been the leader, not the trailer.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
1/22/2009 10:48 AM
Disney always has been really rightwing. I remember how they were the last studio to offer domestic partnership benefits, and then they only did it to keep from losing good employees to other studios.
posted by libhom, at
1/22/2009 8:14 PM
Yeah, Robert, the US is PITIFUL when it comes to LGBT rights. I'm ashamed that I am a citizen. It's pretty sad that 7 other countries are so far ahead of the US on this. It should have been the leader. Until we put our fundies on a tight leash, though, nothing will change.
posted by Merlyn, at
1/24/2009 1:56 AM