Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2004 12:00 AM ET
A gay rights group in Philadelphia complained to Comcast Corp. about an advertisement for its cable TV service that spoofs the hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, saying the ad perpetuates gay stereotypes. Comcast already was planning to stop running the spot--one in a series spoofing various TV shows--in the next few days, a spokesman said. The ad, run in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg markets, has been airing the past few weeks. "We're not aware of any other complaints," spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick said.
The ad shows a blond man in a pink-and-white print shirt descending on a bored family in need of a "cable makeover." A previous spot in the campaign spoofed The Newlywed Game, Fitzpatrick said. Rita Addessa, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force, said the ad sends the stereotypical message "that gay men are effeminate [and] care only about fashion.... This is simply not reflective of the community; it is a tired, old stereotype." She also faults Queer Eye, which has become a cable hit on the Bravo network, for presenting the same narrow view of gay men. "Minorities are rarely depicted [in the media] except in ways in which the mainstream will accept," Addessa said. Her group, with about 1,000 paying members, received two complaints about the
Comcast ad, she said.