By Ross von Metzke
Originally published on Advocate.com February 18 2010 4:15 PM ET
Procter & Gamble has partnered with Walmart in a “family-friendly” television partnership but is in no way involved with the Family Research Council or its September conservative political summit, a spokesman for the company told The Advocate Thursday.
The antigay FRC circulated a press release earlier this week touting the involvement of P&G and Walmart at its September Values Voter Summit, which P&G says it is not involved with.
“Procter & Gamble has a strong, long-standing corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion—it is deeply rooted in our company’s culture,” P&G spokesman Brent Miller said in a statement to The Advocate. “P&G highly values individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and is recognized for its diversity practices, including its efforts in GBLT diversity. P&G remains committed to developing family-friendly programming that appeals to the diversity of our consumers around the world. P&G is not planning to participate in the Values Voter Summit 2010 as suggested in the report.”
Calls to Procter & Gamble yesterday to confirm the company’s involvement in the summit were not returned by press time.
Earlier this month, P&G and Walmart announced the two companies would partner to produce “family-friendly” television that highlights values “such as generosity, honesty and togetherness” lacking in most programming.
That partnership kicks off in April with a two-hour TV movie on NBC in which a single mother and her three children use P&G’s Duracell batteries for flashlights and feed their dog the company’s Iams pet food, P&G spokeswoman Jeannie Tharrington told Business Week.
The Family Research Council had taken the announcement and run with it, praising the company and announcing its participation in its Values Voter Summit, which is c-hosted by Liberty University and will feature a who’s who of conservative politicians and media pundits, including Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity.
That announcement raised a number of red flags with bloggers, because it came just months after P&G's soap Guiding Light went off the air and the subsequent announcement that this year would mark the end of As the World Turns.
Both shows have prominently featured gay characters and relationships but have come under fire for watering down intimate moments between their gay couples.
Still, both shows have been honored with GLAAD Media Award nominations, and the “Otalia” romance on Guiding Light prompted star Crystal Chappell to create Venice, a Web series centered on a lesbian interior designer and her various love interests, including GL costar Jessica Leccia.
Procter & Gamble received a 100 rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index in 2009.