Monday, 12 April 2010

Television: First post, last Betty

There is a snoretastic non-article in The Guardian today; How gay teens got back on TV.
It's quite remarkable that the headline can ask a simple question that the piece doesn't bother to answer.
And that the journalist doesn't have anything interesting to say on the subject.
Instead we get a little list of gay teens on TV - apparently now they are six. This piece has - apparently - been prompted by the coming out of the (admittedly adorable) Latino teen queen, Justin Suarez in Ugly Betty.
I also have no idea what the "gay teens got back on TV" refers to in some non-existent past. Anyone?
The journalist is Morwenna Ferrier (No, me neither). One might have thought it a good idea to ask some actual real life gay teens what they thought about all this, not Morweena. She appears to be suffering from a delusion that is common among journalists; that Peter Tatchell and Ben Sumerskill are The Only Gay Men In Britain (In future I shall refer to them as The OGMIBs, unless I get bored with this first), and they - and they alone - must comment on any and every gay story, regardless that others may know rather more about the subject.
Are either of The OGMIBS part of Ugly Betty's target audience? Have either of them even watched the show?
Ben Summerskill - the chief executive of Stonewall - made an interesting point that it was "more about commercial reality than high-minded principle."
Interesting, but clueless; does he not know that Justin comes out in the last ever episode of Ugly Betty? And that it's the last episode ever because the network, ABC, cancelled the series as so many viewers - and advertisers - were literally turned off?
A better example of big business coming on all gay-friendly not out of principle but commercial reality, is surely Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme?
The conclusion to the Guardian piece - "it's hard to argue that anything which brings such an abundance of great, diverse gay teenage characters on to our screens can be a bad thing" - is so banal and Pollyanna-ish one is tempted to argue exactly that.

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