This is the second time in a week that a major media outlet has offended its viewers by asking them whether LGBT people ‘belong’ somewhere, whether on TV or in sports. Both outlets recognized that questions like this are dumb and insulting, and pulled the polls.
Just days after a CNN poll asked, “Are gay characters on television harmful to society?” the blogs Blabbeando and Queerty reported on a poll on Univision.com that asked site visitors “is homosexuality compatible with sports?” Among the choices was: “No, soccer is a sport for macho men.” GLAAD’s Director of Spanish-Language Media reached out to Univision.com on Sept. 13 to explain how this question demeans a number of people, including all gay and lesbian people already playing the sport and how the question perpetuates damaging stereotypes.
Today, Sports Editor Joaquín Duro acknowledged that publishing the poll had been a poor decision and apologized for having done so. The poll was removed. The story that generated the poll accurately reported on a German agent who made anti-gay remarks about Spain’s soccer team, and we thank Univision.com for that.
“Leading ‘poll’ questions like this only serve to perpetuate intolerance and misunderstanding about our community,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “Univision’s swift action is the latest step in a trend of Spanish-language media becoming more responsible and open to covering LGBT issues in a fair and accurate manner.”
We greatly appreciate the prompt responses from both Univision.com and CNN. The next time any media outlet decides it wants to poll its viewers about whether gay inclusion is a good thing or a bad thing, we suggest that they instead ask themselves THIS poll question: “Does homophobia belong in the media?”
The answer is no.