Waymon Hudson

Group to Protest WFLA CH 8 for Airing Homophobic Infomercial

Filed By Waymon Hudson | July 14, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Pride Tampa Bay, Speechless: Silencing the Christians

The great folks over at Pride Tampa Bay are organizing a peaceful protest of WFLA for airing the horrendously anti-gay infomercial "Speechless: Silencing the Christians" on Pride weekend.

The protest will be July 15th, with a 4:30 P.M. Press Conference, followed by a 5:30 P.M. Demonstration at Media General HQ (202 S Parker St Tampa, FL 33606-2395).

Here's their press release:

On a day designed to celebrate the local diversity of our community, WFLA News Channel 8 was paid to air "Speechless: Silencing the Christians", a one hour misinformation piece reflecting views that incite harm and hate against our citizens. The airing of this infomercial coincided with the celebration of St. Petersburg Pride as well as the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which as you know began our journey to full equality. Hundreds of calls and emails were in protest to WFLA News Channel 8 unfortunately our concerns went ignored. What is at question here is not the Freedom of Speech or the Freedom of Religion, what is at question if the ethics of their actions and the lack of concern they have for our families, friends and neighbors in Tampa Bay.

Continued after the jump...

When asked about airing the program, WFLA's Manager John Scheuler stated they usually don't screen for content, but that they didn't think this program was hateful or vitriolic however he added that those who "chose the homosexual lifestyle might be upset by the strident tone". The lack of concern in airing that infomercial was repugnant and it is clear now that WFLA chose to increase their bottom line instead of care for this community.

Other stations around this great nation recognized the hateful message crafted into this infomercial and chose NOT to air it. Even after our pleas to not air this propaganda, WFLA chose to ignore the will of concerned citizens. We the citizens of Tampa Bay refuse to allow this company to railroad us into accepting their actions. We ask that all fair minded people stand with us and let your voices be heard and stand with us against the unethical actions of WFLA and their parent company Media General.

Again, the info is:

What: A peaceful demonstration to protest Media General's anti-gay programming.
Who: Fair-minded people willing to stand up to hateful anti-gay attacks.
Where: Media General HQ- 202 S Parker St Tampa, FL 33606-2395
When: July 15th - 4:30 P.M. Press Conference, followed by a 5:30 P.M. Demonstration


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David Phillips | July 14, 2009 9:43 AM

"chose the homosexual lifestyle"....WTF??!!

Anyone using those words is coming from the decidedly retrograde perception of human sexuality espoused by the creators of STC. The station needs to be shut down, and top management run out of town on a rail.

I know, David- That made me want to scream too.

Nadine Smith Nadine Smith | July 14, 2009 11:45 AM

Actually, we need people to arrive at 5:00PM for the press conference followed immediately by the rally.
Spread the word.

Nadine Smith
Equality Florida
nadine@eqfl.org

for more details: www.eqfl.org

Thanks Nadine! We have a reminder post from you going up tomorrow morning about this too. :)