Fans of Bob Newhart, rejoice! The legendary entertainer quietly announced on social media yesterday that he has cancelled his scheduled appearance at an upcoming Legatus Summit. Legatus is an anti-gay group that smears marriage equality, has ties to so-called "ex-gay" therapy, and endorses the Courage program, which treats homosexuality the same way AA treats alcoholism.
Upcoming Bob Newhart Tour Date Change -- Bob will not be performing at the Legatus Summit in Orlando FL on February 6th, 2014— Bob Newhart (@BobNewhart) December 19, 2013
No explanation was given for the cancellation, but GLAAD writes:
[It] is possible that Newhart, like many people were unaware that Legatus was such a rabid anti-LGBT organization. The organization was created by former Domino's Pizza CEO, Thomas Monaghan, for Roman Catholic businesspeople, and membership is only available to top level executives...
Bob Newhart is a lifelong Catholic. He also has a history of working with LGBT people and storylines. In 1976 The Bob Newhart Show featured an episode with an openly gay character. It was remarkably groundbreaking for its time.
Newhart also was in the film In & Out, in which he played a principal dealing (not so well, but very comically) with the coming out of one of his teachers, played by Kevin Kline. Most recently, Newhart won an Emmy Award for his guest appearances on Big Bang Theory, opposite of openly gay actor, Jim Parsons.
Bob Newhart should be commended for doing the right thing and cancelling the appearance. Good on you, sir!
Click here to thank Bob Newhart on his Facebook page.