Bil Browning

Save the last dance for me

Filed By Bil Browning | September 08, 2009 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Dancing With The Stars, gay dance, Nigel Lithgoe, reality shows, So You Think You Can Dance

Here's a compare and contrast moment if I've ever seen one.

Remember when judges on "So You Think You Can Dance" made snide remarks about a same-sex couple who did a ballroom dance together? Judge and executive director, Nigel Lithgoe, ended up making an apology via GLAAD.

Lithgoe was also executive producer for American Idol for several years. Idol has become famous for the back-and-forth banter between judge Simon Cowell and host Ryan Seacrest - cloris-01-2008-10-27.jpgespecially the snide innuendoes about Seacrest's sexual orientation. Judges also regularly put down non-gender conforming potential contestants who audition in the show's infamous tryouts.

On the other hand, there's "Dancing With the Stars." The show's cast recently danced on a float in New York City's gay pride parade. They did a show online a few months ago called "Dancing With the Drag Stars" that featured celebrity judges like Bruce Vilanch and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

But their latest nod to the LGBT community has my head spinning like Cloris Leachman doing the cha cha. Check it out after the jump.

They've started an LGBT spinoff of the Dancing With the Stars series called "Show and Tell" that features same-sex couples dancing together.

The show is hosted by Bruno Tonioli, a judge from the original series.

So let's see... On one hand we have judges disparaging same-sex couples and gender non-conforming contestants. On the other we've got a judge from the show hosting a new web series featuring same-sex couples dancing both gender roles.

Time to change the TIVO settings.

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I can't help imagining the scene at the office:

Ad manager: Hey, we're being boycotted by rainbow dollars! They apparently don't like being told that queer != straight dancing. But homophobic viewers can't handle two dudes dancing together...

Pitchman: I know! Let's give them their own little show on the internet! Gay people like the internet, right? Yeah. And we'll stuff it full of stereotypes and rainbows and crap. It'll be great!

Executive Producer: Get GLAAD on the phone! We have to make a press release _immediately_. Nice work, team!

Wish I had tv! Would love to watch DWTS!

That's nice and all, but I'm not impressed.

This pretty much follows the odious model of tacit nods and segregation that has happened recently with brands like GM. They'll secretly market in gay-exclusive media, with obscure little webseries, while keeping any semblance of gay representation in their mainstream programs (read: the ones with an actual sizable audience).

Sure, Camaro gave little winks via some subtle programs in personal websites. But in came the Bumblebee boys for all of Youtube users to see, and they pulled it down in a matter of minutes.

God forbid their show is associated with gays at the public sphere; they need to keep any catering to queers on the hush hush, let their straight customers deem their Camaro a "fag car'.

And this is pretty much the same thing. They'll toss a bone, so long as none of their important (straight) customers see it.

Weren't you the one telling me I needed to be more positive, Lucrece? :)

I most certainly did not, or at least that was an alien in disguise. I don't do optimism! ;p

Jessica-Lender | September 9, 2009 7:21 AM

Shame on Nigel for making snide comments about what is a person's personal choice. I applaud the makers of Dancing With The Stars for helping all members of society showcase their talents. Like you said, it is definitely time to change the TIVO settings.


I've left your comment since it was actually on topic for a spammer. Please don't go trying to sneak on pay day loan links (Maybe why your name is Jessica-Lender? Eh? Eh?). I took out the link this time, but it's not cool and if it happens again, you'll be banned from the site entirely.