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01 April 2009

Comments

Young

A nice long press release and no mention that she's an openly gay woman starring in a high-profile gig.

We've come a long way, baby.

/snark

Keith C

Yea that does seem very odd.
But here is to hoping her show new gig provides a great platform for gay and black gay visibility.

Sean B

In the real world it shouldn't matter what is her sexuality. Or race. But it does matter. I don't know what one article didn't mention or they other showed her at HRC but never said she was gay.

It really shouldn't matter but if you are reporting on minorities and Sykes career at least report the full story.

ironic

Rod, I find your position to be interesting because most people that I talk to hate when a person of the LGBTQ's sexuality is mentioned in an article proclaiming them "the first gay man" to do whatever, they become upset. Their argument is that LGBTQ sexuality should be normalized and therefore, it shouldn't be mentioned in an article. LGBTQ people are just like everybody else, so their sexuality shouldn't be mentioned. Barack Obama wasn't proclaimed "the first straight African-American president" because his orientation is normalized.

Good question. First, look at my background. I've written, produced and supervised news at ABC News, NBC News, Extra, local stations, yada yada. So yes, Sykes coming out is very newsworthy.

Secondly, it doesn't have to be mentioned. But if you're reporting on diversity, which Reuters did and I quoted, then it is very appropriate. For instance, John Berry, Obama's pick to head the Office of Personnel Management, is openly gay and this was extensively reported.

Finally, there is a diversity of opinion on this topic, and not one "correct" position shared by the LGBT community. But I think your Obama analogy was ... off the mark. Obama is certainly referred to as the "first" African American president. His race is a novelty at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. One black president for three months in our 200 plus year history has not been "normalized", which is why his historical presidency is often mentioned.

One could take your argument to the next step and say sexuality should "never" be mentioned and that virtually keeps gays in the closet, no? -RM

alicia banks

yay!

shame that due to BLACK gaybashers!!!....

she can never be as free and open as ellen...

peace
ab

Danny Rivera

@ Ironic: I hear where you are coming from but visibility is important. We do want to 'normalize' being gay but that does not mean straight-washing. The husbands, wives, BFs and GFs of hetero celebs are always news, so that is a double standard.

Ellen's sexuality is not as big a deal as it once was, but it still makes the news, like during Prop 8, the announcement of her Covergirl contract etc.

FREELEO

ellen degeneres is a comedian and talk show host who happens to be gay. no big deal. love her. rachael maddow is a news commentator and simply brilliant in my opinion. she happens to be gay. love her. wanda sykes is a gift comedian. funny as hell. i'm glad she got this break. the fact that these women are gay really doesn't matter. one day i really hope that race and sexuality will just be footnotes and not leading news. i think they were right to ignore her sexuality. she just came out. everyone knows. no big whoop. i'm very happy about the support ms sykes has received from her fans and the hollywood community. i wish her well.

Chris Cruz

When Ellen got her show or hosted the Oscars it was MENTIONED. She made history as the FIRST openly gay host of Oscars. It was huge at the time.

Rachel Maddow got her show on MSNBC, the NY Times, Washington Post, and many reports REPORTED she was openly gay. THAT was the big deal. It is not her only cred, but it was a very big news story.

There is a bigg diff between a salient fact being mentioned versus being the focus of the story. That is not what Rod said.
But he is right in the sense that it is news, and if you're reporting on diversity, it's even bigger news. You can disagree, but i doubt you know more about news selection and story importance than Rod. I really don't think so ...

Mechadude2001

Congratulations to her. I'm looking forward to it, and wish her the best.

FREELEO

lol.. nice try chris. i'm still entitled to my opinion.

i want to see a world where not only martin's dream is fulfilled but mine too. a world where people are judged not by the color of their skin or their sexuality but the content of their character.

the more diversity i see and the less fuss made about it, the better i like it..

soulbrotha

Oooo Rod, I'm so excited for Wanda!

Open Plea to Ms. Sykes:

Girl, PLEASE give the many, many talented, UNSEEN people of color the exposure they deserve. I am so sick & tired of all these late night talk shows that book the most obscure, talentless white bands, while choosing only the most POPULAR Black acts. Aresenio Hall was annoying (and closeted?) as hell, but he had superlative taste in musical guests.

So Wanda, please don't book Beyonce! Get Esperanza Spaulding or Leela James or Jose James or Rachelle Ferrell or Ledisi. Bring back the legends like Nancy Wilson or Al Green or Patti Austin. And get some deep discussions going with Black actors. Ask Angela Bassett and Thandie Newton about the lack of roles for Black women. Get the cast of House of Payne on there and grill them about stereotypes. Have a round table discussion with Tyler Perry & Donnie McClurkin about gay marriage.

I know these are selfish requests, Wanda, but it has been so long since I have been ENTERTAINED by Blacks on TV. With the death of the Cosby Show, we have been saddled with UPN (Uppity Pickininnys Network) & The WB (What Blacks?), and the assorted tokens on the major networks.

Please baby baby, PLEASE!

Jim

Great comment, soulbrotha. (Didn't you leave out one of the "baby"s, though?)

I really hope that Wanda comes through. She is way too sharp to have to compromise. If she is pressured to, I hope she just quits and makes a big stink about it.

One of these days, somebody on TV is going to realize that there is an actual market for intelligence. Maybe now's the time.

Stan

I am so excited! a BLACK GAY WOMAN with a late night show. Hopefully this will help people to be more supportive of gays and gay marriage.

thegaytekeeper

GO WANDA!!!!!

RJ

I hear you Soulbrotha...
Let's hope this is a fun intelligent show. With Wanda hosting there is no doubt in my mind it will! She is so much funnier and intelligent than Fallon and that annoying Bill Maher.

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