Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Logo abandons gay-centered programming

The HuffPost's Gay Voices report: Gay TV as we know it is dead. Just as MTV pulled the plug on music programming in the '90s, the network's younger, swishier cousin, Logo, has decided to say goodbye to its original raison d'ĂȘtre: gay-focused television.

None of Logo's upcoming series include gay characters in "lead" roles, according to a press release announcing coming programming changes, first revealed by Queerty. Instead, the network has opted to green-light only female-friendly, gayish knock-offs of the reality shows Toddlers & Tiaras and Mob Wives, with show titles like Eden Wood's World and Wiseguys.

Even RuPaul's Drag U is getting a revamp to reach a more mainstream audience.

In other words, the new Logo will be a Cuisinart-blended cocktail of Bravo, Lifetime, and Oxygen, with a pink boa as garnish.

Why the change? Most LGBTs don't see showcasing their sexual orientation as a priority on television, according to a study Logo conducted. This isn't surprising. Most real-life conversations don't start with "Hi, I'm a homo." Instead, we define ourselves as electropop fans and Foursquare addicts and cat freaks who just happen to be gay.

One reaction has been to bemoan the news and call Logo a traitor for walking out on its community. But given the current state of Logo's programming, the decision just may be a blessing in disguise for the gay rights movement.

At this juncture in America, reality-show leads are best left to the tried-and-tested bitchy straight woman, and Logo is doing the gay community a favor by taking us out of the spotlight. Sure, most people are smart enough to make the distinction that all gays aren't like those gays on Logo, just as Italians aren't all table-flippers like those ladies on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. But when it comes down to it, we live in a country where the vast majority of gay Americans can't marry legally, and there's a real threat of an anti-gay candidate becoming president.

And, as unfortunate as it may be, stereotypes on TV greatly influence straight America's perception of who we are. That's a reality we don't want to point and laugh at.

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