“ELLEN” DRAWS LEAGUE COMMENTARY
Catalyst June Issue 1997
The following article, by William Donohue, ran in the New York Daily News on April 29.
Sweeps week is to Hollywood what the world series is to baseball. Well, not quite. While both events loom large, the world series features the very best in baseball, but sweeps week often features the very worst of Hollywood. For evidence, consider tomorrow night’s episode of “Ellen.”
As everyone knows, the great ballyhooed “coming out” of Ellen is about to happen. Just in case this bores you, the Disney folks have decided to stack the deck with such stars as Oprah, Demi Moore, k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge and other cameo stunt women. They need to: “Ellen” is a lousy show that is falling flat on its face.
Does the public care? Notwithstanding the much publicized “coming out” parties that will dot the gay community, a recent TV Guide survey reports that 63% of those familiar with “Ellen” have said they will not watch the April 30 show. And we know that General Motors, Chrysler and Johnson and Johnson have withdrawn sponsorship of this episode. Now that’s good news.
It’s always good news to know that the public resents being manipulated, whether it is by the media, politicians or used-car salesmen. But it’s also good news to learn that Americans are fed-up with having the gay agenda being forced down their throats.
Tomorrow night’s “Ellen” has nothing to do with the legitimate issue of treating gays and lesbians as persons imbued with human dignity. No, what it has to do with is the selling of a lifestyle, a lifestyle justly deemed undesirable by most Americans. Those who contend that gay rights is analogous to black rights continue to miss the point: it is the purpose of the gay rights movement to challenge the sexual ethos of the Judeo-Christian tradition. All Martin Luther King ever wanted was societal acceptance of blacks as individuals; he never sought legitimation of a lifestyle.
Is it any wonder that just last night on “Married with Children,” Marcy’s lesbian twin sister came out of the closet? Or that Sunday’s “Mad TV” did a gay parody of Mary and Rhoda’s relationship on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show”? What’s going on is a kind of in-your-face hostility targeted against those of us who still ascribe to the moral values that have long undergirded our society. And make no mistake about it—that means most of us.
Any society that expects to endure must defend its heritage as much as it defends its borders. To be sure, there are some societies that should not endure, but our society is not in that category and that is why we have an obligation to shield the traditional moral order from those who would subvert it. In this vein, the most American thing we can do is not watch “Ellen.”
There is something else at work here, too. What’s being done is being done not strictly for politics, but for money. Here’s the proof.
In February, I met with many executives in Hollywood, and several of them said that they would never let their own children watch what they serve up each night on TV. They even boasted how their kids watch nothing but Nickelodeon in their house. So while we’re being treated to “Ellen,” these guys will be sitting around watching “I Love Lucy” with their families.
By the way, one of those executives who made this admission was Ted Harbert. He is also the one who developed “Ellen” for ABC.