The new frontier just keeps arriving. New York magazine reports NBC programming chief Robert Greenblatt has given the go-ahead for a new sitcom called "The New Normal." NBC's new normal is about two gay men who start a family using a surrogate. Greenblatt is apparently so enamored with the concept that he's strongly considering having the 20th Century Fox TV-produced sitcom launch by August, following NBC's broadcast of the summer Olympics.
The show comes from Ryan Murphy, the gay creator of "Glee," "American Horror Story," and "Nip/Tuck." This is only part of a growing Comcast/NBC Universal campaign promoting homosexuality.
In April, gays were delighted that NBC's "Saturday Night Live" made history by adding their first lesbian featured player to the cast, Kate McKinnon. She came over from the Logo network's "Big Gay Sketch Show," where she played memorable characters such as Fitzwilliam, the self-loathing boy who longed for a "magical, enchanted vagina."
Ah, the new normal. The annual honors of the Point Foundation were held on April 16. The foundation aims to provide "financial support, mentoring, leadership training, and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression." They gave their Inspiration Award to Focus Features -- owned, like NBC, by Comcast -- for "championing respect and inclusion of the LGBT community."
At that event, the foundation announced that NBC Universal Diversity and Inclusion and the employee-affinity group Out at NBC Universal have created a scholarship with Point Foundation for an LGBT scholar pursuing a career in film, television, or broadcast/digital journalism. This is cozy, since Chris Baker, NBC Universal vice president for information technology, also serves on the Point Foundation's Board of Regents.
From May 4 to 6, Comcast and NBC Universal are also the top "platinum sponsors" of the Pink and Purple Weekend thrown by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C.
The event includes some Pink and Purple Recognition Awards. They will honor filmmaker Dee Rees for her lesbian coming-of-age film "Pariah" -- from Comcast's Focus Features. They're also recognizing Latino activists and PR operatives Ingrid Duran and Catherine Pino, who through their firm, D&P Creative Strategies, have also been ... lobbyists for Comcast. Back scratch, back scratch.
Comcast is once again a major backer of the "Equality Forum" in their hometown of Philadelphia from May 3 to 6, billed as the world's largest "LGBT summit." Attendees can start the party with a welcome party hosted by the group "Out at NBC Universal." The Forum's website urges attendees to "Kick off Equality Forum with NBC 10 and NBC Universal." Raffle prizes include tickets for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and local prizes from NBC 10.
Their International Equality Dinner on May 5 will have MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts as the master of ceremonies and honors NBC Universal with its International Business Leadership Award. As part of that familiar pattern, Craig Robinson, NBCU executive vice president and chief diversity officer, will appear to receive the back-scratching donor honor.
The schedule of events over the weekend includes a "National Religious Colloquy" with a special emphasis on reforming the Roman Catholic Church. Other libertine-left panels have such titles as "Federal Efforts to Achieve Safer Schools," "Claiming Queer Space In a Blue Collar Town," "The Pink Revolution: Bringing Change from Within," and "Expanding Us: The Experience of TransMen in Butch Communities." There's also one in keeping with NBC's newest sitcom -- "Baby Making in the 21st Century: Assisted Reproduction Options."
In a corporate declaration of "Our Commitment to LGBT Communities," Comcast boasts that "we've been a longtime supporter of Equality Forum's annual conference and initiatives." They also proclaim they are "proud supporters of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and their annual Media Awards around the country." Last fall, when President Obama spoke to the annual gala of the Human Rights Campaign, Comcast was listed as a gold sponsor, and NBC Universal was a silver sponsor.
In March of 2011, Comcast created a Joint External Diversity Advisory Council not only to achieve "diversity" in hiring and contracting but also through programming and "philanthropy and community investment." The council meets twice a year, a collage of four, nine-member Diversity Advisory Councils representing the interests of blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and women. The joint council also has members representing veterans, Native Americans, people with disabilities, and the LGBT advocates. Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and an alternate delegate to this year's Democratic convention, is their representative.
Try being a Christian heterosexual working at this place. Tolerance, my foot.
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