Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today's TV News

The big news story of the morning was that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.  This is a victory for marriage equality.  There was one network TV news segment on CNN that made me say, "Wow.  I never thought I'd see that."
As I have blogged before, I eventually quit a local morning TV news show job I had back in the 1990s.  I was a regular on the hit show but my boss seemed to have some diversity issues.  I'd taped an interview of Tony Award winning playwright/actor Harvey Fierstein.  Harvey wrote the current Tony-winning Broadway hit musical, Kinky Boots.
Back when I taped that interview, Harvey was promoting his sweet and funny role in Mrs. Doubtfire.  You've seen that comedy.  It's a family movie.  Harvey played the brother to Robin Williams' divorced dad character.  The gay brother and his partner helped the straight dad become Mrs. Doubtfire.  Audiences loved Harvey in his scenes.

If I say so myself (and a 20th Century Fox publicity exec would agree as he was in the room during our taping), it was a delightful interview.  Harvey and I chatted about the film and how being an "out" gay actor occasionally limited the amount of work he was being offered.

My news VP boss would not let me air the interview because, he said, "I have a problem with him being openly gay."  That was in a New York City newsroom.

Today, Don Lemon, who is an openly gay news anchor on CNN, did a live segment from inside a historical gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village.  The Stonewall Inn.  And the patrons inside did not try to hide their faces when the camera was on them.  The journalist was there to get reaction to today's Supreme Court decision.

Back in 1993 when I was fighting to get my Mrs. Doubtfire celebrity interview on the air,  I never would've guessed I'd see that kind of progress on a live TV newscast.  Wow.

Good work, Don.


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