Friday, November 11, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - The 37th anniversary of 'Flowers of Evil'

Posts like this are the reason why I do this Know Your LGBT History. Once upon a time, it wasn't all Glee and Gaga on television for the lgbtq community.

I was just informed by a favorite site of mine, Box Turtle Bulletin, that this week marked the 37th anniversary of "Flowers of Evil," a controversial episode of the 1970s hit show Police Woman. I had already done a segment on this particular episode, but it warrants a repeat. From Box Turtle Bulletin:

When NBC’s hour-long action drama Police Woman starring Angie Dickinson began airing in 1974, was so popular that even its reruns in the spring and summer of 1975 ranked number one in the Nielsen ratings, making it the first successful police drama to feature a woman in the starring role. Dickinson’s unabashed sex appeal, undoubtedly, played a far greater role in its success than the plot lines themselves. One particularly odious episode, “Flowers of Evil,” had Dickinson’s character, Sgt. Pepper Anderson, investigating a trio of lesbians who run a retirement home where they murdered and robbed their elderly residents. Positive portrayals — indeed, any portrayal — of gays and lesbians were extraordinarily rare, which made this episode particularly egregious. To add insult to injury, the Police Woman aired one month to the day after a similarly negative plot line appeared on ABC’s Marcus Welby, M.D., in which a child molester was portrayed as gay. Police Woman’s “Flowers of Evil” was originally scheduled to air on October 25, but after the National Gay Rights Task Force organized national protests which led some advertisers to pull their commercials, NBC pulled the episode for re-editing. But with the filming wrapped up, the edits were mostly cosmetic. After the episode aired on November 8, TV Guide called it “the single most homophobic show to date.” A week later, a group known as Lesbian Feminist Liberation occupied NBC’s Standards and Practices office overnight, unfurled a banner from an office window reading “Lesbians Protest NBC.” Advocates continued to negotiate with NBC for several more months, and NBC finally agreed in 1975 to not rebroadcast the episode and withhold it from syndication. The “Flowers of Evil” episode re-appeared again, but this time in the Season 1 DVD box set after more than thirty years had passed, where in today’s context it can be safely viewed as a historic and cultural artifact.

I just happen to have a copy of that DVD box. However, for your edification, you can view the minisode of the episode above. And yes, it's ain't pretty.

 Past Know Your LGBT Posts: .

Minnesotans for Marriage soft peddling its message of bigotry

Via a series of youtube videos - which I refuse to post - the group Minnesotans for Marriage is pushing a false image in its fight to keep marriage equality out of the state.

The group has gotten some folks - couples and individuals - to appear on film and talk about what marriage means to them. Of course the points they make undercut their argument because it begs the question that if marriage means so much to them, then why are they trying to keep it from others? Why are they trying to keep the stability of marriage from families simply because these particular families are comprised of couples of the same sex?

More importantly, the group Minnesotans for Marriage is intentionally soft peddling its message. Minnesotans for Marriage seems to want folks to forget that the organizations which comprise it - National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council - operate to attack and demonize same-sex families through their various tactics.

Let's not forget that amongst other things, the National Organization for Marriage routinely pulls the "they want your children" card to stop marriage equality.

Nor should we forget that the Minnesota Family Council has a long, ugly history of smearing the gay community.

And as the video below (which should be referred to every time these "we have to protect marriage" folks pull out their lying videos) demonstrates, the Minnesota Catholic Clergy - which is advocating that Catholics team up with the MFC - is fastly gaining dirty hands in the effort to make same-sex couples inferior:

No matter how subtle these entities try to peddle their message, we are still talking about exploiting hate, fear, and ideas of religious supremacy. And exploitation is not a Christian concept.

Related link:

Minnesotans United for All Families

Bookmark and Share

Thank you, lgbt veterans

While we honor ALL of those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in preserving our freedoms, let us not forget those who gave their lives even while they had to hide the details of their lives:

Bookmark and Share