Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Companies claiming to support Pride Month also support network which labels LGBTQ people as mentally ill and pedophiles

Thanks to Media Matters comes a video which should be required viewing, particularly during Pride Month. I love my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, but sometimes we have a tendency of thinking that if we ignore homophobes, they can't harm us. That's like saying if you ignore someone who is breaking into your house, he will go away. That doesn't happen, particularly when there is a revenue stream involved. And in this case, that stream has to do with companies which claim to celebrate Pride.

The right-wing conspiracy theory channel One America News regularly uses extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, combating what it has called “militant LGBTQ recruitment” strategies. OAN’s baseless fearmongering about Drag Queen Story Hour, Demi Lovato’s gender identity, and transgender athletes, however, is being financially supported by cable companies and streaming services that claim to be celebrating LGBTQ people and Pride month. 

 Rather than relying on “advertising as a prime revenue source,” OAN reportedly relies on subscriber fees, also known as carriage fees, as its primary funding source. Verizon and DirecTV (and its parent company, AT&T) pay OAN subscriber fees in exchange for the network being available to their customers, whose subscription costs pay for OAN. While it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much revenue these cable contracts generate, Bloomberg previously reported that OAN “gets paid about 15 cents per subscriber by the companies.”

 OAN also generates revenue through subscriber fees via its streaming app, which charges its subscribers $4.99 per month and is available to download on Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Play, and Apple TV. In exchange for hosting OAN in their channel libraries, these companies reportedly take a percentage of that subscription fee. For example, according to Yahoo Finance and The Motley Fool, Roku takes 20% of subscription fees, and Apple TV takes 30% during the first year and 15% in subsequent years. 
These companies have all celebrated Pride month through statements and social media support, including Verizon, Amazon, Google, Apple, Roku, and DirecTv and its parent company AT&T. However, these companies also enable OAN to maintain a steady income, even though the network is in direct opposition to their corporate commitments to the LGBTQ community. What’s more, OAN’s hateful rhetoric adds fuel to the rising attacks on LGBTQ people, particularly trans people: Anti-trans violence in the U.S. has reached record high levels, hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people are on the rise, and state legislatures have proposed over 100 bills to restrict trans rights so far in 2021 alone.

You can read the full article at Media Matters here.

Seems to me that if these companies are serious about supporting Pride and LGBTQ people, they would correct this hypocrisy. One could easily play the "it's just this network's opinion" card. But subsidizing opinions seen in the video above - that LGBTQ people are mentally ill, sinners, pedophiles, etc  - shouldn't be the thing to do for companies who claim to support us. 


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