June has become “Pride Month,” so get ready for everything to turn rainbow colored as pop culture celebrates alternative genders and sexualities even more than usual. This has become big business as brands attempt to cash in on their wokeness and LGBTQABCDEFG inclusivity all month long.
The latest example of corporate virtue signaling comes from the USA and SYFY Networks, owned by NBCUniversal/Comcast, which announced plans Wednesday to partner with GLAAD for Pride Month.
The cable channels will feature specialized GLAAD-approved content. “Through a multiplatform campaign that includes Pride-themed marathons, custom short-form videos, fan testimonials, PSAs, all-new podcast episodes and a variety of fresh editorial, the partnership will spotlight positive LGBTQ+ representation all month long,” a statement on the USA Network’s website explained.
Marathons of queer-friendly shows like Modern Family, Winona Earp, and Xena: Warrior Princess will air on the channels throughout the month as well as episodes of Law & Order: SVU “featuring impactful LGBTQ+ storylines.” In addition, both networks will use rainbow logos, with SYFY changing their tag line from “It’s a Fan Thing” to “It’s a Pride Thing” for the month.
SYFY put out a video that spouts off platitudes like “Fandom is about inclusivity,” “They don’t need to be just characters written by straight white cisgender males,” and “We can learn stuff about how to become better humans.”
Both partners cited the ChiCom coronavirus closing down traditional Pride events as necessitating this representation “more than ever.”
“During a time when many Pride events have been cancelled, SYFY and USA are offering viewers a place to celebrate and feel celebrated with specialty content in honor of National Pride Month,” stated President of USA and SYFY Chris McCumber. “We are so grateful for GLAAD’s partnership and advocacy towards positive representation, and look forward to joining together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community throughout June.”
“SYFY and USA each have long histories of sharing LGBTQ stories that entertain, enlighten, and inspire and this Pride month will bring empowering content and series to fans all over,” said GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro. “During a Pride month when many LGBTQ community members will not be able to gather in-person, LGBTQ visibility matters more than ever and SYFY and USA’s content will help to ensure the spirit of Pride still shines bright.”
Of course, this kind of pandering propaganda is nothing new. Television has been very influential in increasing public awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ issues – purposefully so – and GLAAD has been at the forefront of pressuring networks to increase gay visibility. Don’t forget, GLAAD is the organization that wants to double LGBTQ representation on TV from 10 to 20 percent by 2025 – which would be 5 times higher than the 4 percent of the population that identifies as such.
So get ready for your TV to explode rainbows -- in June and in the many years to come!