Did GLAAD Make Us Happy?

Mr. Faggot
Yesterday and today there was much speculation as to whether ABC would fire Isaiah Washington. Would they or wouldn’t they? To my mind, as soon as word leaked of Washington’s meeting yesterday with GLAAD and GLSEN (via joint press release) the writing was on the wall. My gut tells me ABC does not plan on sacking Washington. Instead, the network is doing what it can to rehabilitate his tarnished image. They enlisted the help of two established gay rights groups to do just that.
Turns out ABC was responsible for arranging the GLAAD/GLSEN meeting with Washington yesterday. Something they would not have done if they were truly planning on firing him. And maybe I’m a cynic, but the result of this ceremonial powwow was a foregone conclusion. It’s quite possible they had the press release drafted before the meeting ever started. The headlines read “Gay Leaders Applaud Washington for Willingness to Meet With Them.” Or “Washington Makes Amends with Gay Community“
I confess, I’m discouraged (though hardly surprised) that GLAAD (and GLSEN) would participate in this white-washing. But I do see the logic to it: GLAAD’s influence over the media establishment is limited. To get a (non-voting) seat at the table they must horse-trade with the very organizations they are tasked to monitor.
The trade provided here was effectively rubber-stamping Isaiah Washington’s “road to rehabilitation” and thus clearing a path for ABC to keep him. They do this in return for a few public service announcements and to bolster perceptions of their legitimacy and influence in the cultural landscape. I should clarify, I’m not knocking GLAAD and GLSEN’s objectives. They do very important work. Horse-trading is simply a necessary evil to achieve their honorable larger goals. Only, in this particular instance I’m not sure they made a good trade.
For their sakes, I hope Isaiah Washington doesn’t revert to homophobic form down the line — making fools of everyone involved in this rehabilitation charade.
In the meantime, looks to me like Washington stays on Grey’s Anatomy. Does anyone else think that may be the optimal result for the LGBT community? There’s a surprisingly large segment of the population that already sees him as the victim. Booting him from Grey’s only makes him a martyr.
from AfterElton / Dennis Ayers

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