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KCRW Calls Host’s Pink List Comments ‘Unacceptable’

Yesterday, Queerty told you about a self-described “rant” from Claude Brodesser-Akner, host of the Hollywood industry talk show “The Business” on Santa Monica’s public-radio station KCRW, who compared the gay and lesbian protest movement to the Hollywood Black List’s against Communist’s in the 50s on his show Monday.

You wrote and called the station sharing your views and today, Ruth Seymour, General Manager of KCRW is writing to the station’s subscribers because of your efforts. KCRW was kind enough to provide an exclusive advance copy of the letter, available after the jump.

Dear KCRW Listener:

Although I am recording this statement for broadcast on The Business next Monday, I wanted to respond to your letter personally today. Here’s what I am planning to say on the air:

“Last week listeners to this program heard an announcement by host Claude Brodesser-Akner purporting to be a (quote) “rant on behalf of the entire editorial staff of The Business.”

Well, a “rant” is certainly what it was, in all the pejorative meanings of that term.

The management of KCRW takes editorial positions on very rare occasions.

Management alone has that prerogative. In this instance, management was neither consulted nor informed.

Here’s the background to this incident.

Two weeks ago Rich Raddon, Director of the LA Film Festival, resigned his position after his donation of $1500 to California’s Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage campaign was publicly revealed. The Business compared his resignation to the Hollywood Blacklist days when members of the film industry lost their jobs because of alleged Communist sympathies.

The actors, directors, writers and producers who were targeted in the Blacklist, never resigned their positions. The Business never offered those who disagreed with the producers the opportunity to answer.

KCRW regrets airing this out-of-the-blue opinion and has made it clear to those involved that it is unacceptable. On behalf of the station and its commitment to fairness and accuracy, please accept our apologies and regrets.”

I want to thank you for writing us. We share your concern and are deeply troubled by this incident, which transgresses the very ideas that inform the station and its commitment to the community.

Sincerely,
Ruth Seymour
General Manager

On next week’s show, Ruth will record a retort to Mr. Brodesser-Akner’s statements.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Dec 9, 2008
Tagged: , , ,
  • 25 Comments
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      Good job, Japhy!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @Joe Moag: I didn’t do it. Queerty readers did. A Queerty reader heard the show and alerted us and it was Queerty readers who reached out to KCRW by phone and email.

      Good job, Queerty!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe Moag
      Joe Moag

      Well, I stand happily corrected, though I was attempting to merely imply that because of Queerty, I and many other Queerty readers contacted the station to share our displeasure.

      Either way, nice job, one and all!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patrick Waechter
      Patrick Waechter

      Yeah I heard that on the air the other day as I was going through a Taco Bell drive thru with no cash, only my ATM card. I heard that jerk make his quip, right as I looked up at the drive thru speaker box which had a handwritten sign that read “CASH ONLY NO CARDS.” The mix of the two incidents made me seething with anger so much that I stomped the gas pedal and nearly rear ended the woman who was getting her food at the window (who obviously had cash and should have bought me a taco like those Starbucks pay it forward people on CNN since I had no cash).

      Dec 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patrick Waechter
      Patrick Waechter

      It’s kind of hilarious, though, that the “pink list” touting host may now fall prey to the so-called pink force’s power himself.

      Before he made that pink list comment, I actually found his comments to be nicely balanced. I particularly liked how he noted that, though the Film Independent guy has his right to his opinion, he should have realized the consequences in his industry. I say yes, Film Independent does have a good rep for inclusion and diversity… but who cares about diversity if you’re silently hating it… One has to think that diversity might be better tended to by a person who genuinely celebrates equality and fairness for all…

      Dec 9, 2008 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam Page
      Sam Page

      Awesome scoop, Japhy!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Nice!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Patrick Waechter:

      I was the guy pointed this out first. When I called the producer of the show to ask him about it — and tell him that his speech implying that we shouldn’t boycott was unacceptable. He told me by registering my opinion on his conduct I was “proving his point”. It was a real Hall of Mirrors in his world yesterday. But KCRW did a good thing calling him on it — they’re a good station.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      We should try to get that guy fired! Make sure he never works in this town again! That’ll teach them to mess with us.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave O'Brien
      Dave O'Brien

      I too was impressed by the KCRW response. Mine, while a form letter, was actually addressed to me. Claude’s entitled to his opinion, but he should be careful not to bring KCRW into it when it involves trashing a solid group of listeners. I’ve been a fan of his show for awhile, sadly.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      I continue to be stunned by the fact that we are not willing to be doormats is being equated to witchhunts and now McCarthism (spelling?). What would be the appropriate reaction if someone took the rights away from some of these people bitching about gays finally standing up for themselves? Would they sit back and take it? Judging by their over the top reaction of actually facing real criticism for once, I suspect they would do more than just protest.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul Raposo
      Paul Raposo

      @Chris:

      He told me by registering my opinion on his conduct I was “proving his point”.

      Hey Chris, who said that, Brodesser-Akner, or his producer?

      It seems like everyone on his team supported his ridiculous belief that gays are like the right wing McCarthyists of the fifties and all those anti-gay hets are poor, innocent victims.

      Considering the Hollywood PTB have been ruining the careers of out LGBTQ’s for decades; while hiring straight actors to play gay, I seriously doubt Brodesser-Akner has any room to bitch, when we decide to fight back.

      It’s obvious they’re getting scared–middle America hates them; ticket sales are in the toilet and the backbone of Hollywood is pissed off. Maybe now they’ll stop taking gays for granted and seeing us as their lapdogs.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Paul Raposo:

      It was the producer, Matt Holzmann. He also runs the “Matt’s Movies” film screening program at KCRW at is fairly well-known with studio people and indie producers.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Paul Raposo:

      The thing is that it so plays into the right-wing charactization of “violent” “facist” free-speech prohibiting gay people.

      When I pointed that gay peopl were the victims of having our existing civil rights taken away by a vote, Holzman asked if was fair to in-turn victimize Raddon. I was floored by that. I didn’t think the right-wing tlaking points had gotten to NPR people but I guess so — Holzmann told me all the staff of that particular show were in agreement.

      The point that Raddon made the public action of donating and common sense would have told him that in his business, with many gay customers and stakeholders, it might detrimental to the business Raddon worked for, made little difference to Mr. Holzmann.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • leschuck
      leschuck

      I don’t listen to that particular program, but I do stream a lot of KCRW programming and have been an off-and-on contributor for ten years. In some years I’ve made KCRW the only charitable gift I made, so I feel pretty invested.

      I’m surprised someone on air would falsely equate our refusal to fund our own oppression with right-wing government oppression of liberals and artists–but there are idiots everywhere.

      I have a feeling this won’t come up again, and I’m satisfied with Ruth’s explanation.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @leschuck:

      If Ruth had heard about this it never would have gotten on-air. She does a nice job at the station. When she does a program, which isn’t too often (she does Politics of Culture occassionally), it’s always smart.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phoenix (Irate Rainbow Warrior)
      Phoenix (Irate Rainbow Warrior)

      Hey Claude Brodesser-Akner,

      LGBTQ spending money at Prop 8 Supporter-owned businesses makes as much sense as Non-Whites spending money at KKK member-owned businesses.

      Sincerely Fuck You Very Much,

      PHX

      Dec 9, 2008 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael
      michael

      The passage of proposition 8 has achieved something great. Not only has it energized the Queer community it has flushed out what a lot of people out there are truly made of. A very good friend of mine told me about 10 years ago that a time was coming very soon that everyones crap was going to be put on display. Oppressive institutions, governments, people were going to be exposed for what they were and through this exposure they would crumble. Of course my friend was an astrologer and bit airy fairy, but it seems like that might be happening. Clean out your closets and cobwebs boys and girls cause this whole thing might take no hostages.

      Dec 9, 2008 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      wow, all 20 people who listen to this station will be so enlightened!

      Dec 9, 2008 at 10:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jasonj
      jasonj

      @hardmannyc:

      it’s pretty popular in LA, and lot of Hollywood people listen to that show

      Dec 9, 2008 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      ^^^ OK.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Is it a business show? A talking heads show? Radio jocks reading newspapers while taking care of business on the John. Bored East Coasters are actually curious…for a New York minute!

      Michael – your “airy fairy” friend might be alluding to the Age of Pisces which starts in 2012 and will be the Age of Cures and Wars! So, dust off those 60s purple protest pants…and strike a pose for the Revolution!

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miley Crisis
      Miley Crisis

      Hey HardmanNYC…
      There is life outside of NYC. Believe it or not. Upwards of 20 million in L.A. and the surrounding areas.

      Dec 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @seitan-on-a-stick:

      it’s a business of Hollywood/how Hollywood works show that is listened to by a lot of the influental studio and indie film people among others — which is a lot of central LA, plus it’s syndicated on NPR…it’s on WNYC too (in a weird slot (albeit)

      Dec 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Mike: Expressing our displeasure to the station would be fair perhaps even pushing for a resignation but trying to black ball him and deny him employment that would be leading right into their hands giving them a doozy of a hit on us. Feeling kind of lonely as one of the only Texans here :(

      Dec 18, 2008 at 1:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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