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Why Won’t NBC’s The Biggest Loser Let Its Gay Trainers Come Out?

Jillian Michaels is no longer training heavies for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, but with a accusations of being a fraud and a burgeoning personal fitness empire, she’s definitely a newsworthy lass. And like her now-former reality TV training pal Bob Harper, she’s not straight. (Bi supposedly, but we’ve heard there aren’t many romantic men in her life.) But how come she won’t sit down with the LGBT press?

Last year she told Ladies’ Home Journal, “If I fall in love with a woman, that’s awesome. If I fall in love with a man, that’s awesome. As long as you fall in love…it’s like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!” And while I can’t find an interview with Harper, he’s a known L.A. gay. (He named his dog Karl, after Lagerfeld, for christ’s sakes.)

But in trying to squeeze in some times with Michaels, the lesbian entertainment site AfterEllen was rebuffed. NBC’s The Biggest Loser machine, now responsible for generating huge revenues for the network, also refused to let the website interview the show’s new female trainer Cara Castronuova — also a lesbian.

Which is too bad, because given gays are biologically more inclined to care about health and fitness, The Biggest Loser is a show we love. (We love it for its pornographic privacy violations, too.) We know the show is powered by members of our own. And yet, we’re being told we can’t claim them. NBC has its own reasons for doling out access to the personalities behind its hit show. But letting them pop up on the covers of health magazines, but refusing queer sites, sends a very clear message.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Feb 2, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 28 Comments
    • Chris
      Chris

      No we’re not. Don’t listen to Jason, girls! You be who you are!!

      Feb 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kayla
      kayla

      @jason: Jason what’s with the hate? Did some woman (mother?) do you wrong? I have seen multiple anti-female comments written by you…. Please get some therapy! Women, for the most part and with exceptions, are less homophobic than heterosexual men. Can we start judging people for their individual actions and not blame them for what others who happen to possess similar genitalia have done? You really need therapy!! So my sexuality is fake, because I can’t prove sexual arousal sans a penis….But you’re ignoring the fact that many gay men can have sex with women while fantasizing about a man….Isn’t that fake too? You really don’t make much sense….

      By the way, some signs of female arousal are, flushed or reddened face, rise in body temperature and hardened nipples….there are others but let’s not go there….

      Feb 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nathan
      Nathan

      @jason: You are incredibly sexist and ignorant. Doesn’t it make sense to you, given CBS’s attitudes on the matter, that she might give such a vague, noncomittal answer on her sexuality? When did queerty become such a breeding ground for misogyny and biphobia?

      Feb 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @jason what a horribly sexist, disrespectful thing to say. Where do you get the idea that female sexuality is not real? I get that it is trendy for women to be bi, and horny straight men eat that shit up. However, your statements are ridiculous, not to mention false. IDK what Jillian’s deal is, and don’t care. But IDK why she’d turn down After Ellen either, if she really were bi…

      Feb 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      Ignoring Jason and back on topic, this is obviously outrageous and offensive, but once again, a very real reminder of where we stand in the TV/movie/etc. industry. A very real reminder. These producers INSTRUCT and effectively force LGBT people to be closeted. The show may be run by the gay/lesbian trainers, but that doesn’t mean that NBC head honchos like that. They don’t want the show to be known as the show with the gay trainers. Movie directors don’t want their films to be highlighted by out LGBT individuals. They don’t want to associate themselves with “gay”. And it’s because of the homophobic society we live in first and foremost.

      Feb 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kayla
      kayla

      I just don’t think anyone would care if these trainers came out of the closet…I’ve watched the show and knew that the male trainer was gay, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s gaydar went off. I think the public can handle it. After all, Dancing With the Stars is a mega hit, much bigger than Biggest Loser, and one of the judges (Bruno anyone?!)and a couple of the dancers are out of the closet. It’s really only the romantic leading man who still has to hide to be successful these days.

      Feb 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      Who the hell cares whether personal trainers are gay, lesbian or bi?

      Btw, I’m obsessed with Gillian Michaels, and her infomercials.

      Feb 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      It’s not necessarily that the public would care, although it is proven that being out of the closet really isn’t totally beneficial to your career, sadly. The fact is, most people who watch TV shows like this or AI are “Middle-American” types. And as we all know, they tend to be anti-gay. They don’t want to potentially offend their base viewership. Or cause a “scene” and have the trainers/musicians/dancers etc. sexuality become bigger than that person themselves or the show itself.

      The other issue is simple. These producers/TV execs/businessmen etc. do NOT want their product represented by out LGBT individuals. A lot of it because of societal homophobia, and a lot of it because they are homophobic. So, I’m glad these stories have been coming out of the truth of the TV/film crowd. People think it’s so liberal and accepting, and the truth is, it’s not.

      Feb 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aalan brickman
      aalan brickman

      My trainer is gay …so what!! bring back morning goods!!!

      Feb 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aalan brickman
      aalan brickman

      plus all the female freinds want him!! nice…

      Feb 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HD G Vid
      HD G Vid

      Because she is not gay. imho

      Feb 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • merkin
      merkin

      “given gays are biologically more inclined to care about health and fitness”

      we are–and its biological? News to me!

      You could argue that we are conditioned to care more about fitness because of gay culture’s emphasis on physical appearance, but i find that statement really jarring, especially when made so casually.

      In fact, if you were to factor in unsafe sex, drinking and drug use, I would wonder if we really do care more about “health.” Study after study shows gay men are more like to have unsafe sex and abuse drugs and alcohol

      Feb 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • holla
      holla

      Once again, these people are out. They may not be on the cover of people saying so, but anyone who watches the show can see that Bob Harper is pretty gay (although I hope Oprah wouldn’t say that!) and, from what I hear, is visible in the LA LGBT world. Maybe NBC figures afterellen isn’t big enough for them. Ladies Home Journal may seem kind of lame, but it’s right beside the checkout in the grocery store (alongside Biggest Loser cookbooks). So maybe they just don’t want to spend their PR muscle on websites, even for those “biologically” predisposed to care about health. Or maybe they know that sitting with these queer sites will involved talking about their personal lives and, god forbid, they don’t want to talk about it and instead want to promote their show/weight-loss program/whatever other lifestyle thing they want.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • prohomo
      prohomo

      @aalan brickman: @aalan brickman: Are you bi?

      Feb 3, 2011 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blake J
      Blake J

      Well, I would not go as far as to say that female sexuality is fake, however I do think that female bisexuality is overstated, while male bisexuality (homosexuality) is heavily understated.

      Women are more willing to kiss each other and maybe go a bit further (no vaginal interaction) to entice men, but it does not make them bisexual.

      It really pisses me off that now even when they do shows (reality or scripted) about the performance industry, fitness industry, etcetera they still manage to neglect the contributions of the “queer community”.
      I could accept it if they excluded all sexuality, but they still force the heterosexual agenda into everything, even when it is completely irrelevant!

      Maybe they could get away with “gay exclusion” when the content was about environments that were neither creative nor intellectual.

      But seriously having shows about actors, dancers, etcetera (environments where the straight-gay ratio is about fifty-fifty compared to the population ratio of ninety-ten) is just fucking ridiculous!

      This is the main reason why I do not believe that the “pink mafia” exists in Hollywood, because how could they still possibly stand by when this shit still happens!
      The love of money only goes so far!

      Feb 3, 2011 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The pink mafia in Hollywood is extremely homophobic. It consists of a group of men and women who use homophobic reasoning to shut us out. This reasoning is in the form of “oh, we mustn’t upset our advertisers”. The members of the pink mafia use their gaydar to target suspected homosexuals and to marginalize them through pressure.

      This is one reason why I think the pink mafia is hugely damaging to the cause of gay exposure and gay equality in Hollywood.

      Face it, guys – our enemy is within the tent. He’s looking lovingly into our eyes while he’s pissing in our pockets.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 7:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy
      Soupy

      I blame your doctor, for not recommending a good therapist.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Hollywood trups it’s liberalism and yet is ALWAYS 20 years behind the rest of the country.

      Sure, they will make movies and TV shows about gays, but won’t hire them, or if they do will demand that they stay closeted. They are the WORST kind of right wingers…the kind who think they are liberal and helpful.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Jason, I’m sure we’d all be interested in hearing more biological theory from 1897, if you’d care to share.

      Many of us are so taken up with the modern understandings of biology and reproduction, based on actual science, that we neglect to learn the outdated modes of thinking you espouse. Tell us more about hysteria, that mental illness that is the plague of womankind and can only be cured through vaginal stimulation by her therapist, and how the clitoris is an elaborate fiction made up by heretics to woo women into devil worship. Tell us how women have no sex drive, and have learned to fake it in order to obtain the material rewards only men may provide them.

      I’d also be interested to learn the secrets of time travel, if you have indeed come to visit us from the 19th Century, as it appears.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Poptarte
      Poptarte

      Wouldn’t Bob Harper’s video Queer Abs pretty much clear up any questions about his sexuality?

      Feb 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justnow
      justnow

      at least jason is right about barsexuals……. that makes bi’s and les look bad

      Feb 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RH
      RH

      Wow yet again another awesome article about someone’s PRIVATE life … I’m sorry… who writes this garbage? ”

      Lets forget for a moment the complete disrespect laden upon the three individuals referenced in this … I’m sorry calling it an “article” gives it too much credit … like it actually possesses journalistic merit … this does NOT …

      Lets examine the quote “….gays are more biologically inclined to be concerned about health and fitness” ??? wtf this pampered princess has obviously never been to a middle america and seen the TONS of regular gay folks out there … honey step out side your LANYCChicagoMiami comfort zone there is a WHOLE BIG world out there full of BIG and average gay folks … and where exactly did you get this earth shattering scientific proof from?

      …Lets be more realistic about the point which is actually gays are more SHALLOW than need to be where looks are concerned and since they only care for aesthetics thats why they can’t keep loving healthy relationships together…they just go after what gets them off… Gays wont give you the time of day to even get to KNOW you unless they are someone they could potentially see themselves sleeping with later on. Its crap writing like this that destroys esteem within the community, and perpetuates an unattainable aesthetic as what people view as WORTH rather than what the real issue is brewing inside … cultivate THAT and the rest will follow

      THAT is the sad truth of this society … bitter pill to swallow but if you take a long hard look in the mirror its truth is UNDENIABLE

      Feb 6, 2011 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kaliki
      Kaliki

      I just want to say that it is an outrageous statement to make that “gays are biologically more inclined to care about health and fitness genetically”… Really people? That’s just as ignorant as saying that all gay men are hairdressers or all lesbians love mullets. Stupid. Think about it.

      Dec 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Why do they have to “come out”? Maybe they aren’t defined by their sexuality and maybe it is private as it should be. Maybe not everybody wears their sexuality on their sleeves and have other things that define them.

      Dec 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @HD G Vid: @jason: Wow Jason…whose pissing in YOUR pocket…or did you take a “bitter queen” pill?

      Jan 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @HD G Vid: @jason: Wow Jason…whose pissing in YOUR pocket…or did you take a “bitter queen” pill?@HD G Vid: Gillian Micheals isn’t gay? PLEASE! She’s the biggest lipstick bull dyke lesbian on TV!!

      Jan 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @RH: Wow are you a HYPOCRITE! “Lets be more realistic about the point which is actually gays are more SHALLOW than need to be where looks are concerned and since they only care for aesthetics thats why they can’t keep loving healthy relationships together…they just go after what gets them off… Gays wont give you the time of day to even get to KNOW you unless they are someone they could potentially see themselves sleeping with later on.” WTF? How about YOU step outside your little princess bubble? You spouting the same BULLSHIT this article is. Sure there are shallow fags around. But we’re not all like that. I’m gay as hell but I don’t really give a shit about appearance as much as the substance of the person. Wake the hell up tool!

      Jan 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LOni
      LOni

      I highly doubt that the reason why Bob is coming out (that is if he is really gay) is because of NBC. Please, it is 2012! It’s in to be gay. Everyone who is everyone is coming out if it’s true. I really think Bob not admitting to being gay is because of his own personal insecurities- there is no way that NBC (which is more liberal) would have an issue, the law suite they would be out for would be HUGE, and not to mention the Biggest Looser would loose tons and tons of money! Bob Harper, if he is gay…it is not because of NBC and if he says that is the reason well then he is a liar.

      Jan 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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