GLAAD’s Jarrett Barrios Will Never Get the Adam Lambert Saga Right

After initially refusing press interviews following GLAAD’s absolute fuck-up with the Adam Lambert/AMA fiasco, the organization’s chief Jarrett Barrios, who’s been on the job three months, agreed to own up for his failures. Well, sort of.

Sitting down with OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile, Barrios makes what’s arguably a fourth attempt at clarifying where GLAAD stands. And it’s this: There’s a double standard with gay male entertainers, and that’s, like, not good and stuff.

We’ve already asked Barrios to STFU on Lambert, because of the way he initially sided with ABC — and basically apologized for criticism of the network — in a joint release.

As Barrios explains GLAAD’s (ineffective) methodology, the org complains, then waits for the offending party (i.e. ABC) to make a statement, and then GLAAD happily distributes that statement. That’s, uh, “activism.”

“This is a very problematic statement,” admits Barrios of GLAAD’s original release. “We released a clarifying statement the next day. … All during this time, we’re still talking to ABC, and we were very pleased with the partial victory the next day.”

But, uh, what victory? Lambert was still nixed from Jimmy Kimmel and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. He’ll get an appearance on The View and Barbara Walters’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009; both are taped. That’s the “partial” factor.

“What I can talk about is whether the gay entertainers are being treated differently than the straight entertainers,” says Barrios. “That’s my job.” He is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! And while he maintains ABC is perpetrating a double standard (it is), Barrios BOMBED on his very job description, as he put on kid gloves with ABC, and still refuses to make any real demands of the network.

And as for Lambert now being allowed on ABC in limited terms? Barrios says GLAAD had nothing to do with that! “No no no,” says Barrios, answering a question whether he talked to ABC execs to get Lambert back on certain shows. So, uh, GLAAD didn’t even have a hand in the partial victory?


So allow us to repeat our previous request: Jarrett Barrios, sit down. This is no longer your fight. And you’re co-opting it with disastrous results. Your intentions are commendable. GLAAD does some good things, despite almost always being late to the game. And we appreciate you admitting you were at fault. But given the opportunity to lead the charge on the most visible anti-gay move by a major media network during your short tenure, you blew it. Better luck next time.

Below, Lambert demonstrates what he’d like to do with GLAAD’s face: