Pride or Prejudice
This heat has made me uuuuuber lethargic (and bloated! WTF?!) so I’ve been doing a lot of scrolling of social media while I either sit in my cool basement or sit by the outdoor pool (in the shade!) while my kids swim. Okay, I’ve been doing a lot of sitting. I see where the “bloated” thing might be coming from… the blood is pooling at the bend!! Gross.
Aaaanyway, yesterday I happened to see a random tweet from someone who called out Zed for not having a presence at Pride. Not only that, they pointed out their two openly gay on-air employees left the station last year! I had to admit, it sure LOOKED bad. But I hate to judge a book by its… uh… cover(up), so I decided to dig deeper. Sometimes it’s what they DON’T say which speaks volumes.
I googled Zed, Newcap, Stingray (who bought Newcap recently) and all the people running the show. Nothing jumped out at me. There were no indications (accusations, lawsuits, suspicions, etc) the company was homophobic or unsupportive. Though their CEOs are middle-aged white guys, there wasn’t even a whiff of impropriety (though they’re rich enough to pay off anyone threatening to finger-point!)
Sometimes there’s just nothing to find. And sometimes actions speak louder than words.
Today I started taking inventory of all the stations’ involvement and/or promotion of Pride and all things related to Pride (LGBTQ interviews, mentions, posts, etc.) I scrolled their Twitter and Facebook feeds for the past week. Here’s what I found:
- had a float in the parade, and employees from Global, CKNW, AM780, and CFOX were in attendance.
- Numerous tweets by employees present, retweeted by CFOX and Global BC.
- Rock 101 mentioned the parade twice on Twitter (but only in a here-are-the-street-closures way)
- FB posts featuring Captain Scotty and Carmen Cruz, and Happy Pride posts by CFOX and Rock 101.
- KissCam on a vehicle and a large team of proud employees marching.
- no less than 13 tweets by Kiss. Numerous tweets by Breakfast Television, One tweet from Jack (a Prince video?!)
- interviews by Breakfast Television of what Pride means to people, and the Parade Marshall.
- Kiss Facebook post with Matty B’s Pride story, pics from the parade, and a Pride Week post.
- No Facebook posts about Pride from Jack.
- Bonus points for decorating the head office building with rainbow colours!
- one Happy Pride tweet and FB post from QMFM.
- one Happy Pride tweet and two FB posts (one a repost from last year) by Virgin.
- zero mentions by Bell or TSN 1040.
- zero mentions by JRFM on either platform.
- oodles of action by Peak – numerous tweets, two FB posts, and a Pride-themed contest.
- Peak had a decorated Jeep and a banner carried by employees.
- one Happy Pride tweet by both stations (LG and Zed)
- Zed tweeted about Delta Pride on Saturday
- from Zed: one FB post about the Undie Run, one FB post about Pride info, and one Happy Pride FB post.
- from LG: one Happy Pride FB post.
To be fair, I was not at the Pride Parade because we had out of town friends staying with us and I didn’t want to break up the fun the kids were having. Therefore, I can’t speak to Pride Parade presence – if they didn’t post on Twitter or Facebook about it, I have no way of knowing if they were there or not. From what I understand, Newcap did not attend, but I’m not sure about Bell. Were they there? I dunno. You can’t tell from the Tweet or FB posts. I didn’t bother creeping each individual’s Twitter posts because even I have limits… heh…
At first glance, it seems Bell and Newcap did the LEAST they could do. But you know who did less than that? Jack, TSN, and JRFM. In fact, Jack at least tweeted the Prince video (not sure how that relates to Pride other than the “be yourself” theme of this year), but JRFM did nothing. No mentions at all. Yes, they were busy with their long weekend country music stuff, but COME ON! Not even a “here are the street closures” or “this is one thing to do on Sunday” or “here’s this country star’s coming out story!” Nope, nothing. Sheesh. I’m giving TSN a pass on this one because they don’t post anything but sports stuff, though even they could’ve put out a post about a gay athlete and what Pride means to them. But nooooooo.
Are these stations prejudiced? I don’t know. That seems like a bit of a stretch. Are they complicit in perpetuating stereotypes? Perhaps. But it’s pretty unfair to judge them on the basis of their participation (or lack thereof) in a parade, pride or otherwise. Do we judge them for not having a float in the Santa Claus parade? Does that make them anti-Santy? Or does ignoring the St. Patrick’s Day parade make them anti-Irish?
Nah. I don’t think so. I don’t think it makes them homophobic or unsupportive. I didn’t change my logo to rainbow, post about the parade, wish anyone a Happy Pride, or post about my transgendered kid (isn’t she beauuuuuutiful?!)
But I am no less supportive of Pride and all that encompasses. Love is love, kiss who you want, and be happy.
However, if I were a big corporation needing to promote my business or shine my image, I’d buy the biggest, rainbowest float of them all!!!