For the past several months, my colleagues and I have been responding to the anti-gay infomercial Speechless: Silencing Christians. Our work with community partners in responding to the deceptive infomercial paid for by the American Family Association (AFA) has led us to organize in Kansas, California, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and several other states.
Because of our collaborative efforts with community leaders, I have a wonderful update to share with our readers. And our latest development to debunk the myths associated with the infomercial hails from Fresno, California.
On June 22, local grassroots organizers alerted us that KMPH FOX-26 aired the AFA infomercial. I specifically received urgent tweets from Gayrainarmy, k8cch14 and jace78. After conducting some initial research, GLAAD blogged about the incident and provided contact information for local community members to share their concerns with the station. You can find that here.
One Fresno community member even contacted two other local ABC and CBS affiliates and asked them to share their perspectives on the local FOX affiliate airing the infomercial.
ABC 30 said:
We will never show anything like that and I can't believe Fox would do something like that. We have gone through great lengths to make sure stuff like that never goes out on the air, and we will continue to.
CBS 47 also stated:
We would never do anything like that, and I'm going to have my assistant check to just to be sure that is not going on here.
KMPH station management was quick to replied to the concerns expressed by community members. I was forwarded a statement from the Senior Vice President and Director of Programming Debbie Sweeney.
Debbie Sweeney wrote:
I want to thank you for your very well thought out response to the paid program KMPH aired last night at 11:00 p.m.
Please know that the program was a paid infomercial and based on the amount of response the station has received, I guarantee you it will not air again.
Again, thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns we truly appreciate hearing from you.
The local FOX affiliate wanted to make amends and agreed to air For The Bible Tells Me So, a LGBT faith documentary exploring Christian traditions and their intersection with sexual orientation. The affiliate also agreed to air the film at no charge.
GLAAD immediately contacted Daniel Karslake who produced and directed the documentary to request permission for it to be aired on FOX-26. Daniel then spoke to The Sundance Channel that owns exclusive rights to air the documentary on television.
After some discussions with the network, Sundance granted permission to allow For the Bible Tells Me So to air on FOX-26. Now, Fresno viewers will be able to tune in this Sunday, July 5 at 11:00pm PST to watch the LGBT faith documentary. **PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW**
GLAAD will continue to follow this story. Please check back with us for updates.
Have an update to share with GLAAD? Send me a tweet on Twitter at @Andy_Marra
*Note - We are also receiving reports about the anti-gay infomercial airing on WGRZ NBC 2-TV in Buffalo, NY. GLAAD constituents have reported it being aired on June 27 from 7:00-8:00pm EST. We will be looking into this further and update our readers after the July 4 holiday.
**UPDATE: I just exchanged tweets and emails with @GayRainArmy and @jace78. KMPH will not be able to air For the Bible Tells Me So this Sunday, July 5 at 11pm PST. The station is editing out language and gestures to make it ready for Fresno viewers. KMPH is working with the documentary’s producer and director Daniel Karslake to air an edited version very soon. I’ll keep you posted on when they’re ready to air this amazing documentary.**